Ronald Mason Jr. to step down as UDC President in 2023

Ronald Mason Jr. to step down as UDC President in 2023

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July 21, 2022

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        

Ronald Mason Jr. to step down as UDC President in 2023

WASHINGTON – University of the District of Columbia (UDC) President Ronald Mason Jr., J.D. announced today he would step down from his role after considerable contemplation and consultation with the University Board of Trustees.  Mason will continue serving as President through the duration of his contract, which concludes on June 30, 2023.

Mason, UDC’s ninth and longest-serving president, has led the public institution since 2015.

“It was not a decision I made lightly.  After considerable contemplation and consultation with the Board of Trustees and seven years in this role, the time is right to pass the baton,” Mason shared in his July 21 letter to the UDC students, staff and faculty.  “This is not the end, and certainly not goodbye.  We still have significant work to do, and I look forward to doing it together—as we always have.”

From the start of Mason’s presidency in 2015 to now, the University’s operating budget has increased by $22.4M.  Additionally, the planned capital project support from the District in the 6-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has increased by $84.2M from $79.3M in the FY15-20 CIP to $163.6M in the FY22-27 CIP.

During Mason’s tenure, several significant accomplishments have been achieved at the University:

  • Increased awards to the University, including Title III & HEERF, from ~$14.2M in FY18 to $33M in FY21. Grant proposal submissions increased from $24M to $54M during FY18 to FY21
  • Almost tripled University research expenditures, as reported to NSF, in the past four years from $2.9M in FY18 to $7.6M in FY21
  • Initiated and launched two new Ph.D. programs (Urban Leadership & Entrepreneurship and Engineering & Computer Science)
  • Ranked #5 for Clinical Law Training for the David A. Clarke School of Law’s Clinical Program in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Graduate School Rankings (tying with Yale University)
  • Acquired the building at 4250 Connecticut Avenue NW in 2020 and updated the existing envelope during its renovation.  Plans are underway to transform the building into a world-class academic space
  • Secured, as part of UDC’s six-year CIP, $28M in FY25 to purchase Old Congress Heights as the permanent location for Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning (WDLL) programs and $15M in FY23 & $20M in FY24 towards the expansion of the Community College at the Bertie Backus campus
  • Received 11 commendations from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in accreditation reaffirmation
  • Negotiated 8th Master Agreement (full-time) and SEIU (adjunct) faculty union contracts for full-time and adjunct faculty in 2020
  • Obtained a $2.3M gift for need-based scholarships, the largest private gift in the University’s history, in 2021
  • Secured UDC’s first-ever federal earmark in the House Appropriations Bill for $1M to establish the Katherine G. Johnson Math Teacher Training Institute
  • Initiated major repair and renovation across the Van Ness campus, including roofs, elevators, HVAC and the completed construction of a Law Library
  • Negotiated several leases and partnership agreements to bring nationally recognized companies to the University and the Van Ness community, including PepsiCo, Starbucks, AllCare and MOM’s
  • Founded the Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs (CDIMA) in 2018
  • Enhanced UDC’s athletic facilities, including renaming the sports complex after “grandfather of Black basketball,” UDC alumnus Dr. Edwin B. Henderson; remodeled gym; $2.3M tennis court renovation; state-of-the-art vision boards; and launched the esports program
  • Launched the Follett ACCESS Program in fall 2020 to deliver textbooks, courseware, lab kits, supplies, etc. to students

“The University has been extremely fortunate to have President Ronald Mason Jr. at its helm.  His leadership, guidance and tremendous dedication have significantly impacted UDC and its extensive stakeholders,” shared Christopher D. Bell, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, in a letter to the University community sent on July 21.  “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to President Mason for his service and transformative leadership.”

The Board of Trustees will soon charge a Presidential Search Committee with finding the next leader of UDC.  Bell expects the search process will be inclusive for members of the UDC community.  Additional information will be shared in the coming weeks.


About the University of the District of Columbia: The only public university in the nation’s capital and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a historically Black university committed to a broad mission of education, research and community service.  Established by abolitionist Myrtilla Miner in 1851, UDC offers workforce training, professional certification and more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to create opportunities for student success.  The University comprises a Community College and Division of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; School of Business and Public Administration; College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences and the David A. Clarke School of Law.  Learn more at