- Wayne A.I. Frederick was named 17th president of Howard University in a Monday evening vote by the historically black university's board.
- Frederick — a cancer surgeon who holds a bachelor's degree in zoology, a medical degree, and a master's degree in business administration from Howard — has served as interim president since Sidney A. Ribeau's departure last fall following fiscal mismanagement allegations.
- He has also been a member of the university's medical school faculty, directed its hospital's cancer center since 2011, and spent time as provost and chief academic officer under Ribeau.
Frederick takes the reins of the university at a time when it faces pressures that could threaten its future. Along with the aforementioned financial mismanagement allegations, the last few years have seen the university take a tumble on U.S. News' rankings as well as its credit rating, which received two downgrades.
But with three degrees from the university, two of which — the zoology and medical degrees — were earned by the age of 22, Frederick may be the man with the desire and know-how to steer the ship back on course. The search committee that recommended him unanimously surely saw this, as its head, D.C. attorney Vernon E. Jordan Jr., recognized Frederick as "supremely qualified, remarkably motivated, and uniquely suited."
In its report on Frederick's appointment, The Washington Post noted an October interview, after he assumed the interim position, in which he said his goals for the school include improving graduation and retention rates, opening an academic excellence center, expanding its online programs, controlling costs, and “making very, very strong progress” on confronting the financial issues faced by the univeresity's hospital. In what is good news for Frederick, the Post also notes enrollment was up in 2013 and the endowment is at an all-time high of $600 million.