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Executive Order 13532—Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

February 26, 2010

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in order to advance the development of the Nation's full human potential and to advance equal opportunity in higher education, strengthen the capacity of historically black colleges and universities to provide the highest quality education, increase opportunities for these institutions to participate in and benefit from Federal programs, and ensure that our Nation has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have made historic and ongoing contributions to the general welfare and prosperity of our country. Established by visionary leaders, America's HBCUs, for over 150 years, have produced many of the Nation's leaders in business, government, academia, and the military and have provided generations of American men and women with hope and educational opportunity. The Nation's 105 HBCUs are located in 20 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and serve more than 300,000 undergraduate and graduate students. These institutions continue to be important engines of economic growth and community service, and they are proven ladders of intergenerational advancement for men and women of all ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds, especially African Americans. These institutions also produce a high number of baccalaureate recipients who go on to assume leadership and service roles in their communities and who successfully complete graduate and professional degree programs.

Sec. 2. White House Initiative on HBCUs.

(a) Establishment. There is established the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Initiative), to be housed in the Department of Education (Department).

(b) Mission and Functions. The Initiative shall work with executive departments, agencies, and offices, the private sector, educational associations, philanthropic organizations, and other partners to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to a greater number of students, and to take advantage of these institutions' capabilities in serving the Nation's needs through five core tasks:

(i) strengthening the capacity of HBCUs to participate in Federal programs;

(ii) fostering enduring private-sector initiatives and public-private partnerships while promoting specific areas and centers of academic research and programmatic excellence throughout all HBCUs;

(iii) improving the availability, dissemination, and quality of information concerning HBCUs to inform public policy and practice;

(iv) sharing administrative and programmatic practices within the HBCU community for the benefit of all; and

(v) exploring new ways of improving the relationship between the Federal Government and HBCUs.

(c) Administration. There shall be an Executive Director of the Initiative. The Department shall provide the staff, resources, and assistance for the Initiative, and shall assist the Initiative in fulfilling its mission and responsibilities under this order.

(d) Federal Agency Plans. (1) Each executive department and agency designated by the Secretary of Education (Secretary) shall prepare an annual plan (agency plan) of its efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives. Where appropriate, each agency plan shall address, among other things, the agency's proposed efforts to:

(i) establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs;

(ii) identify Federal programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources, and improve HBCUs' participation therein; and

(iii) encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

(2) Each department and agency, in its agency plan, shall provide appropriate measurable objectives and, after the first year, shall annually assess that department's or agency's performance on the goals set in the previous year's agency plan.

(3) The Secretary shall establish a date by which agency plans shall be submitted to the Secretary. The Secretary and the Executive Director shall review the agency plans in consultation with the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs, established in section 3 of this order, and shall submit to the President an annual plan to strengthen the overall capacity of HBCUs.

(4) To help fulfill the objectives of these plans, the head of each department and agency identified by the Secretary shall provide, as appropriate, technical assistance and information to the Executive Director for purposes of communicating with HBCUs concerning program activities of the department or agency and the preparation of applications or proposals for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements.

(5) To help fulfill the goals of this order, each executive department and agency identified by the Secretary shall appoint a senior official to report directly to the department or agency head with respect to that department's or agency's activities under this order, and to serve as liaison to the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs and to the Initiative.

(e) Interagency Working Group. There is established the Interagency Working Group, which shall be convened by the Executive Director and that shall consist of representatives from agencies designated by the Secretary, to help advance and coordinate the work of Federal agencies pursuant to this order, where appropriate.

Sec. 3. President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

(a) Establishment. There is established in the Department the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (the Board). The Board shall consist of not more than 25 members appointed by the President. The President shall designate one member of the Board to serve as Chair, who shall coordinate with the Executive Director to convene meetings and help direct the work of the Board. The Board shall include representatives of a variety of sectors, including philanthropy, education, business, finance, entrepreneurship, innovation, and private foundations, as well as sitting HBCU presidents.

(b) Mission and Functions. Through the Initiative, the Board shall advise the President and the Secretary on all matters pertaining to strengthening the educational capacity of HBCUs. In particular, the Board shall advise the President and the Secretary in the following areas:

(i) improving the identity, visibility, and distinctive capabilities and overall competitiveness of HBCUs;

(ii) engaging the philanthropic, business, government, military, homeland-security, and education communities in a national dialogue regarding new HBCU programs and initiatives;

(iii) improving the ability of HBCUs to remain fiscally secure institutions that can assist the Nation in reaching its goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020;

(iv) elevating the public awareness of HBCUs; and

(v) encouraging public-private investments in HBCUs.

(c) Administration. The Executive Director of the Initiative shall also serve as the Executive Director of the Board. The Department shall provide funding and administrative support for the Board to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law. Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), may apply to the Board, any functions of the President under that Act, except for those of reporting to the Congress, shall be performed by the Secretary, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Administrator of General Services.

(d) Report. As part of the annual report of the Initiative, the Board shall report to the President and the Secretary on their progress in carrying out its duties under this section.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) For the purposes of this order, "historically black colleges and universities" shall mean those institutions listed in 34 C.F.R. 602.8.

(b) This order shall apply to executive departments and agencies designated by the Secretary. Those departments and agencies shall provide timely reports and such information as is required to effectively carry out the objectives of this order.

(c) The heads of executive departments and agencies shall assist and provide information through the White House Initiative to the Board, consistent with applicable law, as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Board. Each executive department and agency shall bear its own expenses of participating in the Initiative.

(d) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(e) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(f) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(g) Executive Order 13256 of February 12, 2002, is hereby revoked.


The White House,

February 26, 2010.

NOTE: This Executive order was published in the Federal Register on March 3.

Barack Obama, Executive Order 13532—Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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