The University of Georgia has been seeking research proposals about the school's history regarding slavery.
University administrators say they're committing $100,000 for the effort.
The institution wants research from the year it was founded in 1785 to 1865, when the Civil War ended, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Some students, faculty, alumni and community leaders say the university should commit more money for the work. Some also think the time period of research should be extended beyond the Civil War.
Colleges benefited from slavery after the Civil War through housing, zoning and educational policies that continued to discriminate against African Americans, said Kirt von Daacke, co-chair of the University of Virginia's commission on slavery. His university is looking past the end of the war to investigate that history.
"Slavery shapes in really profound ways what comes afterward," he said. "The university doesn't shift on a dime."
University of Georgia President Jere Morehead declined the newspaper's interview request. The hope is that the research culminates in one or more "definitive, publishable histories" on the topic, the school said in a statement.
Several dozen colleges and universities have done similar research in recent years. That has led some of them to find that they financially profited from slavery.
In 2011, Emory University issued a "statement of regret" after its research revealed that slaves were used to help build and support the institution in its early years.