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EXTENSION ACCOUNTABILITY-AN 1890 PERSPECTIVE Adell Brown Southern University Plenty of discussion continues about the impact of devolution on programs which the federal govern- ment has historically supported. Like other organiza- tions, the 1890 Association of Extension Administra- tors (1890 AEA) has spent many hours deliberating on this issue. This paper presents some insights from these deliberations in a public policy context. The public policy context points out that, like many of its custom- ers, the 1890 system continues to face difficult choices. The focus of this paper is on issues believed to be particular to the 1890 system. It begins with a descrip- tion of the 1890 system. Then, it addresses challenges facing the system and some measures taken to deal with challenges and opportunities. Background of the 1890 System The 1890 system consists of 17 historically Black land grant universities established by the second Morrill Act of 1890. These universities were created and/or designated as land grants out of a need to pro- vide similar educational opportunities for Blacks, and under the premise of separate but equal. Though es- tablished in 1890, no sustained funds for extension were allocated until 1972. In 1972, Congress estab- lished legislation providing direct federal funding of extension programs at 1890 institutions and Tuskegee University which function within the guidelines es- tablished by the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-113). These institutions hold in high regard their unique educational outreach ability to address con- cerns of socially-economically challenged and diverse audiences. In just over 25 years, these institutions have managed to build a quality infrastructure and excel- lent credentials for delivering relevant educational pro- grams. Challenges of Accountability for the 1890 System The 1990s have been described as an era of reduc- ing "big government" through devolution, privatization and dismantling federal programs. For the 1890 sy

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