Federal Government Shutdown - UDC Implications
April 12th, 2011
Letter to the Washington Post Editor from Dr. Sessoms:
As the political theater that almost led to a federal government shutdown ensued, some 6,000 students of Washington, DC’s only public university watched helplessly. As I and my colleagues implored our city leadership and the Office of Management and Budget to find some way to avoid a shutdown, which would have impacted the University of the District of Columbia, our students wondered why they had been cast into the nationally unique circumstance of possibly not being able to finish the Spring semester and graduate. They wondered how their accomplishments could be held hostage over a set of political circumstances in which they were not involved and could have no impact. This situation can never happen again.
The University of the District of Columbia should be insulated from such political infighting. Our students deserve better.
Now is the time we must call on our leaders and residents to recognize the University of the District of Columbia as the valuable resource it is. It is time for our leaders to let this 160-year-old institution be all it can be for every one of its students, and that means allowing it to become an autonomous enterprise – just like every other public institution of higher learning in the land. That means allowing the university to be held harmless from the politics that nearly closed us last week – and threatens to close us in the future.
Mayor Gray, Chairman Brown and members of our City Council have shown they are willing to fight for what is right. Our state university is worth fighting for.
We have made significant progress in the last two years. We have created a community college to be an educational bridge for all students and a workforce development resource for the community. We have established admissions and continuing education standards for our four-year flagship university. And we continue to fulfill our obligations as the only urban land-grant university in America with a broad mission of academics, research and community service. We have demonstrated we can do this. And we deserve the opportunity to compete in the regional and global marketplaces on equal footing.
District residents deserve a fully-functioning state university free of political brinksmanship, just like every other jurisdiction in America.
Allen L. Sessoms, President
April 8th, 2011 11:45 p.m.
Congress has agreed to a budget deal and a short-term funding extension that will last through next Thursday. This will give them time to write their compromise into a budget bill that will keep us all going for another year.
This will allow UDC to function normally, without interruption, through Friday, April 15th. If the new budget is signed into law prior to the expiration of this funding extension, there will be no interruption of services. If a new budget is not agreed to before the funding extension expires, we still run the risk of a government shutdown.
We will continue to update this page as details become available.
DC Government's Office of the Mayor Resources:
Friday April 8th, 2011 5pm
A message to the university community:
If a federal shutdown occurs, there will be significant impacts on our university.
If the federal government shuts down, several District functions would cease. The University of the District of Columbia will be affected in that only essential personnel would report to work. Essential personnel have been contacted by their supervisors as to their status and expectations of performance through a shutdown. Classes would be suspended. Students and faculty would not report to class while a shutdown is in progress. After the shutdown is lifted, all employees, students and faculty should report to work or to their next regularly scheduled class.
A shutdown may impact the university’s ability to communicate with you, including email and website updates. If the government shuts down, please continue to monitor news broadcasts of the situation and respond accordingly. We will attempt to update the university’s websites and main telephone numbers as often as possible.
We will communicate as quickly as possible through our Facebook pages and Twitter accounts:
University Web Site: www.udc.edu
Thursday April 7th, 2011 2:30pm
The looming federal government shutdown will have serious negative implications for our university community. I want you to know that we are fighting to keep UDC open and fully functioning through this crisis. Final exams are being administered, and students are making preparations for graduation, not to mention parents have taken time off work, and international parents have made arrangements to come to Washington to be part of our commencement. We have been told that all but essential functions like security and facilities must cease if the federal government were to close.
Today, I am explaining to our city leadership and members of Congress that closing our university even for a short time – will have serious negative consequences. If DC Public Schools can remain open, so can UDC, and we should. I will follow this message with additional information as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, please continue to monitor udc.edu, dc.gov, and Facebook for further updates.