Dr. Louis Whitesides, vice president and executive director of South Carolina State University’s 1890 programs, has been appointed to the 1890 Foundation board of directors.
The 1890 Foundation supports the core missions of teaching, research and extension across the 19 1890 land-grant universities in the United States, which are designated as historically Black colleges and universities.
The foundation works collectively with federal and private sector entities to manage resources and facilitate programs.
One of the key federal agencies that works with the foundation is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which supports research, teaching and extension at the more than 100 land-grant universities across the nation.
With partners such as the USDA, the 1890 Foundation advocates for the collective priorities of 1890 land-grant universities, including increasing and raising awareness of emerging issues and opportunities.
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Whitesides joining our 1890 Foundation team. His proven track record of success in research and extension activities, federal funding, state and national political systems and more makes him an invaluable resource. We look forward to the experience and expertise that he will bring to our team,” said Dr. Makola Abdulla, president of Virginia State University, who also serves as chair of the 1890 Foundation.
The foundation is currently focused on establishing permanent scholarship funding for students pursing agriculture and agriculture-related degrees at the 1890 land grants, as well as gaining financial support from public and private sources for facility infrastructure enhancement, research and outreach expansion; advocating for debt relief for the nation’s Black farmers and working for the expansion of broadband in rural communities, among other priorities.
“I am honored to join the 1890 Foundation board of directors. Through this opportunity, I will work to help develop strategic programs and initiatives that seek to advance innovation in agriculture and expand our reach through public service at all 19 1890 Land Grant Universities,” Whitesides said.
In his role as vice president and executive director of S.C. State 1890, Whitesides has budgetary responsibility for over $18 million.
A federal- and state-supported program, 1890 Research & Extension conducts problem-solving research and provides quality, lifelong learning opportunities designed to help transform the lives of South Carolinians.
Whitesides is an Orangeburg native who earned a doctor of business administration in international business from the University of Sarasota, a master’s degree in business management from Southern Wesleyan University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from South Carolina State University.
He has also completed post-doctoral training at Cornell, Harvard and Temple universities.
The 1890 Foundation was established in 2016 and operates exclusively as a non-profit organization.