Selected Aspects of Howard University's Operations and Use of Federally Appropriated Funds

HRD-84-43: Published: Mar 9, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO compared Howard University's faculty and administrative salaries with salaries at similar universities, obtained information regarding the accreditation of Howard's College of Medicine and other schools as well as academic deficiencies that have been cited, compared statistical data on Howard's library operations, and obtained financial data on Howard's acquisition and operation of the Howard Inn.

Howard University is a private nonprofit university with a primarily black student population. It receives annual Federal appropriations to aid construction, development, improvement, and maintenance. A GAO comparison of Howard executives' salaries with salaries for similar positions at other universities showed that Howard salaries are generally higher, particularly with regard to top executives. Howard faculty salaries were found to be generally comparable to reported median salaries. Only the Howard's schools of education and communications have yet to be accredited. The most frequently cited weaknesses in Howard programs were poor facilities and a lack of faculty research. Cases of inadequate laboratory, research, and clinical facilities have been cited as problems in the College of Medicine. GAO found that, of 101 member libraries in the Association of Research Libraries, the Howard library system ranks 94th in the number of volumes held, 12th in expenditures for library materials, and 14th for expenditures for salaries and wages. Howard University acquired the Howard Inn in 1981 and it had accumulated an operating deficit which totaled $4,485,862 by June 30, 1983. The hotel is used as a training laboratory for a hotel management program. Federal funds were not used to purchase the inn, nor are they used for operating it or making monthly installments on a loan. Operating expenses are met by revenues generated by the inn and other non-Federal university funds.

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