On March 1, Morehouse College President John Wilson issued an official statement on the university’s website questioning the intent and purpose of the recent visit of HBCU presidents to the Oval Office at the invitation of President Donald Trump.
“Many had high hopes about this meeting,” Wilson wrote. “There was much advance chatter about it being ‘historic,’ and there were many signals from key Trump administration officials that they would surprise HBCUs with favorable treatment.”
Wilson’s letter continued “…since President Trump pledged to ‘do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before,’ we could have reasonably expected him to get started by announcing at least an additional $500 million to HBCUs…this year!”
Wilson concluded, “It is not possible to measure the impact of this gesture anytime soon, if ever.”
Five days later, an update on March 6 on the Morehouse website by Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College Robert C. Davidson, Jr., announced the transition of leadership from Wilson to William “Bill” Taggart, Chief Operating Officer, Morehouse College.
“I, along with the entire Board of Trustees, have the utmost confidence in Bill as he steps into his new role and leads Morehouse in the coming months,” Davidson wrote to the Morehouse community.
The Morehouse Board had said earlier that Wilson’s contract would not be renewed this year; however, its announcement of Taggart three months earlier than Wilson’s scheduled departure gives speculation that Wilson is being ousted for his outspokenness on the White House visit.
Days after returning from the Oval Office visit, Wilson appeared on several broadcast television and radio programs in which he reacted to the visit.