President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to increase support and oversight of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) within his administration–but stopped short of providing the federal money the schools badly need.
Nor did administration officials hold the in-depth meeting that some presidents and chancellors of the black schools had sought. And Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary, and Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser, ignited firestorms.
Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, said scheduled time to engage administration officials in a listening session about the challenges HBCUs face blew up when it was decided to take the large group of college presidents and chancellors to the Oval Office for a group photo with Trump.
“Needless to say, that threw the day off and there was very little listening to HBCU presidents today. We were only given about two minutes each, and that was cut to one minute, so only seven of maybe 15 or so speakers were given an opportunity today,” Kimbrough said in a statement.