The infrastructure and capital development needs of Tribal Colleges and Universities, including student housing, classrooms and laboratories, equipment, and technology upgrades, present some of the most significant challenges facing these institutions. This paper focuses on one aspect of these needs—the construction and renovation of instructional and housing facilities—and argues that the federal government must play a key role in financing these activities. After highlighting the special trust relationship between the federal government and American Indian tribes, the paper describes the significant federal investment made in academic facilities in the past, an investment the TCUs could not take advantage of due to their relatively recent establishment. Selected federal programs that might be used by TCUs to meet some of their facilities needs, especially if leveraged with state and private sector funds, are detailed.
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Options for a Federal Role in Infrastructure Development at Tribal Colleges and Universities
Published: February 2000