October 6, 2011
Howard University, in Washington, DC, is one of the elite Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the U.S. Howard students are quick to call their school the “real H U!” The reason is so they won’t be confused with another well know HBCU—Hampton University.
But after years of frustrating experiences with Howard University, I have come to the conclusion that they are truly the “real H U.” But, in this case, the H U stands for “Horrible University.”
Over the years, I have regularly presented Howard and its student’s opportunities to make money and to further the mission of their school—to educate Black students.
Last week, I was called by a friend and asked to find 2 law students she could interview for internships in her government agency. I told her I would call Howard’s law school and have them call her. I talked with a woman in their career placement office and she said she would call my friend. A week later and my friend still has not heard from the school.
So, 2 days ago, I decided to call George Washington University’s Law School (GW)—a predominantly white school in Washington, DC. I told them I needed two Black law students to consider for internships. Less than an hour later, my friend was contacted by GW and 2 lucky students are on the verge of getting an internship!
If my negative experience with Howard was an isolated incident, then I could shrug it off to a thing called life—sometimes things happen. But, this is not the case.
Earlier this year, I called the president of Howard University and offered the school a chance to be the venue for a series of Republican presidential candidates town hall forums. I am still waiting for them to give me an answer.
Several years ago, a friend of mine who owned all the Dominoes Pizzas in this area, offered to give the school a free franchise that the students could run. The only stipulation was that the school donates the space. According to our calculations, each student would have earned about $ 10,000 per year. I have yet to get a response from the school, almost 10 years later!
So, yes Howard, you are the “real H U--” horrible university! So, Howard, you win. I will not attempt to provide any further opportunities to the school, nor its students.
Howard University has a storied past, but not such a storied present. Howard has got to be the worst run HBCU in the country. I had this conversation with a current student at Howard yesterday at a restaurant and she agreed with me 100%.
To Howard and its students, why can I never seem to get a simple response when I try to present opportunities to you? Even if you are not interested, a definitive response would have been appreciated. But that seems too much to ask. Yet, white institutions seem to respond immediately to any offer I present to them.
God has blessed me in many ways, so my only obligation is to reach out my hand, not attempt to make someone take my hand.
In the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill, “To everyman (or organization) there comes a time when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a great and might work; unique to him and fitted to his talents; what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the moment that could be his finest hour.” Unfortunately, Howard University has been found both unprepared and unqualified!
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com), Freedom’s Journal Magazine (www.freedomsjournal.net), and U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com).