City Officials Claim Ignorance of UDC Deficit

February 18, 2011  |  

(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.

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