Is it the end for hip-hop’s favorite university?
According to The Washington Post, vice chairman Renee Higginbotham-Brooks told HU’s board of trustees that the management and fiscal problems left the school in genuine trouble.
Higginbotham-Brooks wrote a letter dated back on April 24th detailing that “Howard will not be here in three years if we don’t make some crucial decisions now.” The report, which was published on The Chronical of Higher Education, has caused controversy regarding the current financial status of the university. One of the many reasons for the HBCU’s decline, she states, is students turning to less expensive public colleges. Among other things, possible reduction of federal appropriations and the University’s hospital expenses may be the culprits.
The current Howard University Student Association president Anthony Miller denies Higginbotham’s claims and wants to reassure everyone, especially students, that things are changing but there is nothing to worry about.
“Howard is not broke,” Miller says. “It’s one of the few schools that gets an appropriation from the government. We’re not broke at all.”
Howard is currently making major renovations to its campus, ones that Anthony says wouldn’t be possible if the school was scrambling for coins like Higginbotham-Brooks is reporting. “We wouldn’t be doing renovations if we were broke. I think that speaks directly to the point. We wouldn’t be building two new dorms and an interdisciplinary research center.”
However, Miller acknowledges that Howard has seen better financial days.
“Howard’s facing tough financial times, like everybody else. I have faith in Howard and they always pull [through],” the current student president said confidently. “HU is made of students, faculty and staff that are resilient. We face adversity every day.” — Sharifa Daniels