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Howard Students Fed Up with Faculty After Latest Scandal

via nbcwashington.com

Howard University students gathered Thursday to protest the fact that six university employees were fired for taking a personal cut from financial aid.

An outside auditor noted that in 2017 university employees pocketed financial aid funding over a nine year period. Some university employees earned grants from the school to attend classes, but also received tuition remission, according to the investigation. They earned more money than their education cost and kept the difference. Howard did not disclose the specific amount of money that they might have misappropriated.

The public did not see the allegations of financial misconduct until Tuesday, after blogging platform Medium shared an exposé that has since been deleted.

Students at the historically black university in Washington, DC demand answers, and some have even called for University President Wayne A.I. Frederick to step down. Jessica Brown, a Howard alumna, spoke to CNN affiliate WJLA saying that she is heartbroken. “You have students who dream about going to Howard, whose families risk everything.”

“The investigation found that from 2007 to 2016, University grants were given to some University employees who also received tuition remission,” Frederick confirmed in a statement released Wednesday.

“The audit revealed that the combination of University grants and tuition remission exceeded the total cost of attendance. As a result, some individuals received inappropriate refunds.”

Frederick stated Howard made reform efforts after the investigation. “Significant new policies and procedures have been implemented to strengthen Howard’s internal controls with respect to the awarding of financial aid,” he said. The reforms brought in new procedures for grant approvals and a way for students to access information on the annual budgets for each part of financial aid.

The employees involved in the investigation were fired for “gross misconduct and neglect of duties,” the statement adds. The fired employees have not been publicly identified due to protocol measures, Howard University Spokesperson Alonda Thomas said.

The outside auditors brought in by the university delivered their findings in May 2017, while Howard University was in the middle of its own internal investigation. The university’s investigation began in December 2016 and lasted through September 2017, when an investigation of individual employee actions was finished and the six employees were fired.

[via CNN]

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