March 7, 2011
President Allen Sessoms initiated a discussion with the Interim Academic Senate which took place today. He wanted to talk about matters recently covered by the press. He explained that he traveled to Egypt to meet with faculty and administrators at UDC’s Maadi Program there. This program, which is accredited by the Middle States Association, has been in existence for thirteen years. President Sessoms’ purpose was to discuss ways to increase faculty exchange and student participation so that faculty and students from UDC might spend time teaching and learning in Egypt and those from Egypt could come to UDC.
President Sessoms added that UDC, for accreditation reasons, is required to visit the program twice a year to ensure that standards are being met. On his return to the U.S., President Sessoms stopped in London, at no additional cost, because the flight was routed through London. He took the train to Sunderland University with which UDC has a partnership. The president’s purpose again was to increase faculty and student exchange. Two UDC students have participated already. The president added that Sunderland and the District of Columbia are "sister cities." Sunderland University has become an economic driver for the region as a result of its successful urban revitalization program. The president wanted to learn more about that as well.
President Sessoms also noted that he travels, in effect, to put UDC on the map by participating in high profile activities like the Clinton-founded Renaissance Weekend, with elected officials, cabinet members, foreign heads of state, and the like. The president is lifting UDC’s profile and making connections with individuals who can help the University.
With regard to first class air tickets, the president explained that he suffers from a medical condition which has caused blood clots. He is under doctor’s orders to keep his legs elevated if traveling more than two hours.
The president apologized for the distractions the negative press coverage has caused. He entertained questions and sought advice from the senators. Finally, he committed to meeting more frequently with faculty and with students, and he assured senators that policies and procedures would be followed in connection with academic program terminations and the related timing for the suspension of admission to such programs.
In closing, later today President Sessoms may release a press statement regarding these topics. If he does, it will be circulated to you as soon as possible.
Katherine S. Broderick, Chair
Interim Academic Senate
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