If the United States is going to regain its global leadership position in higher education, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will need to play a major role, says a White House official on education.
Just how the nation's predominately Black institutions will participate in that objective was the main topic at a recent Southern Education Fund conference of HBCU presidents, held in Atlanta.
HBCUs are a critical component in President Obama's national education initiative to restore the U.S. to its former ranking as the world's leader in higher education, said John S. Wilson, Jr., executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
"We have not been number one since 1995," Wilson said during a media briefing with six HBCU presidents. "We need somewhere around eight million more graduates. Almost two million of them need to be African American, with roughly 200,000 coming from HBCUs.