HBCU, Inc.

Investors are looking to create a new for-profit college, one targeted toward black students. According to an article in Inside Higher Ed:

On Thursday, a new venture announced that it will seek to become a for-profit higher education company focused on serving black students. Officials were vague about how they would do so, but acknowledged that they would be seeking one or more partnerships with existing institutions that have accreditation.

One source familiar with some of the exploratory discussions about Latimer Education, as the new venture is called, said that the goal was to align with a private, financially challenged historically black college. One of Latimer’s founders confirmed that working with a black college was one idea under consideration, but he said that other ideas were as well.

Three politically very well connected men founded the company: Scott Royster, executive at media company Radio One, Brian Jones, counsel for the U.S. Education Department during the George W. Bush administration, and David Sutphen, senior executive at Viacom and formerly Senator Edward Kennedy’s general counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While it’s pretty early on in the venture and it’s a little unclear what Latimer Education’s going to offer (or how much it’s going to cost) according to Jones:

We hope to create an institution that will cater to what are often the unique needs and interests of the African-American community. I think the reason that the for-profits have done well, and it’s not unique to African-American students, is that they serve nontraditional students well.

Royster had another take on the educational venture. Describing relationship between his new college and venture capital firm Maveron, Royster said:

Maveron shares our vision and their unique combination of online education sector expertise and success in guiding the creation of enduring consumer brands, makes them the perfect choice as a financial partner.

“Enduring consumer brands”?

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer