ABOVE PHOTO: Sidney Ribeau
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Howard University President Sidney Ribeau abruptly retired on Tuesday after months of claims that the elite historically black college was in financial
Ribeau revealed that he was stepping down after a contentious meeting with the Board of Trustees on Saturday. He will end his tenure in December.
During Ribeau’s five years at Howard, the school has seen a decline in fundraising, a drop in its national ranking, a five percent drop in enrollment and
Howard University’s credit rating was recently downgraded by Moody’s Investor Service from A3 to Baa1 after a review which began in July. According to
Moody’s, revenue at the historically black college is declining. The Obama administration also put in place stricter guidelines for students applying for
PLUS loans which has disproportionately impacted historically black colleges since they service poorer students.
“This is the time, this is the season, for me to retire from the presidency,” Ribeau told the Washington Post. “We’re focused, we’re back on track and the
momentum is building.”
He was paid $759,340 in the fiscal year that ended in June 2012, according to the Post, and would not comment about how much of that compensation he would
be allowed to keep.
Howard University cut staff in June after admitting that it was reorganizing amid financial concerns. The cuts came after a Howard trustee wrote a letter
sounding the alarm about the school’s financial troubles.
Howard University “will not be here in three years if we don’t make some crucial decisions now,” board Vice Chairwoman Renee Higginbotham-Brooks wrote in
the April letter to trustees.