Office of External Affairs

Main Office Contact

Executive Director of External Affairs
Michelle Pourciau

Media Inquiries
John Gordon, Jr., Director
Office of Communications
202.274.5998 (o) | 202.697.1310 (c)

Date of Publication: 

Moving Forward: A Message to the University Community


These have been difficult days at the university, and it is regrettable that the recent news coverage has disappointed our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and District residents.  Worse, it has overshadowed the tremendous accomplishments of our campus community and the strides we have made—and continue to make—as we transform and reinvent this proud Washington institution for generations of students to come.

While many of the details are well-known, this is what we are now doing to ensure progress in this area:

  • Acting with the guidance of the Board of Trustees, we are conducting an audit of travel expenses, which is expected to be completed by the end of March.
  • While the audit is in progress, the university is putting in place policies to ensure that staff trips be fully-documented, with receipts and travel logs.
  • We will continue our dialogue with students, faculty members, staff and city leaders about the university’s budget priorities.

We should clarify one point: The university’s travel budget last year was approximately $800,000. This total includes all travel by approximately 200 staff and faculty members. The president’s work-related travel comprised less than 10 percent of this total. And last year, as in most previous years, the university’s spending on travel was less than the amount budgeted.  The characterization that these business trips, particularly travel by the president were “lavish” or “luxurious”, is patently false.  Travel is required in order to expand the academic mission of the university and to promote and secure resources for it, and it is what every other university does to support itself.

We understand the need to be prudent with university resources and to be sensitive to the concerns of tuition-paying students and the taxpayers of the District of Columbia. Other improvements will continue as we work to ensure that District residents have the world-class public university they deserve.


As the only urban land-grant institution in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia ( supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the Community College, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and David A. Clarke School of Law.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University’s EO Policy Statement, please visit:

The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 267.284.5000


Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs,, 202.345.6371