Monday, April 10, 2017

Dear Members of the Howard University Faculty Senate:

The Board of Trustees is charged with exercising final authority and responsibility for University governance. This is a purview and priority we take very seriously. Our objective is to participate with the Administration and Faculty Senate in a partnership, based on mutual respect, for shared responsibility of the University. Our collective efforts should result in advancing teaching and scholarly excellence, enhancing productivity, and driving Howard University to achieve its unique contemporary mission.

Last Friday’s attempt of a vote of no confidence in President Wayne A.I. Frederick and Provost Anthony Wutoh fell short of this ideal. A vote of no confidence is deeply troubling, wholly unjustified and counterproductive to Howard’s goals. In fact, it contradicts the very positive assessment this Board has of the President’s performance to date, his track record of success and the integrity and good judgment he exhibits. The current Administration is leading with honesty, transparency and accountability; these are core values we should all embrace in our leadership.

The assertions in the letter are not accurate representations and paint a dim picture of Howard’s current reality. Although we still have many challenges in front of us, many of President Frederick’s accomplishments are already steadily moving the University forward. This includes efforts to leverage real-estate and other underutilized University assets to create new revenue streams. The Towers project is a key example of this strategy in action. The emphasis on the modernization of buildings on campus is a key element to attracting top talent and nurturing student achievement. Enrollment management strategies are also continuously being evaluated, resulting in an overall increase in the academic credentials of students while also adhering to our mission and values. Just last week we were host to a record 1,400 prospective students for Accepted Student Day. And this isn’t the only record-breaking number we’ve experienced lately. Fundraising is surging under our President. This year’s Charter Day Dinner raised $1.2 million in net proceeds to aid students in need, the most ever in the history of the event.

The University continues to successfully navigate challenging financial circumstances. Under Dr. Frederick’s leadership Howard’s finances have been stabilized and a culture of accountability is being championed. Creative approaches are underway to chip away at the $700M deferred maintenance costs. Howard University Hospital is no longer recording a loss,but is profitable for the first time in recent years. Efforts across the enterprise have been made to increase resourcefulness, streamline and strengthen operations, and ultimately steady our financial outlook. This is no small task, and testimony to President Frederick’s leadership.

We are confident Howard is heading in the right direction and has the right leadership at the helm. As your members set forth to execute the important work of Howard faculty, remain mindful of the work we must all do together to execute our mission. There is no room for divisiveness. There is no time for distractions. Our mission is more urgent than ever before and requires our fullest engagement.

Howard’s future is bright. We must step boldly into it together!

Stacey J. Mobley, Esq.
Chairman, Howard University Board of Trustees