Howard University’s President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick announced his retirement on April 13 which will take place in June 2024. (Photo Courtesy of Howard University)

By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor

After almost a decade as Howard University’s president, Wayne A. I. Frederick has announced his retirement, effective June 2024. 

Frederick, a triple Howard University graduate, will transition from the world-renowned HBCU in a manner allowing the board ample time to search for his successor. 

“We appreciate that Dr. Frederick has given us ample time to find the next great leader of Howard University and remains committed to fulfilling key components of the Howard Forward Strategic Plan, along with other initiatives on his agenda,” said Dr. Laurance C. Morse, chair of Howard University Board of Trustees. 

“Dr. Frederick will continue to give his undivided attention to advance our collective interests, drive impactful initiatives, and support the people that comprise our growing University community,” More continued. 

Frederick has been a fixture on the Georgia Avenue campus for 34 years. As a student, he stepped onto the campus in 1988 for a dual degree program that would leave him with a Bachelor of Science and a medical degree. 

He met his goal by age 22, earning both degrees by 1994.

Frederick later returned for a Master of Business Administration in 2011.

Frederick served as a member of the medical school faculty and as a university administrator before becoming interim president in 2013 and assuming the role permanently in 2014. 

At his retirement, Frederick will have served as President for a decade marked by the unquestioned growth of the campus both academically and structurally. The university is currently experiencing its highest increase in 4-year enrollment and boasts a total enrollment of more than 11,000 students. 

Howard University’s President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick announced his retirement on April 13 which will take place in June 2024. (Photo Courtesy of Howard University)

Howard has always attracted internationally acclaimed Black luminaries to its faculty ranks. Frederick recently appointed Phylicia Rashad as Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Hannah Nicole Jones as inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, and author Ta-nehesi Coates as writer-in-residence in the College of Arts and Sciences. Coates was also named to the Sterling Brown chair in the English Department.

Frederick also brokered the partnership between Howard University Hospital (HUH) and Adventist HealthCare System that will culminate in building a new 225-bed, state-of-the-art Howard University Hospital on Georgia Avenue NW.

Frederick’s tenure has not been without controversy, however. In Fall 2021, the AFRO covered the student-led Blackburn Center takeover protest waged by Howard University students. 

Students took possession of the Blackburn Center and slept outside in tents on the Howard University quad for 33 days protesting rat-infested residence halls before negotiating an agreement with university officials.

Just last month, Howard University faculty threatened to strike in support of poor working conditions and sub-par pay being given to the school’s non-tenure-track faculty.  More than 500 faculty and students rallied outside of Howard University’s Administration building on March 16, demanding the university improve compensation and conditions for the campus’ adjunct instructors. 

Additionally, on April 11, more than 300 Howard University Hospital nurses, social workers, and other health care personnel held a day-long strike at Howard University Hospital (HUH). The protest sparked over dangerous staffing ratios, pay cuts and other practices the workers claim to place the public and workers at risk. 

Hospital staff has been working without a contract since November, in the midst of a continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Howard University management and workers have been unable to come to an agreement about pay and working conditions during the pandemic. 

The District of Columbia Nurses Association, who helped organize the one-day nurses walk out,  indicated the strike was needed to let the public know the seriousness of health workers’ demands while balancing the need to give primary attention to patients.

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