Alliance cautiously awaits President’s Executive Order on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Loretta Parham, CEO and Director of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library, cautiously awaits President Donald Trump’s new executive order on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). According to media reports, Trump will issue an executive order today making HBCUs a priority.
“HBCUs certainly deserve the recognition and attention of the White House,” says Parham. “I am encouraged that there is conversation surrounding our imprint in education. It’s also important to note that the mark of a great institution is the strength of its library. It is the nucleus to learning on campus, and we should be included in the dialogue.”
Parham is the co-founder of the HBCU Library Alliance, a consortium that provides resources to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their constituents. She is also the CEO of the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library which serves more than 8,000 students and faculty for Atlanta’s four HBCUs; Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College.
“HBCU Libraries play a critical role as the center of the academic experience, supporting the career aspirations of students in all fields,” says Parham, who was awarded the 2017 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. “We support the humanities which protect and preserve the history and legacy of individuals and institutions. We also contribute to the STEM fields by ensuring current materials are available in traditional formats and in open access, giving students and faculty advanced access to critical research findings.”
Under Parham’s leadership the library was awarded the 2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, the first time that a HBCU Library received this national honor. “Receiving this award was a stamp of recognition that the programs we offer compete with what top ten universities and Ivy leagues are offering as well.”