Howard Brown to repay NU $1.7 million

Joseph Diebold

A high-profile gay, lesbian and bisexual health center will repay Northwestern $1.7 million after funds earmarked for research were used instead for the center’s operational costs, Crain’s Chicago Business reported April 2.

Howard Brown Health Center, which has closely partnered with NU in HIV/AIDS research as part of a Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study for many years, reportedly used money from a National Institutes of Health grant to cover some of the center’s operating expenses between 2005 and 2010, according to the April Crain’s article.

The study was financed by an account shared between NU and Howard Brown.

“Some of the funds that should have been used to pay Northwestern were used to pay for operational expenses at Howard Brown,” explained Bruce Elliott Jr., then-executive director of NU’s Office of Sponsored Research, in January 2011. “So the account we had went into deficit.”

Jamal Edwards, who took over as CEO of Howard Brown following the incident, told Crain’s the details for the payment to the University are still being discussed and the repayment would likely occur over several years.

University spokesman Al Cubbage declined to comment because the financial details have not yet been decided.

As part of a separate agreement, Howard Brown will also repay $715,000 to several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, Crain’s reported.

– Joseph Diebold