From the Department of Education: The Obama Administration announced today the new leadership team for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Joining the HBCU Initiative as Executive Director is Dr. George Cooper with Dr. Ivory Toldson serving as the Deputy Director.
As part of the leadership team for the White House Initiative on HBCUs, both Cooper and Toldson will work with the presidentially appointed HBCU Board of Advisors and assist Secretary Arne Duncan as a liaison between the executive branch and HBCUs across the country. Cooper and Toldson will serve as the constant voice of the HBCU community at the Department of Education and help to shape policy and deploy resources to better serve the students, faculty and families of the greater HBCU community. They will also work with 32 federal agencies that support HBCUs through federal grants and contracts.
We recognize that to accomplish President Obama’s ambitious goal of America again having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) cannot merely survive but must thrive over the next decade and beyond. Today’s announcement underscores the commitment that President Obama and Secretary Duncan have to achieving this important goal.
“I am honored to join the Obama Administration as Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As Executive Director, I am committed to promoting excellence, innovation and sustainability of HBCUs,” said Dr. George E. Cooper. “I look forward to working with Secretary Duncan, federal agency heads, HBCU leaders, The President’s Board of Advisors, other higher education and HBCU advocacy groups, and private sector partners. Our success will help assure that our Nation has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.”
“For more than a decade, I have served the HBCU community proudly and with distinction, participating in a level of research and grant activity that has elevated the prominence of these institutions,” said Dr. Ivory Toldson. “I plan to promote a level of excellence among HBCU faculty, staff, administrators, and students, which will empower them with the leverage they need to meet the challenges, promises and potential of HBCUs today.”
Bios for White House Initiative on HBCUs Leadership Team:
Dr. George Cooper, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Dr. George Cooper was a Senior Fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), where he reviewed key federal legislation important to HBCUs. Previously, Cooper served 4 years (2008-2012) as the 10th President of South Carolina State University (SCSU) where he provided institutional leadership for the orderly and progressive development of the university. During his presidency at SCSU, he also served as chairperson of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, Council of 1890 Universities (2010-2012). He spent 17 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (formerly the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service). Cooper served 5 years (1985-1990) at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Animal Science, and Executive Assistant to the President. Cooper served as Dean of the School of Applied Sciences and Associate Professor of Animal Science at Tuskegee University. Along with a vast array of professional expertise, Cooper has served on a number of boards including recently served as a member of the Orangeburg, SC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Co-Chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, HBCU and Limited Resource Institution Academic Advisory Group (2011); Member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (2010-2012); and Co-Chair of the USDA/1980 Task Force (2010-2012). Cooper received his B.S. degree in Animal Husbandry from Florida A&M University, M.S. degree in Animal Science from Tuskegee University, and Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois – Urbana.
Dr. Ivory Toldson, Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
Ivory A. Toldson is an associate professor at Howard University, senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” Toldson spent 3.5 years at Southern University and A&M College (SU) and over 8 years at Howard University in Washington, DC. He has conceptualized, developed and authored the Breaking Barriers series for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), which analyzes success indicators for school-aged Black males. Toldson was the lead author of The Quest for Excellence: Supporting the Academic Success of Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines. Toldson received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Temple University. He has received formal training in applied statistics from the University of Michigan, and held visiting research and teacher appointments at Emory University, Drexel University and the Morehouse School of Medicine.