The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 3, 2002

Executive Order Tribal Colleges and Universities

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. There is a unique relationship between the United States and Indian tribes, and a special relationship between the United States and Alaska Native entities. It is the policy of the Federal Government that this Nation's commitment to educational excellence and opportunity must extend as well to the tribal colleges and universities (tribal colleges) that serve Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities. The President's Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities (the "Board") and the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHITCU) established by this order shall ensure that this national policy regarding tribal colleges is carried out with direct accountability at the highest levels of the Federal Government.

Tribal colleges are both integral and essential to their communities. Often they are the only postsecondary institutions within some of our Nation's poorest rural areas. They fulfill a vital role: in maintaining and preserving irreplaceable languages and cultural traditions; in offering a high-quality college education to younger students; and in providing job training and other career-building programs to adults and senior citizens. Tribal colleges provide crucial services in communities that continue to suffer high rates of unemployment and the resulting social and economic distress.

The Federal Government's commitment to tribal colleges is reaffirmed and the private sector can and should contribute to the colleges' educational and cultural missions.

Finally, postsecondary institutions can play a vital role in promoting excellence in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education. The Federal Government will therefore work to implement the innovations and reforms of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110) in partnership with tribal colleges and their American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Sec. 2. Definition of Tribal Colleges and Universities. Tribal colleges are those institutions cited in section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note), any other institution that qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and Diné College, authorized in the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 1978, Public Law 95-471, title II (25 U.S.C. 640a note).

Sec. 3. Board of Advisors. (a) Establishment. There shall be established in the Department of Education a Presidential advisory committee entitled the President's Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities (the "Board").

(b) Membership. The Board shall consist of not more than 15 members who shall be appointed by the President, one of whom shall be designated by the President as Chair. The Board shall include representatives of tribal colleges and may also include representatives of the higher, early childhood, elementary, and secondary education communities; tribal officials; health, business, and financial institutions; private foundations; and such other persons as the President deems appropriate.

(c) Functions. The Board shall provide advice regarding the progress made by Federal agencies toward fulfilling the purposes and objectives of this order. The Board also shall provide recommendations to the President, through the Secretary of Education (Secretary), on ways the Federal Government can help tribal colleges:

(1) use long-term development, endowment building, and planning to strengthen institutional viability;

(2) improve financial management and security, obtain private-sector funding support, and expand and complement Federal education initiatives;

(3) develop institutional capacity through the use of new and emerging technologies offered by both the Federal and private sectors;

(4) enhance physical infrastructure to facilitate more efficient operation and effective recruitment and retention of students and faculty; and

(5) help implement the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and meet other high standards of educational achievement.

(d) Meetings. The Board shall meet at least annually, at the request of the Secretary, to provide advice and consultation on tribal colleges and relevant Federal and private-sector activities, and to transmit reports and present recommendations.

Sec. 4. White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. There shall be established in the Department of Education, Office of the Secretary, the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities (WHITCU). The WHITCU shall:

(a) provide the staff support for the Board;

(b) assist the Secretary in the role of liaison between the executive branch and tribal colleges; and

(c) serve the Secretary in carrying out the Secretary's responsibilities under this order.

Sec. 5. Department and Agency Participation. Each participating executive department and agency (agency), as determined by the Secretary, shall appoint a senior official who is a full-time officer of the Federal Government and who is responsible for management or program administration. The official shall report directly to the agency head, or to the agency head's designee, on agency activity under this order and serve as liaison to the WHITCU. To the extent permitted by law and regulation, each agency shall provide appropriate information as requested by the WHITCU staff pursuant to this order.

Sec. 6. Three-Year Federal Plan.

(a) Content. Each agency identified by the Secretary shall develop and implement a Three-Year Plan of the agency's efforts to fulfill the purposes of this order. These Three-Year Plans shall include annual performance indicators and appropriate measurable objectives for the agency. Among other relevant issues, the plans shall address how the agency intends to increase the capacity of tribal colleges to compete effectively for any available grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and any other Federal resources, and to encourage tribal colleges to participate in Federal programs. The plans also may emphasize access to high-quality educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged Indian students, consistent with requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001; the preservation and revitalization of tribal languages and cultural traditions; and innovative approaches to better link tribal colleges with early childhood, elementary, and secondary education programs. The agency's performance indicators and objectives should be clearly reflected in the agency's annual budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget. To facilitate the attainment of these performance indicators and objectives, the head of each agency identified by the Secretary, shall provide, as appropriate, technical assistance and information to tribal colleges regarding the program activities of the agency and the preparation of applications or proposals for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements.

(b)Submission. Each agency shall submit its Three-Year Plan to the WHITCU. In consultation with the Board, the WHITCU shall then review these Three-Year Plans and develop an inte-grated Three-Year Plan for Assistance to Tribal Colleges, which the Secretary shall review and submit to the President. Agencies may revise their Three-Year Plans within the three-year period.

(c) Annual Performance Reports. Each agency shall submit to the WHITCU an Annual Performance Report that measures the agency's performance against the objectives set forth in its Three-Year Plan. In consultation with the Board, the WHITCU shall review and combine Annual Performance Reports into one annual report, which shall be submitted to the Secretary for review, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget.

Sec. 7. Private Sector. In cooperation with the Board, the WHITCU shall encourage the private sector to assist tribal colleges through increased use of such strategies as:

(a) matching funds to support increased endowments;

(b) developing expertise and more effective ways to manage finances, improve information systems, build facilities, and improve course offerings; and

(c) increasing resources for and training of faculty.

Sec. 8. Termination. The Board shall terminate 2 years after the date of this order unless the Board is renewed by the President prior to the end of that 2-year period.

Sec. 9. Administration. (a) Compensation. Members of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707).

(b) Funding. The Board and the WHITCU shall be funded by the Department of Education.

(c) Administrative Support. The Department of Education shall provide appropriate administrative services and staff support for the Board and the WHITCU. With the consent of the Department of Education, other agencies participating in the WHITCU shall provide administrative support (including detailees) to the WHITCU consistent with statutory authority. The Board and the WHITCU each shall have a staff and shall be supported at appropriate levels commensurate with that of similar White House Initiative Offices.

(d) General Provisions. Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.) (the "Act"), may apply to the administration of any portion of this order, any functions of the President under the Act, except that of reporting to the Congress, shall be performed by the Secretary of Education in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Administrator of General Services.

Sec. 10. Revocation. Executive Order 13021 of October 19, 1996, as amended, is revoked.

July 3, 2002.

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