All Articles Tagged "udc"
(Washington Examiner) — Jeff Ruland, hometown favorite for his stellar days under the basket for the Washington Bullets in the 1980s, showed up Thursday for a coaches meeting in the University of the District of Columbia’s gym. Practice for the Firebirds’ season doesn’t begin for six weeks, but Ruland is already excited. ”We should be able to build on last season,” Ruland tells me. “We have some kids with tons of potential.” Like returning former Division I players Nigel Munson and Brandon Herbert. And a freshman from France. Ruland took over last year and coached the Firebirds to an 11-15 season. The team went 1-20 the year before. I see improvement — and potential. Ruland’s rebuilding of UDC’s basketball squad is a metaphor for the university. Most Washingtonians think of it as a second-rate college for inner-city kids who need remedial courses. That may have been an accurate assessment a decade ago, but UDC is in the midst of a transformation that could turn heads and bring it closer to the league of other land grant colleges.
(Afro) — One day after students waged a protest calling for his resignation, University of the District of Columbia President Allen Sessoms faced the D.C. Council to answer questions about controversial expenditures from the university’s budget on March 8. Sessoms repeatedly answered many of the same questions about his travel expenses to foreign countries. Council members inquired about the purpose of trips by faculty to Hawaii, US Virgin Islands and Cocoa Beach, Fla. Sessoms replied he would send the answers in writing, giving a breakdown of the expenses and the necessities for the trips. “He’s blinking his eyes a lot. That means he’s lying,” said a few faculty members sitting in the audience. “Not the case,” texted Aimee Occhetti, vice president of the UDC Office of Government Relations. Sessoms suffers from a condition known as blepharitis, which causes eyes to blink uncontrollably. But the condition did not prevent Sessoms from delivering a hours-long testimony in which he fielded questions and also outlined milestones made by his administration from the university receiving procurement authority to opening two locations for its community college. The administrator presented a 46-page power point presentation that outlined his accomplishments to transform the “culture” of the oft-maligned university.
(Washington Informer) — The president of the District’s only public institution of higher learning is under attack from student leaders for his travel expenditures at a time when tuition is being increased and budget cuts from the D.C. Council are imminent. Fifty students gathered at the plaza of the University of the District of Columbia’s Northwest campus on Mon., March 7 to call for the resignation of Allen Sessoms, the president of the school. The students, chanting “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Allen Sessoms got to go”, said that Sessoms travel and other expenses are too much to bear.
“He is raising tuition and he is spending the students’ fees like crazy,” said David Okonkwo, 24, a junior biology major. “I don’t support what he is doing.”
Sessoms, 61, has come under fire for spending excessive amounts of money for travel to places like Egypt and San Antonio, Texas. He held a press conference later during the day to explain why he traveled so much and why he insisted on going first class. “As a university president, I have to be out there,” he said. “We are trying to build a vision, build a strong team and sell the institution. We know some of the changes that we have made in the university have ruffled some feathers and we expect that.”
Sessoms has served as the president of Delaware State University in Dover, Del., and at Queens College in New York City. He had a contentious relationship at Queens College with officials with the City University of New York, which resulted in his departure regarding a misunderstanding about fundraising for an AIDS research center that never materialized.
(Afro) — Controversy over a budget deficit announced by the District’s only government-run university is steadily brewing, causing anxiety among students. City officials say they were surprised by the University of the District of Columbia’s recent request for an additional $8 million to $10 million to offset the expense of operating the fast-growing Community College for the District of Columbia (CCDC), which the D.C. City Council approved two years ago. The request comes at a time when the local government is facing a projected $400 million deficit.
Alan Etter, a UDC spokesman, said university President Allen L. Sessoms told city officials that the university is overwhelmed by the cost of providing courses and services to students who enroll at the community college. “The great demand for a community college added more expenses than anticipated,” said Etter. For two years, UDC covered the cost of partially renovating a location in southeast Washington along with opening up locations in downtown and northeast to accommodate the more than 4,000 students enrolled in the community college. Since then, enrollment has dropped to less than 2,000 students at the main campus. UDC officials said they were forced to spend more than $18 million from reserve funds.