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Press Release  
Release Date: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:47 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Howard Professor Named Deputy Director of White House HBCU Initiative
Ivory A. Toldson to Help Lead President Obama’s Efforts to Support HBCUs
Professor Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D.

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2013) – President Barack Obama today named Howard University Professor Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  The HBCU initiative is intended to help increase the number of Black college graduates and sustain the institutions that have played a pivotal role in educating them. 

 “We are very proud of Dr. Toldson’s appointment to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities," said Howard University Provost Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D., MBA. “He has been a champion educator and scholar. His cutting-edge research has debunked myths surrounding the education of African-American males, which will prove invaluable in his new role. His expertise and commitment will be a tremendous asset to our HBCU Community.” 

The president also announced that George Cooper, Ph.D., former South Carolina State University president, will be executive director of the White House Initiative. As part of the leadership team for the White House Initiative on HBCUs, both Toldson and Cooper will work with the presidentially appointed HBCU Board of Advisors and assist Education Secretary Arne Duncan as a liaison between the executive branch and HBCUs across the country.

“I am honored to serve in the new role with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Toldson said. “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.”

The White House Initiative on HBCUs serves as the constant voice of the HBCU community at the Department of Education and helps shape policy and deploy resources to better serve the students, faculty and families of the greater HBCU community. The HBCU initiative also works with 32 federal agencies that support HBCUs through federal grants and contracts.

An associate professor in the School of Education at Howard University, Toldson also serves as senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” He formerly served at Southern University and A&M College and is responsible for the Breaking Barriers series for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), which analyzes success indicators for Black male schoolchildren. Toldson was also the lead author of The Quest for Excellence: Supporting the Academic Success of Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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