When Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau announced a series of budget cuts last month, the faculty senate fired back with a three-page letter that questioned the “outrageous bonuses” that a few administrators received in 2010 that totaled more than $1 million.
Faculty representatives wrote in a letter dated Feb. 16 to Ribeau and the board of trustees that the bonuses demonstrate “blatant disregard for the University when our students and their families are struggling to pay tuition increases.”
The one-time payments were made to three top administrators who agreed to stay at the historically black university for three years during a change of presidents, according to a statement from Howard. The retention agreements were signed in 2007 and matured on June 30, 2010. The financial incentives were needed “to ensure the continuity of senior leadership in critical areas and mitigate any potential risks for the University,” according to the statement.
The amount of the payments was reported in Howard’s 2010 tax filing, which is a public record: Senior vice president Artis G. Hampshire-Cowan, who was the interim president, received $302,820 on top of her salary of $213,552. Senior vice president for strategy and government affairs Hassan Minor received $522,184 on top of his salary of $264,255. Chief legal officer Norma Leftwich received $224,050 on top of her salary of $252,930.