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A Message from President Glover on recent White House visit and the HBCU Executive Order -- Feb 2017

TSU President Glenda Glover Announces Initiatives to Continue 'Legacy of Excellence'


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A Message from President Glover on recent White House visit and the HBCU Executive Order

Dear TSU Family:

This letter is an update on the meetings with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and other key executives in the Trump administration. For the past three days, eighty-eight (88) presidents and chancellors of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) convened in Washington, D.C. to present the case for our respective institutions. The meetings resulted largely from the efforts of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO).

Negotiations for increased funding to assist HBCUs started long before this meeting, as several of us began to develop a strategy for the President's Executive Order as early as mid-November 2016. Our primary concerns continue to be increased funding for student aid, including scholarships, Title III, and year round Pell grants; campus infrastructure; campus safety; more funding for land-grant universities; and technology upgrades. Our specific request to President Trump was to establish a $25 billion fund as a line item in his budget representing a one-time investment in our universities. We also requested that 10% of federal contracts be allocated for HBCUs.

The meeting culminated with the President signing an Executive Order namely, the White House Initiative to Promote Excellence and Innovation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Order directed the initiative to be housed in the Executive Office of the President (The White House), and it mandated that the federal agencies and organizations work to increase capacity of HBCUs. It seeks, among other things, to strengthen HBCUs financially, upgrade infrastructure, promote research, and ensure that the federal agencies perform specifically to improve the competitive position of HBCUs. To see the Executive Order, visit /president/documents/ExecOrder_2017_0228.pdf.

The Order is only the beginning. We must now fortify our efforts to petition Congress to work with the Executive Branch and ensure that the President’s funding requests and subsequent budgets regarding HBCU funding are approved. We have already begun this process.

I offer my sincere appreciation to each of you for your support and assistance. Special thanks are offered for the input received from the Tennessee State University Board of Trustees; the TSU President’s Cabinet; the TSU National Alumni Association; the TSU Foundation; Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, President Emeritus of FAMU and former President of TSU; and many others. This is a tremendous effort and will require collaboration from all of us to make this happen. Again, thank you.

Glenda Glover