WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — Six Howard University employees have been fired for misappropriation of University-provided financial aid funds.
According to a statement from President of Howard University Wayne Frederick, an outside auditor found that between 2007 and 2016, several university employees were given grants and also tuition remission that equaled more than the cost of the university.
According to Frederick, he reported the issue to the Department of Education in July of 2017. An investigation was conducted and in September 2017, six employees were fired for "gross misconduct and neglect of duties."
In the statement, Frederick outlines new policies enacted after the incident. Those include:
- Annual budgets for each category of financial aid are now loaded into the university’s Banner student information system by the University Budget Office consistent with the university’s overall Financial Aid Budget.
- Approval for all awards of university grants are now reviewed and approved by the Budget Office prior to being awarded by the Financial Aid Office
- Approval for all donor-designated scholarship awards are now reviewed and approved by the Controller’s Office prior to being awarded by the Financial Aid Office.
- Approval for all grant-funded financial aid are now reviewed and approved by the university’s Grant Accounting Unit prior to being awarded by the Financial Aid Office.
- Access to the Banner financial aid module has now been limited to a small number of appropriate senior University individuals, with adequate third-party review and appropriate segregation of duties.
- An annual reconciliation of awarded financial aid to approved financial aid is now being conducted.
- Management has established proper reporting relationships and segregation of duties within the Financial Aid Office.
- Management is in the process of hiring for all remaining open positions in the Financial Aid Office and enhanced training on policies and procedures will be provided both to new hires and continuing employees.
- A new Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and a new Chief Compliance Officer have been hired by the University.
"While this has been a very difficult and disappointing situation, I know our campus community deserves better and I am committed to insuring that each of our campus offices operate with integrity and are the best that higher education has to offer," said Frederick.
This story first came to light after a student came forward, and shared pertinent documentation with online blogging platform, Medium.