Sidney A. Ribeau has announced that he is stepping down as president of Howard University in Washington, D.C. President Ribeau has served as Howard’s president for five years and had recently signed a contract extension through the 2014-15 academic year.
Dr. Ribeau stated that he was not forced to resign but the change in leadership came after a three-day meeting of the board of trustees. Howard recently saw a reduction in its credit rating and enrollments have fallen. In June, the vice chair of the board of trustees had stated that the university “is in genuine trouble.”
In a letter to the Howard University community, President Ribeau, said, “Serving as the president of Howard University was the opportunity of a lifetime. In nearly 150 years, only 16 people have had this privilege. It is one I will always treasure.”
Although Dr. Ribeau’s retirement will not take place officially until the end of the year, the board of trustees has appointed Wayne A.I. Frederick as interim president. He has been serving as provost since June 2012 and is a professor of surgery at the university’s medical school. A native of Port of Spain, Trinidad, professor Frederick holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology, an MBA, and a medical degree, all from Howard University. Before joining the faculty at Howard, he was an assistant professor of surgery and director of surgical oncology at the University of Connecticut Health Center.