Iowa State University

Paul Tanaka, University Legal Services, (515) 294-5352
Rafael Rodriquez, Minority Student Affairs, (515) 294-6338
John Anderson, University Relations, (515) 294-6136


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University has formalized its relationship with the Black Cultural Center and has committed funds to the renovation of the center's facility at 517 Welch Ave.

The Black Cultural Center (BCC) is a private, non-profit organization created in 1969 to promote cross-cultural understanding and provide programs of benefit to ISU students and employees. Under a new 10-year agreement, the university officially recognizes the BCC as an organization affiliated to the university. It also establishes terms for the university to provide support for the center and the center to provide support for the university. The BCC Board of Directors and the university have been working toward the formal agreement since last March. The agreement was signed by BCC and university officials in October.

The BCC provides a location for students and employees to gather and discuss issues of African American life and culture, hold cultural events, provide information and resources of interest to African Americans and provide programs to enhance cross-cultural understanding.

"The Black Cultural Center has been an important part of the African American community of Iowa State for nearly three decades. This new agreement will provide mutual benefits for ISU and the BCC," said ISU President Martin C. Jischke. "The BCC is positioned to play an important role in the university's diversity efforts and enhancing the teaching, research and service missions of the university."

The agreement arose out of an offer made by the university last January to help renovate the facility. In response, the Board of Directors of the BCC submitted a proposal to continue programming and to develop a more comprehensive relationship with university programs.

Under the new agreement, the BCC will give special attention to programming to support the success of African American students; maintain communication with the African American Studies Program, the director of Minority Student Affairs, the ISU Black Faculty and Staff Association and appropriate African American student organizations; and seek the advice and guidance of the director of Minority Student Affairs regarding major changes in the activities of the center. The center has agreed that the director of Minority Student Affairs will be an ex-officio member of the BCC Board.

ISU has committed at least $40,000 for renovation of the BCC's Welch Avenue facility. The renovation will focus on repairs needed to meet building and fire codes, and to enhance the usefulness of the facility.

ISU also has agreed to cover the costs of utilities, special property assessments and general liability and casualty insurance for the BCC's Welch Avenue facility. The ISU Foundation will provide advice and assistance in fund-raising endeavors to benefit the center's operations.

The BCC and the university will each designate three to four people for a coordinating committee that will meet on a regular basis to discuss programs and operation of the center.

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