A faculty leader at Howard University is calling for the ouster of President H. Patrick Swygert, accusing him of putting one of the most prestigious historically Black schools in financial jeopardy.
Theodore Bremner, chairman of the faculty senate, wrote to Howard’s board of trustees this past week on behalf of the senate’s leadership council that it is time to end “an intolerable condition of incompetence and dysfunction at the highest level.” The letter was obtained by The Washington Post.
Swygert, who has been president since 1995, said he had seen the letter and does not plan to resign.
“I think it clearly demonstrates how democratic and how open the university is and how free the faculty is to express opinions,” he said.
The letter accuses Swygert of failing to keep financial problems at the university hospital from spilling over into academic budgets. Academic programs are plagued by substandard equipment and facilities, it said.
It also cited a recent National Science Foundation audit that criticized Howard’s management of grant money. The federal government is the largest source of revenue for the private university.
The faculty senate, made up of more than 1,000 full-time professors, has had a contentious relationship with the administration. Earlier this month, the leadership council voted 16 to 2, with one abstention, to send the letter of concern to the board. The council has about 50 members.
Board chairman Addison Barry Rand said the trustees take all complaints seriously but that they did not have enough information yet about why the letter was sent.
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