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Is Howard U in danger of closing

TheAtlanticTheAtlantic Registered User Posts: 1,973 Senior Member
edited July 2013 in Howard University
I keep hearing news stories about financial issues at Howard. Is the school in any real danger?
Post edited by TheAtlantic on

Replies to: Is Howard U in danger of closing

  • 908kiddo908kiddo Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    Well I don't have any inside knowledge of the matter, but I can give you my opinion of what's going on with it.

    Basically, PwC ran an audit on Howard and checked all of the finances and the ins and outs of all of the accounts and where the money was going and how much people were getting paid and PwC found a lot of mismanagement of money and other finances and huge bonuses and salaries being given out. For example, Howard could have been putting all of the money they received into a mass account rather than into the respective accounts. Imagine that you are working as a treasurer for your school or alma mater and instead of having accounts for fund-raising, books, tuition, maintenance, etc., you just have one account for all of those things or you're putting the fund-raising money into the tuition account. Firstly, that's mismanagement of funds (which is what the whole issue is about), and secondly, money that was supposed to be allocated for certain things like dorm renovation is now being used to compensate for the lack of tuition which can put you into a lot of fire when the money is being donated from alumni or a lender who specifically says its for something.

    So basically, the board of trustees heard about this, was outraged, and sent the infamous letter out in order to vent it's sentiments. Now of course, this was an extreme point of view that "just happened" to leak; it's just one opinion. Someone else's opinion could have been that they are doing fine but they just need to put money back in certain accounts, fund-raise more, or slightly raise tuition.

    Another thing is that Howard is one of the few private schools that gets federal funding, and of course, we all know the the government is doing so well right now. That ultimately has a ripple affect when it comes to students having money to pay for school/parents being able to take out loans.

    One more issue was that we had way too many staff members. I think I read that there were almost 3500 staff members at the university which is entirely too much when correlating it to the enrollment and size of Howard. So in June, about 75 staff members were laid off which can save the school lots of money in the future. Think about it like this, lets say the average amount of pay for the 75 staff members was 55k, the school essentially just saved 4.1 million dollars that can now compensate for other things depending on the logistics of the account. Now of course the issue is much bigger than that, but it is certainly a start. Also, some of the hospital workers were furloughed.

    Howard isn't going to shut down though. Think about the rich legacy that Howard holds and how prominent it is not only in the African American society, but in society period. Think about our alumni; the multi-millionaires. Think about the ties to billionaires that Howard has. They're not going to let this school dissolve, believe that. Howard is in DC which is a hotbed for media, ESPECIALLY when it comes to federal issues and finances. So of course some things are going to be exaggerated. If you think about it, this story broke almost two months ago and there's constantly new write-ups about that say the same thing the stories did when it first broke. It's very lucrative and appealing to write about Howard.

    It's definitely a thing, but I wouldn't let it change my mind about the quality of the university and the success it produces.
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