Howard Alumni Sue Board, Alleging Shared Governance Violation

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A group of 10 Howard University alumni sued the university’s Board of Trustees Monday, alleging that the governing body violated its own bylaws when it neglected to fill alumni, faculty and student affiliate positions on the board and subsequently voted to eliminate the positions, The Washington Post reported.

“Resultingly, Howard Alumni in their entirety, which includes plaintiffs, have been injured via their disenfranchisement at the highest level of the university’s governance,” the suit states.

The plaintiffs have asked a judge to determine if the board did indeed violate its bylaws. If so, they’ve asked the judge to order the board to fill the positions and nullify any votes cast without the board’s full membership, according to the Post.

In response to the lawsuit, a Howard spokesperson said the board is well within its rights to “modernize” its operations. Laurence C. Morse, chairman of the board, said in June that the board underwent extensive review and determined “that our current process of governance and engagement across the university, from the board through various stakeholder groups, is not working.”

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