October 20, 2008
NEW UDC PRESIDENT SEEKS INDEPENDENCE FROM ILL-SUITED PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE UNIVERSITY
(NEW AUTHORITY WOULD ALLOW IMPROVED MANAGEMENT OF UNIVERSITY OPERATIONS)
Washington, DC -- In his latest step towards “The Pathway to Excellence,” University of the District of Columbia (UDC) President Allen L. Sessoms is seeking autonomy from statutory requirements ill-suited for a university. Proposed legislative recommendations that would give the school control over its own budget, contracting and procurement, financial affairs and personnel operations have been submitted to the Mayor and Council of the District of Columbia. President Sessoms is seeking the structural independence that exists at most of the nation’s land-grant institutions, among them University of California, University of Maryland, and Michigan State University. The proposed legislative changes would give the University similar elements of autonomy and decision-making control over its internal affairs. President Sessoms stated that autonomy is a prerequisite tied to academic success and program development.
The proposed legislation follows President Sessoms testimony at a September 19th City Council Roundtable, where he shared his vision for the institution. The legislation provides the university with the authority to set its own budget and allocate funds within that budget as well as exclusive control over use, acquisition and disbursement of all UDC funds and property. All funds would be subject to annual audit by the District for District funds, with other audits for other funding sources. The Council maintains its budget submission oversight and review. These changes will deliver a transparent and accountable budget and spending process within an independent framework.
The proposed legislation provides that the University would handle the procurement of goods and services. It also provides for independent personnel rules suitable for a university.
“District of Columbia residents deserve a world-class institution to provide excellence in education, training opportunities for a 21st century economy, and research to help solve challenging problems that face the nation’s capitol,” President Sessoms says. “Working with the Mayor and Council to get this legislation introduced is a critical step towards that vision. It is my belief that Mayor Fenty, the City Council and city’s residents are all in agreement and want excellence for the university..“
The proposed legislation is part of President Sessoms’ first “100 days” in office. Since his September 1 start date at the University of the District of Columbia, he has made numerous moves to chart a bold, new course for the institution. With just under sixty days remaining in his first “100 days,” the recommendations embodied in the proposed legislation will help accelerate other significant steps he has planned for University in the coming weeks.
The University of the District of Columbia is the fully-accredited sole public source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. The University delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities. The University, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia. The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro. For more information on other University activities, contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications and University Spokesperson at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.