WMU News

Bush names Floyd to national advisory board

Feb. 12, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Dr. Elson S. Floyd, president of Western Michigan University, has been named by President George W. Bush to the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Floyd is one of 21 individuals from across the country who are in Washington, D.C., today to be sworn in as members of the newly named board. After the swearing-in ceremony, the group is scheduled to hear from a number of top-level administration officials, including Secretary of Education Rod Paige; Tom Ridge, director of the White House Office of Homeland Security; and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

Floyd joins education and corporate executives from around the nation on the advisory board. Other members selected by President Bush include the presidents of Ohio State University and the University of Texas-San Antonio; the presidents of such historically black institutions as Dillard, Tuskegee, Langston and Jackson State universities as well as St. Augustine's and St. Paul's colleges; corporate leaders from such firms as Lockheed Martin and Mitsubishi Motors; the superintendent of the San Francisco public school system; and executives from financial institutions and private foundations.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton praised Bush's selection of Floyd as a board member.

"Once again Dr. Floyd has shown himself to be a rising star on the national higher education scene," Upton said of the news. "As president of Western, he's shown dynamic leadership, vision and innovation--qualities we need on the national level. President Bush could not have picked a better candidate to bring these qualities to the table. We're lucky to have him as a member of our community here in West Michigan."

Authorized under Executive Order 130321, the board is charged with identifying ways to strengthen the role of HBCUs and helping to provide quality education opportunities for minority and disadvantaged students. The board members will advise the U.S. secretary of education on the progress in closing the achievement and attainment gaps between African Americans and other groups of students, issue an annual report to the president on the participation of HBCUs in federal programs, recommend ways to increase the federal role in strengthening the academic programs and resources of HBCUs, and report to the president on how to increase the role of the private sector in strengthening HBCUs.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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