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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Media Contact:

Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager
k_hamilton@howard.edu
202.238.2332

 

Howard University Board Approves Academic Renewal Plan, Two Residence Halls

 

News Release

Photo by CEASAR
President Sidney A. Ribeau and Chairman A. Barry Rand pose with Board Members before the milestone vote on Academic Renewal Recommendations on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

WASHINGTON (Jan. 29, 2011) – Today, the Howard University Board of Trustees led by Board Chairman A. Barry Rand unanimously approved an academic renewal plan and the construction of two residence halls. The plans will continue the University’s historic mission of enriching student learning opportunities, strengthening graduate and professional programs as well as advancing research initiatives.

“The Board’s approval of the President’s recommendations represents an important milestone in the history of the University and culminates extraordinary collaborative work by the University’s faculty, students, staff and alumni," Rand said.

Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau presented his recommendations to the Board during this week’s meeting of the full board after an inclusive process that engaged and sought input from every segment of the University and academic community.

“Universities must periodically review and assess themselves to respond to developments in higher education and the changing needs of our nation and the world,” Ribeau said. “At Howard, we are doing just that. We must maintain the highest standards of academic and administrative excellence.”

The academic renewal plan approved by the Board achieves six major strategic goals:

  • Revises the model for the delivery of undergraduate education and increases interdisciplinary academic programming;
  • Strengthens the University’s commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), health sciences disciplines and research;
  • Advances Africana and Diaspora Studies to make Howard the leading University in the field;
  • Enhances humanities, communication, urban education, business, performing and visual arts academic programs and interdisciplinary studies;
  • Increases the University’s commitment to internationalism and global studies;
  • Streamlines and focuses graduate and professional offerings and encourages increased research.

Photo by CEASAR
Members of the Board and Cabinet Officers work
during the meeting on Saturday, January 29, 2011.

Among the current 171-degree programs offered, 71 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs were recommended for restructuring or closure – 22 undergraduate, 11 graduate and 38 graduate professional programs. Students enrolled in modified or closed programs will be given an opportunity to complete their degrees, and program tenured faculty will not lose their positions.

“Historically, Howard had to offer a comprehensive range of programs to meet the demand of students of color who were unable to attend other universities,” Ribeau said. “We no longer have to be everything to everyone. We have identified specific areas of emphasis and we plan to be leaders in those areas.”

The academic renewal initiative includes the restructuring of the core undergraduate curriculum and the creation of a single “freshman experience" for all entering students, regardless of their school or division. In addition, existing STEM programs will be improved to increase cutting-edge learning opportunities to prepare graduates for careers in such rapidly growing fields as nanotechnology. The Board also approved the President’s recommendations to retain Bachelors degrees in African Studies and Philosophy. View Full Academic Program Changes.

The Board has approved the construction of two new residence halls along the Fourth Street corridor creating a new undergraduate residential village on the east side of the University's main campus. The sites include the old Bethune Hall as well as Fourth and Bryant Streets, currently Bethune Annex parking lot. The residential complexes combined will provide housing for more than 1300 students, and strongly support President Ribeau's New Academic Renewal Plan for the University.

The final phase of the academic renewal process began in 2008 after the Board charged Ribeau to “renew the academic enterprise.” In fall 2009, Ribeau established the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal (PCAR) as part of the academic renewal process, and Howard began a faculty-led comprehensive review of all its academic offerings. The overarching goal was to ensure that all programs are consistent with the University’s mission and resources are aligned with its academic priorities.

In Fall 2010, the Commission submitted its final report to the President recommending a series of university-wide enhancements and program-specific mergers, transformations, additions and eliminations. Ribeau presented a set of university-wide enhancements and program-specific adjustments for review and comment from the university community. This review process continued for an additional three months. The period of deliberation was fruitful; faculty and other stakeholders offered alternative proposals, which were included in the final plan approved by the Board. Read more on Academic Renewal.

Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 12 schools and colleges.  Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 21 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s Web site at www.howard.edu

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