Yesterday, news hit about the retirement of President Sidney Ribeau from Howard University in Washington D.C. Though I have no direct connection to President Ribeau and his tenure at Howard University, I did have the opportunity to meet him while I was a graduate student at Bowling Green State University. We shared a cocktail with some other campus administrators and he we had a great, albeit brief, conversation. His legacy at BGSU continues through the President’s Leadership Academy and his other contributions to the institution. For more information about his departure from Howard University, I refer you to The Washington Post article by Nick Anderson:
This post is purely speculation about the next president for Howard University from my very limited scope of the institution. However, if the Board of Trustees at Howard University are smart (and I know that they are), then it would be prudent for them to look to the president of a school not too far from their own location, President Freeman Hrabowski from UMBC. President Hrabowski has been with UMBC for quite some time (20 years) and has dramatically raised the profile of the institution during his tenure. With a sharp focus on STEM related majors and an unrelenting push to enhance the number of minority students receiving terminal degrees, President Hrabowski’s work at UMBC seems to be a perfect fit for the direction Howard is advancing towards and the path it has been down for quite some time.
Though it would be quite the blow to my alma mater, I would find it hard to believe that President Hrabowski would not take a potential offer from Howard University extremely serious. With Howard being one of, if not the premiere HBCU, in the nation, the level of prestige and history associated with the institution would be a lot to pass up. Not to mention, President Hrabowski does have an increasing national profile (his recent TEd Talk for example), has done wonders for fundraising at UMBC, and knows all to well the US News & World rankings and their benefit to boosting the profile of a young institution.
I think it could be a match made in heaven for President Hrabowski and Howard University. But those are just my two cents…