President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr. to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Ross is one of 18 newly announced appointees to the board, a list that includes several college presidents, corporate executives and well-known sports and entertainment figures.
Ross is entering his fifth year as president of ASU. His tenure has been marked by a 130% increase in fundraising, expansion of national and global partnerships, advancement of strategic initiatives under the brand of “CommUniversity” and an increased emphasis on student success.
Ross is a three-time graduate of Alabama State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in secondary education English and a doctorate in educational leadership, policy and law. He has more than 28 years of experience in higher and K-12 public education. Before becoming ASU’S 15th president, Ross served as a four-term senator in the Alabama Legislature.
The President’s Board will advance the goal of the re-established HBCU Initiative, originally established by the Carter administration, to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest quality education to their students and continue serving as engines of opportunity.
According to the White House announcement, the administration has committed more than $5.8 billion in support for HBCUs through the American Rescue Plan, grant funding and forgiveness of capital improvement debt.
In 2021, Biden appointed Drs. Tony Allen and Glenda Glover to serve as chair and vice chair of the advisory board. In February, he appointed Dr. Dietra Trent as executive director of the White House HBCU Initiative.
Along with Ross, college and university presidents appointed to the board are Makola M. Abdullah of Virginia State University, Javaune Adams-Gaston of Norfolk State University and Ruth J. Simmons of Prairie View A&M University. Beverly W. Hogan, former president of Tougaloo College, also was appointed.
Other appointees include award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson and NBA legend Chris Paul. Corporate executives on the board are Brett Hart, president of United Airlines; Thasunda Brown Duckett, president and CEO of TIAA; Willie A. Deese, former executive vice president of Merck and Co.; and Lisa P. Jackson, Apple vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. Appointee Janeen Uzzell is CEO at the National Society of Black Engineers.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)