- Southern University at New Orleans has had a particularly hard time getting back on its feet in the decade since Hurricane Katrina devastated its city, with its struggle in part due to a delay in FEMA disaster relief funds as well as a changing local demographic.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that two other historically black colleges have also struggled, but as private colleges with national reach, they have received more support from donors who may have assumed that SUNO, as a public school, would get more help from the state.
- SUNO still has people working in upper floors of buildings damaged by flooding as they wait to build anew, and attracting students and faculty has been difficult.
New Orleans’ wealthier higher education institutions, Tulane and Loyola University New Orleans, have largely recovered from Katrina. The historically black colleges were built on lower ground and all had smaller endowments to work with when it came to rebuilding. Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars have been delayed a decade, and mold and rot still proliferate in the first floors of many SUNO buildings.
The Chronicle reports that the university has adapted, recruiting more Latino students who make up a growing portion of the local community and opening an incubator for business startups to reach tech enthusiasts who have flocked to the city. So far, new initiatives like these have kept the school alive.