Amid Whistleblower Allegations, Howard University Says 6 Employees Were Fired For Misappropriation Of Financial Aid Funds Last Year
"While this has been a very difficult and disappointing situation, I know our campus community deserves better..."
March 28, 2018 at 5:28 pm
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick released a statement on Wednesday amid a whistleblower's allegations that the university misappropriated financial aid funds in a post published on Medium. The statement revealed that six employees were fired following a financial aid investigation last year.
The Medium post revealed scathing allegations that former financial aid administrators had allegedly received "nearly $1 [million] in financial aid funds between 2013 and 2017."
In the statement published Wednesday, Frederick said he initiated a proactive review of the university's financial aid processes in February 2015. In December 2016, he was alerted that there were "misappropriation of University-provided financial aid funds."
"I immediately informed the Board of Trustees, and together we moved swiftly to begin an internal investigation," the statement read.
According to the statement, an outside auditor, RSM, investigated the matter and reported the findings to Frederick in May 2017. The results found that from 2007 to 2016, some university employees who receive tuition remission were also given university grants. The grants, in addition to the tuition remission, exceeded the total cost of attendance – and these individuals received "inappropriate" refunds as a result.
The president said he reported the findings to the Department of Education in July 2017, according to the release. Months later, in September 2017, six employees were reportedly fired for "gross misconduct and neglect of duties."
Frederick listed examples of new reform efforts the university will implement to "strengthen Howard’s internal controls with respect to the awarding of financial aid."
"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," the statement read.