Faculty representatives wrote in a letter dated Feb. 16 to Ribeau and the board of trustees that the bonuses demonstrate “blatant disregard for the University when our students and their families are struggling to pay tuition increases.”

A Family Festival at Howard University in 2011. (Marvin Joseph/WASHINGTON POST)

The amount of the payments was reported in Howard’s 2010 tax filing, which is a public record: Senior vice president Artis G. Hampshire-Cowan, who was the interim president, received $302,820 on top of her salary of $213,552. Senior vice president for strategy and government affairs Hassan Minor received $522,184 on top of his salary of $264,255. Chief legal officer Norma Leftwich received $224,050 on top of her salary of $252,930.

Howard is a private university located in the District that has more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is one of the most well-known historically black universities.

In recent years, Howard has scaled back or cut a number of academic programs that were graduating too few students, duplicated the offerings of other departments or did not fit the university’s mission.

Earlier this year, university officials announced that undergraduate tuition would increase by 12 percent or $2,300 for the 2012-12 academic year, bringing the total price to $21,450. Graduate tuition increased by 15 percent to a total of $29,090.

In mid-February, Ribeau announced that the university overspent during the first half of the fiscal year and needed to tighten its budget for the rest of the year by deferring some campus facilities projects, reviewing its business contracts and closing campus during spring break this week, among other things. Ribeau also warned faculty and staff that they might be furloughed.

“While these actions are necessary, I am aware that they will not be easy,” Ribeau wrote in a letter to the campus on Feb. 13. “The sacrifices that we are making are essential to our institutional renewal and continued success. 

For more higher education news, you can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook. And here are some other articles that might be of interest:

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