Last Ditch Legal Effort to Save Engineering Program at Clark Atlanta University

In 2003 the board of trustees at Clark Atlanta University, the historically black educational institution in Georgia, voted to close down the university’s engineering program, which had been established in 1994. The Clark Atlanta board said it would keep the engineering department operating until 2008 so that students enrolled at that time would be able to complete their degree programs.

The department offered majors in mechanical, chemical, electrical, and civil engineering. It is one of only 14 engineering programs at historically black colleges and universities nationwide and the only one at a black college in Georgia.

A group of engineering students and some of the engineering faculty took the university to court seeking to prevent the closing of the department. But last year the county court threw out the case saying the university was perfectly within its rights to decide which academic programs it offers.

Now the case is being appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. Oral arguments are scheduled for next month.