Quick Hits – Encouragement: The Recent Update to an Executive Order You Haven’t Heard About

3/17/17 (about 2am)

With all the attention given to this administration’s executive orders regarding immigration vetting – I thought it would be nice to shift attention to another Executive Order related process that’s not getting the attention it deserves.

Whitehouse.gov – Promoting Excellence in HBCU’s

Dated Feb 28th of this year the order acknowledges the contributions of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s) while also creating a Director level position to promote their advancement and oversee progress towards the goals.

This is not only the Trump administration’s public support for this longstanding Directive (footnote 1) – but they’ve also amended it and made some improvements in my opinion.

The improvements come from adding specific references to investments in the infrastructure and technology at these institutions and ultimately elevating the supporting board and members from being hosted with the Dept. of Education to now reporting directly to the President within the Executive Branch.

HBCU_Map With States Who Host
States Featuring HBCU’s

Among other things, this Order will:

  • Establish stronger ties between the HBCU’s and “private-sector employers, educational associations, philanthropic organizations, and other partners to increase the capacity of HBCUs”
    • Expected support from the private sector includes “enhanced institutional planning and development”, assistance with “upgrading institutional infrastructure, including …technology”
  • Cross promote HBCU research capacity and output with “private-sector initiatives and public-private partnerships”. Note that the proposed connection between HBCU academic research (supply) and various public/private entities who could use/promote that research (demand) is targeted for enhancement in order to bring about results.


  • This administration will help strengthen those links by:
    • providing direct assistance regarding HBCUs’ ability to equitably participate in Federal programs
    • sharing administrative and programmatic best practices within the HBCU community
    • convening an annual White House Summit on HBCUs to address, among other topics, matters related to the Initiative’s missions and functions


I also like how the Order assigns the Secretary of Education with the specific role of teaming with the new HBCU Executive Director in order to assess the landscape of “Agencies that currently ineract with HBCU’s”.

This is a smart move in my opinion – it fosters accountability and also allows the newly created team to evaluate their “Current State” so they can better map out how and when they’ll progress towards their desired outcomes.

There’s a LOT more in there – but I’m making myself stick to the “quick hits” format here.

Please consider sharing this information with someone as a way to promote a positive development within the otherwise excessively contentious political landscape.

Perhaps that can be your ‘one little thing’ done differently to promote positive change this  weekend.

Have a wonderful tomorrow!

HBCU_Howard Law School


Footnote 1: Some information regarding two previous President’s EO’s on this topic:

2010 Obama EO# 13532

2002 Bush Jr EO# 13256

1993 Clinton EO# 12876

1989 Bush Sr EO# 12677

^ The EO from 1989 cites another one from 1981 signed by Regan….I drew a line with continuing the links at that point


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