Former HBCU Leaders Petition President Obama to Do More for Black Colleges

220px-Official_portrait_of_Barack_ObamaA group of former presidents and chancellors of historically black colleges and universities recently drafted an open letter to President Barack Obama. The group, which calls itself the Alliance of Former Presidents and Chancellors of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, asks the president to take a more active role in strengthening the nation’s HBCUs.

After praising the president’s leadership on other issues, the group stated, “Our concern is that you could leave office without having effected the necessary change in how the state and federal governments view, promote, support, and fund HBCUs. That would be, in our opinion, a tragedy of untold proportion.”

Among the recommendations made by the groups are:

• A return the Office of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the White House from its current office space at the Department of Education

• Use of the bully pulpit of the Office of the President to encourage state governments, federal agencies, private foundations, the corporate community, and the general public to support the cause of the HBCUs, their students, and stakeholder communities.

• Encourage White House staff and department secretaries through in-house directives and other forms to explore with HBCUs opportunities for upcoming grants, contracts, and other program support for expanding institutional capacity.

• Have the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice consider Title VI enforcement proceedings against states that are in violation of federal law and related desegregation agreements. The former HBCU leaders note that officials at publicly operated HBCUs are reluctant to press state officials on these matters in fear of cuts in appropriations and therefore it is essential that the federal government make sure that funding is equal.

Here is a list of the members of the alliance:

  • Earl S. Richardson Former President, Morgan State University
  • William DeLauder Former President, Delaware State University
  • Edward Fort Former President, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University
  • John Garland Former President, Central State University
  • Fred Humphries Former President, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Joseph Johnson Former President, Grambling State University and Talladega College
  • Ivory Nelson Former President, Lincoln University Pennsylvania
  • Benjamin Payton Former President, Benedict College and Tuskegee University
  • Delores Spikes Former President, Southern University Baton Rouge; Chancellor of the Southern University System and Former President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Arthur Thomas Former President, Central State University
  • Thelma Thompson Former President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. I am sending this email for help. I attend Atlantic Cape Community College
    in Atlantic City New Jersey. I want to attend an
    African-American History course that was
    advertised in the school catalog, but I notice
    that the course was inactive. I asked Linda Palmer
    the director,why was the course inactive she said because
    there’s no teacher to teach the course.
    I believe African-American history should be apart of
    higher education curriculum at Atlantic Cape Community
    My peers and myself would like to petition the school.
    Please help to make this a success for the students

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs