Feb. 27 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump appointed Johnny C. Taylor Jr. as the new chairman of the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Tuesday.
Taylor, who previously served as president of the Thurgood Marshall College fund, is expected to work closely with Johnathan Holifield, executive director of the President's White House Initiative on HBCUs.
"I know he will advance the cause of HBCUs, a major priority of our administration," Trump said of Taylor.
Trump signed an executive order in February 2017, moving the federal initiative on HBCUs directly to the White House instead of under the Department of Education.
The order also established a President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs but left much of the budgeting and administration of the initiative for the Department of Education
"Since I signed the executive order establishing this initiative in my administration, we have made great strides in strengthening HBCUs, a cherished and vital institution in our country," Trump said Tuesday.
Trump also said his current budget requests more than half a billion dollars for HBCU-focused programs.
"Further, the recent budget deal allows for the forgiveness of any outstanding loans owed under the HBCU Hurricane Supplement Loan program, which was a very difficult task and it worked out," Trump said. "I'm also pleased that our extension of the Pell Grant eligibility will greatly help the many students attending our wonderful HBCUs."