Sidney Ribeau, president of Howard University, announced earlier this month he would step down amid mounting financial challenges that have plagued the institution many view as the Harvard of historically black colleges. The news has sent shock waves throughout the nation's 105 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and concern over their future is at an all-time high.
In the last few years, black colleges like Howard have faced mounting challenges in funding, management and student recruitment. According to a new study released by the Ford Foundation, in the past four years nine HBCUs have had their accreditation suspended by their accrediting body or have been warned or put on probation. In the last 20 years, five HBCUs have been shuttered.