The federal government yesterday rejected as inadequate desegragation plans for public colleges in Virginia and Georgia, but accepted plans for Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida and part of the North Carolina system.
Joseph A. Califano Jr., secreatry of Health, Education and Welfare, said, however, that he would give Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina officials another 45 days in which to negiotiate acceptable desgregation plans with HEW.
Califano said that if the three states stil had not produced satisfactory plans by that time HEW would start administrative proceedings against them that eventually could result in the revocation of between $50 million and $80 million in annual federal education aid for each of the states.
Califano said he has "every hope and expectation that we can reach an agreement" with the three states and that their governors had told him they also wanted to negotiate desegregation plans with HEW.
HEW'srejection of the Virginia plan came as no surprise to state officials who just this week met for the first time with HEW officials over Virginia's previously rejected desegregation plan.
Virginia Gov. John N. Dalton, who took office Jan. 14, said yesterday he has authorized state Attorney General J. Marshall Coleman and state Secretary of Education J. Wade Gilley Jr. to meet with HEW officials "to see it they can find an agreement."
Dalton's Tuesday meeting with HEW officials marked a shift in the state's handling of the college desegregation issue.
Former governor Mills E. Godwin had refused to meet with HEW officials on the desegregation issue. Godwin said he would take HEW to court before he woulf yeild to what he characterized as federal demands for "quotas" to increase black enrollment at the state's prodominantly white public colleges (now 5 percent) and white enrollment at predominantly black institutions (now 2.4 percent)
In accepting the plans of the three states yesterday, Califano said," The plans we are accepting today from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Florida underscore a vital point - difficult civil rights controversies can be settled by thoughtful and good faith negotiations between state and federal officials."
Last July, HEW, under court order, issued guidelines for six Southern states to prepare a five-year plan for fully desegreagating their publicly supported colleges and universities.
Those guidelines call for acieving full desegregation by increasing the number of blacks at predominantly white schools, while at the same time ensuring the continued existence of the states' historically black colleges.
Califano said each of the three states' plans he accepted cover all the institutions of public higher education in the states, increase substantially the percentage of blacks) attending white colleges and universities,promote integration by eliminating duplication of instructional programs in black and white institutions, expand the number of black professors on faculties and governing boards, and strengthen black colleges through a combination of new academic programs and new finiancial support.
For example, Califano said in the first year of the plan, black enrollment at tradionally white institutions is expected to increased by 350 students in Arkansas, 550 in Oaklahoma and 750 in Florida. "These are goals, not quotas," he said.
Florida officials said they would strengthen the state's traditionally black school - Florida A&M University - by providing new offerings in pharmacy, architecture, construction technology and a master's degree program in business administration. The state also said it plans to eliminate unnecessary program duplication, in such fields as agriculture, architecture , business education and nursing at Florida A&M and three predominantly white colleges.