Lefty pundit and African-American economist Julianne Malveaux is no friend of conservatives, which is aptly expressed in her infamous sentiment regarding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease”.

That she is more favorably disposed to President Obama should come as no surprise. However, that has not stopped her from being very critical of the new “College Affordability Plan” (hat-tip, Instapundit).

How do you define a satisfactory undergraduate college experience? Does it mean that you graduate in four or six years? Does it mean that you carry a lower student loan debt than others do? Does it mean that you earn lots of money?

Well, it depends on the perspective that you choose to embrace. Last month, President Obama proposed plans to rate colleges based on metrics such as tuition, graduation rates, student loan debt and subsequent earnings. The ratings would then be tied to financial aid. The president’s goal is to make college education more affordable and accountable.

Who would be against that? In fact, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) would suffer from each metric proposed by Obama, mostly because using general measurements for these institutions compared with other universities is like comparing apples with broccoli. There is little recognition for the very different populations that HBCUs and PWIs (predominately white institutions) serve, and that demographic differences often influence college outcomes…

HBCU students graduate with more student loan debt than white students.

Last month, the black unemployment rate was 13% compared with 7.3% for the overall population. High black unemployment often means lower pay levels, an Obama metric, and is associated more with market conditions than student ability.

Though every institution of higher education must be held to a standard of accountability, HBCUs do more with less. HBCUs represent 3% of our nation’s four-year universities, yet produce about 20% of black college graduates.

The Obama guidelines are a slap in the face to HBCUs, which have attempted to close racial economic gaps. The Obama administration can do better. They can adjust metrics to deal with those colleges that have high Pell participant. They can fix the Parent Plus fiasco that left more than 28,000 HBCU students stranded last fall. They can lift up those colleges, and embrace those students who step out, first generation, financially challenged against all odds.

Our president says he wants, again, to lead the world in high education attainment. Kicking our nation’s HBCUs to the curb is hardly a way to attain his goal.