(Disclaimer: To all HBCU-ers, I just want to disclose that I went to a PWI, so I will tread lightly here.)
So, yesterday Black Twitter was on fire because one former Howard University student-employee, Tyrone Hankerson, became the face of a financial aid scandal that was cracked wide open yesterday. Apparently, he, along with five others, were let go last year from working in the financial aid office because they stole financial aid funds.
Howard University President Wayne Frederick explained that the six had “misappropriated” funds earmarked for low-income students. But get this – the misappropriation was happening for nearly a decade.
In a statement released by the university’s Office of Communications, President Frederick detailed how he became aware of the issue.
“In accordance with my commitment to continuous progress, in February 2015, I initiated a proactive review of the Howard University Office of Financial Aid to ensure the office was providing the best support to our campus community.
As part of this process, I was alerted in December 2016 that there may have been some misappropriation of University-provided financial aid funds. From the moment I was alerted that there may have been a misappropriation of funds, I have taken this situation extremely seriously. I immediately informed the Board of Trustees, and together we moved swiftly to begin an internal investigation. The University immediately engaged an outside auditor (RSM) to determine whether there had been any misappropriation of Howard University funds by staff in the Office of Financial Aid or elsewhere, and if so, the magnitude of that misappropriation. The auditors completed their investigation and reported the results to me in May 2017.”
And once President Frederick got wind of the six, he removed them from their positions.
“An investigation of individual employee actions was completed in September 2017 and as a result, six employees have been fired for gross misconduct and neglect of duties,” he wrote. “We will refer this matter for criminal prosecution, as appropriate.”
Well, we’re not sure how the other five used their stolen capital, but Tyrone clearly went HAM on pieces. According to Washington, D.C.’s NBC affiliate, he stole $429,000 in funds, and it shows. Check out some of the outrageous outfits he donned, along with Black Twitter throwing him an appropriate roast fest.
As someone who needed financial aid help at my PWI, my heart goes out to students who were stripped of the funds they needed to pursue a higher education all because people who should have known better were greedy and selfish.
“We are not happy. We are pissed. Students want justice,” one female Howard University student told NBC News.
“While this has been a very difficult and disappointing situation, I know our campus community deserves better and I am committed to ensuring that each of our campus offices operate with integrity and are the best that higher education has to offer,” President Frederick wrote.
Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford