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October 8, 2013

Howard University President Sidney Ribeau
Howard University President Sidney Ribeau

Howard University President Resigns

( --- Howard University President Sidney Ribeau announced last week that he will retire in December after five years at the helm.

He announced his resignation after an intense three-day meeting with the board of trustees, campus insiders said. The discussions focused on management and finances at Howard, which is based in Washington, D.C.

In a letter mailed to students, faculty, administrators and supporters of Ribeau, he said the time had come to move on. He also noted construction of a new academic building and several new residence halls.

“Serving as the president of Howard University was the opportunity of a lifetime. In nearly 150 years, only 16 people have had this privilege," Ribeau said.  "It is one I will always treasure. Again, I would like to thank the entire community for supporting me, for extending a collegial spirit and for helping us to expand and renew the Capstone."

Ribeau came to Howard in 2008 from Bowling Green State University, where he served as president. He succeeded H. Patrick Swygert who had been the Howard president since1995.

Once at Howard, he emphasized science, technology, engineering and math over majors such as fashion merchandizing.

The university’s Board of Trustees named Wayne A.I. Frederick, 42, Howard’s interim president. Frederick had previously been Howard’s provost since June 2012.

Ribeau, a Detroit native, holds master's degree and a Ph.D in interpersonal communication from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

During his presidency student enrollment declined, but it rose this year thanks to the second-largest freshman class in Howard's history.

On the other hand, Howard also experienced a drop in federal funding as a result of sequestration. U.S. News & World Report  also lowered Howard's ranking in the magazine's annual survey of the nation’s colleges.

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