Education

Howard U. Employees Fired for Misappropriation of Funds

Howard University confirmed Wednesday the terminations of six employees for misappropriating student financial aid funds.

The terminations were confirmed after an anonymous whistleblower published two online reports alleging Howard staff members stole $1 million between 2013 and 2017.

The anonymous reports, which were posted on Medium and have since been deleted, also accused Howard officials of concealing the fraud following an internal investigation.

The employees in question were terminated last year, said Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick in an issued statement.

Frederick, who confirmed becoming aware of possible monetary misappropriations in December 2016, said the university was taking steps to ensure the situation wouldn’t be repeated.

“While this has been a very difficult and disappointing situation, I know our campus community deserves better and I am committed to ensuring that each of our campus offices operate with integrity and are the best that higher education has to offer,” wrote Frederick, who rattled off a list of newly implemented measures:

• annual budgets for each category of financial aid are now loaded into the university’s Banner student information system by the university budget office consistent with the university’s overall financial aid budget;

• approval for all awards of university grants are now reviewed and approved by the budget office prior to being awarded by the financial aid office;

• approval for all grant-funded financial aid are now reviewed and approved by the university’s grant accounting unit prior to being awarded by the financial aid office;

• an annual reconciliation of awarded financial aid to approved financial aid is now being conducted; and

• a new associate provost for enrollment management and a new chief compliance officer have been hired by the university.
The probe also revealed that university grants had been awarded to some school employees who were also receiving tuition benefits.

While Fredrick did not reveal the amount of money that was misappropriated, he said the funds were not from the federal government or donors.

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