With weeks of much uncertainty and anticipation, President Trump signed an executive order on historically black colleges and universities in the Oval Office on Tuesday, just one day after meeting with dozens of HBCU leaders at the White House.
Spearheaded by Omarosa Manigault, a senior adviser to President Trump, moves the White House Initiative on HBCUs into the White House from the Department of Education.
Although there was structual change brought on my this executive order, some University leaders who came to Washington to meet with administration officials had called for a stronger executive order that would aid with the financial looms HBCUs that “would nearly double federal support to HBCUs,” according to a memo from the United Negro College Fund.
The order, however, made no proposals for increasing federal support for HBCUs, which several leaders had believed was a top priority.
“This has to be a funding issue when we’re talking about these historic levels of income and wealth inequality,” Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University, said in an interview Tuesday morning, adding that HBCUs “serve a population that is the highest percentage of Pell Grant recipients of any higher-education sector.”
“It’s a very important moment and a moment that means a great deal to me,” President Trump said in prepared remarks. “With this executive order we will make HBCUs a priority in the White House, an absolute priority,” he said.