A month after Howard University’s president announced he was stepping down amid financial turmoil, Howard has also ended its relationship with its top financial official.

Howard’s interim president, Wayne Frederick, informed the university community in a letter yesterday that Howard had ended its contract with Right Advisory, the consulting firm led by Robert Tarola, who’s served as Howard’s chief financial officer in an advisory capacity.

Frederick himself is stepping in for Sidney Ribeau, who announced in October that he would step down at the end of the calendar year. Frederick has evidently taken over for him earlier than anticipated.

The university and its finances have come under fire in recent months, with a Howard trustee and 13 university deans writing letters alleging that the university might not be around much longer if changes aren’t made. Howard also canceled its agreement with the developer of what was supposed to be a landmark mixed-use complex, and cut about 75 staff positions amid a “significant budget challenge,” according to a letter from Ribeau obtained by Washington City Paper. Howard is also facing three lawsuits alleging financial mismanagement, among other charges.

The announcement of Tarola’s termination is short and doesn’t mention the CFO by name. “This is to advise that by mutual agreement the contractual arrangement with Right Advisory LLC has ended effective November 6,” the letter from Frederick states. It announces that Frederick has named Howard Controller John Gordon interim CFO.

The letter was first reported by the Washington Post.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery