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Date of Publication: 

Veteran Educator Chosen For
University Leadership Position

Dr. Rachel PetttyDr. Rachel Petty, a veteran educator and administrator at the University of the District of Columbia, has been chosen to lead the day-to-day operations of the University until an interim executive is installed.  In making the announcement today, Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Elaine Crider expressed high confidence in Dr. Petty’s ability to help lead the University “to the next level.”

“Dr. Petty is the right person at the right time to assume this leadership position,” said Dr. Crider.  “Her dedication to this University is well known, and we are excited about the future.”

Dr. Petty takes over for Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, whose contract was terminated by the Board Wednesday night (December 19).  She will direct daily operations until a long-term interim leader is selected.  A national search will then be conducted for a permanent replacement.

Dr. Petty has more than 34 years of outstanding service as a professor, researcher and academic administrator.  She has held the positions of Provost, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Chair of the Department of Psychology and Counseling.

“I am proud to be able to serve the University I love in an even greater capacity,” said Dr. Petty.  “Our residents deserve a high quality public university, and I look forward to helping move the University of DC forward.”

As the only urban land-grant institution in the United States, the only public university in the District of Columbia, and a proud Historically Black College, 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, the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the 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

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