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5 Highlights from the Spring 2022 State of the University Address

2022 SOTU

Dear Howard University Community,

The biannual State of the University Address is a vital time for our community to examine the strengths and weaknesses of our institution as well as our opportunities to move Howard forward together.

Here are five takeaways from the Spring 2022 State of the University Address I delivered this afternoon.

1. We are embarking on the largest real estate initiative in Howard’s history.

Over the next five years, Howard will invest $785 million in new construction and major renovations. This is a critical next step in our efforts to revitalize our facilities in order to deliver a world-class experience for our students, faculty and staff as well as the members of our community who depend on our services. At the same time, we are continuing to enhance our residence halls, and we will break ground on a new Howard University Hospital.

2. We have dramatically improved Howard’s financial sustainability.

Before we could begin to work on this new real estate initiative, we first had to get our institutional finances in order. Thanks to multiple credit upgrades, an increase in our federal appropriation, and continued philanthropic and endowment growth, we now have much of the funding we need for these transformative efforts.

3. We are collaborating across our community to cultivate a safer campus.

With the pandemic, bomb threats and local crime all causing uncertainty on campus, our efforts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community has never been more urgent. We are collaborating with local and federal partners, as well as with stakeholders across our campus, to mitigate any risks we face and ensure we are prepared to take action to protect all people on our campus under any circumstances. We are broadening engagement with our partners and bringing more resources to campus to heighten security and ensure all people feel safe at Howard University.

4. We are investing in our people to ensure faculty and staff are fairly compensated.

This year, we have begun to implement our long-term efforts to ensure our faculty and staff compensation is in line with our peer institutions. We have implemented pay raises for unionized and non-union faculty as well as staff members. And we have increased compensation for the nurses at Howard University Hospital even as we continue to negotiate a long-term contract. No upgrades to our facilities would be complete without also enhancing our level of support to our illustrious faculty and staff.

5. We are preparing for an exciting in-person Spring 2022 Commencement!

We are looking forward to celebrating our graduates and welcoming family and friends to campus for Spring 2022 Commencement. And we are excited to extend a warm welcome home to alumna and award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson, who will be serving as Commencement speaker! Considering all that the Class of 2022 has endured to make it to graduation day, we could think of no one better suited to address our graduates than this esteemed and celebrated alumna.

Thank you to everyone who joined me in person and virtually for today’s address, and I appreciate all who submitted questions. I look forward to more opportunities to continue these important conversations with our campus community.

As we begin our transition to a new Howard University president, let us carry forward the momentum we have built up these past years to usher in even greater successes for our institution and the communities we serve.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery