Following an extensive search and the appointment of two interim executive directors since Dr. John S. Wilson departed to assume the reins at Morehouse College, the White House Initiative on historically Black colleges and universities has appointed a new leader.
Former South Carolina State University President Dr. George E. Cooper has been named executive director of the office. Cooper, a former deputy administrator for science and education resources development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was credited with guiding South Carolina State to reaccreditation during his tenure. He stepped down in 2012 after a tumultuous four year term marked by a steep decline in enrollment and a 2010 attempt by the board to terminate his employment with the university.
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, who is perhaps best known for his work on the “Breaking Barriers” report series (which focuses on attacking myths about the educational achievement of Black males), will be the Initiative’s deputy executive director.
Toldson was most recently an associate professor in Howard University’s psychology department, in addition to serving as editor of The Journal of Negro Education, and a senior researcher for the Congressional Black Caucus, prior to joining the Department of Education. He received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University in 2002, a M.Ed. in 1997 from Penn State in Counselor Education and a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Psychology in 1995.