Statement by Mr. H. Patrick Swygert, President, On the Fiscal Year 2002 Request for Howard University
Before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations, Ralph Regula, Chairman
Archived Information

April 24, 2001

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

It is my honor to appear before you today to discuss President Bush's fiscal year 2002 budget request of $232.5 million for Howard University. With me today are Dr. Don Coleman, University Provost; Dr. Floyd Malveaux, Vice President for Health Affairs, and Dr. Vinetta Jones, Dean of our School of Education. I am also accompanied by Maureen McLaughlin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, United States Department of Education, and Carol Cichowski from the Department of Education's Budget Service.

Mr. Chairman, because there are several new members on the Committee, I would like to begin my testimony with a brief overview of the University.

Facts 2001

Our publication Facts 2001 provides the Committee with a snapshot of the University in a number of important areas.

Howard University was created by the Congress in 1867 to be a national university serving a national need. The University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and 32 other agencies that assess individual programs. The University is the largest producer of African American graduates at all degree levels. Our students come from every region in the Nation and from all 50 States.

Our faculty represents a broad cross-section of America. Almost three-fourths of the faculty earned their degree from one of the top research universities in the Nation. Howard is the only historically black college or university to be rated in the highest category by the Carnegie Foundation, and it is also ranked highest by the US News and World Report. The University motto: Veritas et Utilitas, acknowledges that service to the Nation is to be an integral part of the University's mission. Howard University's faculty has provided leadership for America and the global community since its founding.

Service 2001

Our publication entitled SERVICE 2001 is a compendium for the Committee illustrating just a few of the many activities and programs currently rendered by Howard faculty and students to both the Nation and the greater Washington metropolitan area.


  • A status report on The Strategic Framework for Action

  • The FY 2002 Analytical Abstract

  • The University's Government Performance and Results Act Report

The Strategic Framework for Action

The Strategic Framework for Action, the University's 5-year strategic plan that was adopted by our Board of Trustees in 1996, called for achievement in four strategic areas:

  • Strengthening academic programs;

  • Promoting excellence in teaching and research;

  • Increasing private support; and

  • Enhancing national and community service.

Today, as the Committee can see we have completed the overwhelming majority of our measurable objectives in each of the four strategic areas and the foundation has been set for The Strategic Framework for Action II.

The Analytical Abstract

The Analytical Abstract displays important benchmark data about the University. Exhibit 1 shows the different agencies that have accredited the schools and colleges of the University. Exhibits 2 and 3 demonstrate that Howard students, like our faculty, come from every corner of the Nation The Committee may have seen a recent article in The New York Times that mentioned Carla Peterman, Howard's most recent Rhodes Scholar who appeared before this Committee last year before she left for Oxford University. The article describes the national competition that exists for talented African American students and my commitment to maintaining an environment that continues to attract high performance students.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has a program that honors outstanding students who are African American. These students typically have outstanding high school scholastic records, rank in the top 10 percent of their classes, earn high grades, take heavy course loads, and participate in volunteer and extracurricular activities. The average composite SAT score of the Achievement Scholars is in the 1300s. Howard University has 182 National Achievement Scholars on campus.

Exhibit 4 illustrates the performance of entering freshmen relative to African-American students and to all test-takers. It shows that the average composite SAT score for Howard students is 202 points higher than the national average for African Americans, and 43 points higher than the national average of all test-takers. What makes this metric more impressive is that we have been successful in attracting these students while maintaining our historic commitment to providing access to those promising students whose performance has not yet matched their potential as Exhibit 5, which highlights our retention success, illustrates.

Exhibit 6 shows that the number of advanced degrees awarded by the University increased from 961 in 1998-1999 to 1,036 in 1999-2000.

Exhibit 7 is a portrayal of changes in the endowment of the University from 1990. Between 1998 and 1999, the book value endowment has increased by $34.1 million to $268.8 million. The curve reflects an increase of almost 15 percent between these years.

Exhibit 8 demonstrates conclusively that the University serves a national constituency whose alumni reside in all of the 50 States. Eighteen States have more than 500 Howard alumni, 13 have more than 1,000, and 6 have more than 2,000.

Government Performance and Results Act

The final special report we have provided to the Committee is the Government Performance and Results Act Report, a metric that reflects how well the University is doing measured against performance indicators set by OMB and the Department of Education.

I trust that my testimony and the extensive empirical information that the University has provided are helpful to the Committee, and make clear that the University has maintained absolute fidelity to our congressional charter.

Howard University has awarded 93,033 degrees since inception. For 134 years, it has been a major avenue of postsecondary access and opportunity for many Americans. It has taken the underprepared, underfunded, high-potential student and has produced more successful, prominent, professional tax-paying citizens than any other university of similar size and complexity.

I want to thank the members of this Committee publicly for their investment in Howard. Your support enables the University to provide a comprehensive, high-quality curriculum that makes it possible for students with ability, who come from families of limited means, to become contributing, productive participants in the mainstream of American society.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my opening statement. I would be happy to answer any questions that the Committee may have, and I thank you for the opportunity to appear today.

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Last Modified: 07/30/2007