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Howard University Board of Trustees Chairman Addison Barry Rand insists that Howard “remains academically, financially and operationally strong,” contradicting a letter from a vice chairwoman of the board alleging that the university is in dire financial straits and “genuine trouble.”

“As many of you are aware, recent news media coverage has publicized a letter sent by the vice chair of the Howard University Board of Trustees to other members of the Board, which unfortunately without proper context paints an unduly alarming picture of the University’s condition,” Rand writes in a letter to the Howard community this evening.

Rand writes that Howard has balanced its budget for three consecutive years, restored its endowment to prerecession levels, and seen its graduation rates improve. The university is still feeling the effects of the recession, he writes, but has taken steps to cut costs. He also downplays the seemingly dire nature of the letter from Vice Chairwoman Renee Higginbotham-Brooks.

“As the University’s governing body, the board welcomes and is extremely sensitive to expressions of concern and input from various stakeholders and interested constituencies, both from inside and outside the institution,” Rand writes. “In fact, such expressions are fairly common for all university boards, especially when difficult decisions must be made.”

Rand’s letter is reprinted in full below:

[documentcloud url=”https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/711648-letter-from-chairman-to-community.html”]

Photo by Flickr user Travir used under a Creative Commons license