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The Washington Post reports that Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau is stepping down from his post after five years in the position.

Ribeau, 65, wrote a letter explaining his retirement to the Howard community, it reads:

After careful deliberation, I have decided to announce my retirement immediately from our beloved institution and will officially leave the Presidency at the end of this year. I would like to express my profound gratitude to the entire community for supporting me and generating an atmosphere of positive collaboration over the past five years.

Together we have implemented a robust renewal strategy including Academic Program Renewal, Faculty Renewal, Administrative and Staff Renewal and Facilities Renewal. These initiatives are integrated and reflect the University’s core values: “leadership, excellence, truth, and service.”

Building cranes now frame the campus skyline, illustrating a physical transformation that sets the tone for Howard’s future. In March 2013, we broke ground on the first academic and residential buildings in more than three decades. Two new living and learning residence halls will bring underclassmen closer to the center of campus, while the state-of-the art interdisciplinary research building will catalyze many of the University’s major fundable research efforts. They will both come online in 2014.

Serving as the president of Howard University was the opportunity of a lifetime. In nearly 150 years, only 16 people have had this privilege. It is one I will always treasure. Again, I would like to thank the entire community for supporting me, for extending a collegial spirit and for helping us to expand and renew the Capstone.


Sidney A. Ribeau


Many believe Ribeau’s sudden exit is due to Howard’s drop in national and credit ranking. Also, the premiere HBCU suffered a 5% drop in enrollment.

Howard University will have to buy out his contract but the amount has not been disclosed. The Post reports he earned $759,340 in 2012 fiscal year.

He officially leaves his position at the end of December.