By Rebecca Savransky - 09-02-17 09:53 AM EDT
"Responding to suggestions and feedback from many key stakeholders, the White House initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will modify its planned conference to best meet the current needs of HBCUs, their students and the broader HBCU community, " the administration said.
HBCU Week will now be a "more intimate" event and will "feature a series of strategic meetings for students and leaders to share their perspectives and the opportunities and challenges facing the HBCU community," a change many read as downsizing the event.
The Trump administration has struggled in its relationship with HBCUs. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in February attempted to linkthem to school choice.
The modified "events will also focus on how the administration can best work with and support HBCU schools and students," according to the announcement.
It added: "These conversations will also inform how to best structure a larger-scale and highly beneficial HBCU conference at a future date."
News: The administration is modifying the upcoming HBCU conference in response to "suggestions and feedback" pic.twitter.com/ykHaI8Zz8R- adam harris (@AdamHSays) September 1, 2017
A spokesperson from the Department of Education said the rescheduled date of the future HBCU conference will be one of the topics talked about at the meetings during HBCU Week, according to a reporter from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The announcement comes after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said previously there was a "pretty lengthy waiting list" to go to the annual conference, Politico reported.
Some had called for the White House and Education Department to postpone the annual conference after the controversy regarding the violent clashes last month in Charlottesville, Va.