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Monday, April 30, 2007

Howard U. president plans to retire in 2008

Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert says he will retire at the end of June 2008.

In a letter to the university community dated Friday, Swygert, 64, outlined goals for his final year in office and pointed to his accomplishments since taking the helm of the historically black school in 1995.

Swygert, who earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Howard, said the school has produced Fulbright and Rhodes scholars, recruited acclaimed faculty and upgraded the school's research facilities. He also noted that the latest fundraising program passed its goal of $250 million 10 months ahead of projections.

But some faculty are upset at the way he has run the university. Faculty leaders in March called for Swygert's firing, saying it was time to end "an intolerable condition of incompetence and dysfunction at the highest level."

Theodore Bremner, chairman of the faculty Senate, wrote to Howard's board of trustees last month on behalf of the senate's leadership council. He accused Swygert of allowing the school's financial problems to affect academic budgets, and he cited a recent National Science Foundation audit that criticized Howard's management of grant money.

The chairman of Howard's board of trustees, A. Barry Rand, released a statement praising Swygert's stewardship.

"He leaves behind a proud legacy of achievement including the most successful Capital Campaign of any African-American institution," Rand wrote.


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