President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday pledging support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs.
One of the larges in the country is North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. Winston-Salem State University and Bennett College are also located in the Triad.
President Trump met with dozens of HBCU leaders in Washington D.C. this week about their school needs. Representatives from all three Triad schools were there.
The President's order aims to give more attention to historically black colleges and universities. One of the biggest changes is moving the Initiative on HBCUs from the Department of Education to the White House. This will give the schools more clout and attention within the government. President Trump also called for a President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs to work with the Department of Education with the goal of improving community engagement, financial security and infrastructure. He also detailed the importance of getting HBCUs more involved with federal programming.
Congresswoman Alma Adams (D- NC) released this statement that reads:
“Today, President Trump, like every president since Jimmy Carter, signed an Executive Order on HBCUs,” said Congresswoman Adams. “This order is a first step towards supporting our HBCUs but there is greater work to be done. Our schools need a real commitment and investment from this administration.
“Despite the buildup, this Executive Order doesn’t include details about federal agency funding, grants, or contracts. This action on HBCUs is not sufficient to hold up to promises made by this administration. Our schools need substantial policy changes and increased funding to create a real impact on their campuses-not just a photo op in the Oval office.
“As we establish national priorities through the budget, we must protect public education, bolster and expand Pell Grants, and give schools and students the means to be successful. I will work with the administration, HBCUs, and my colleagues to move forward with legislation that will provide HBCUs with the tools and resources they need to thrive.”
Others are more optimistic. Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Dr. Elwood Robinson said the meetings in Washington led to constructive conversation of HBCUs and hopes they will lead to additional support for their mission.
Since President Carter in 1980, every president has signed an executive order reorganizing the initiative. But Trump said moving it to the White House will make it "an absolute priority."