University of the District of Columbia President Allen Sessoms
Could big changes be coming for The University of the District of Columbia? The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet on Thursday.
FOX 5 has learned the board is expected to hold a public meeting followed by a closed-door session to discuss the future of UDC's President, Allen Sessoms.
UDC spokesperson Alan Etter could not confirm Sessoms' contract will be discussed on Thursday. Etter says a clause in Sessoms' contract, which expires in September of 2013, requires the board to notify Sessoms a year in advance if it doesn't plan to renew the contract.
An overall right sizing report from the Board of Trustees is expected by the end of the month. An independent study by an advisory board released last week suggests UDC take major steps to improve its financial situation.
Sessoms was not available for an interview, but UDC did send FOX 5 this statement:
"The University of the District of Columbia has a long, proud history of meeting the educational needs of residents of the District. For 161 years our priority has been serving students, and we remain committed to this priority as we develop a new vision for the University."
"While the impetus for right-sizing was mandated by District leadership, the University's Board of Trustees embraced the mandate as providing a unique opportunity to shape the future of the University and to ensure its viability and sustainability for years to come. The Board of Trustees is very serious about meeting this mandate and views it as an opportunity to rethink the purpose and position of Washington's only public university. Through this process we are able to transform the University system around a vision for higher education in the District of Columbia that prepares our residents not just for jobs but for careers."
"We are working diligently to produce a right-sizing plan that will be presented to the Mayor and City Council. Until that time, it would be inappropriate to make any official comments. We look forward to implementing a plan that will help the University continue providing quality, affordable education to its many students."
Councilmember McDuffie's sent us this statement on UDC's upcoming board meeting:
"On September 27, 2012 the Board of Trustees for the University of the District of Columbia will hold a Board Meeting to discuss the long awaited right-sizing plan for the University of the District of Columbia and the renewal of Dr. Allen Sessom's contract. The right-sizing plan, which Councilmember McDuffie will review at a Public Oversight Hearing on October 11, 2012, will hopefully guide the University of the District of Columbia to a fiscally solid future and make the University competitive with similarly sized institutions."
"Councilmember McDuffie trusts that the Board shares his commitment to ensure that the students of the University of the District of Columbia receive a quality education. Thus, though Councilmember McDuffie intends to fully vet the right-sizing plan at the upcoming hearing, he also respects the autonomous power of the Board, granted by DC Code §38-1202.01 et seq., to make its own personnel decision regarding the future of the leadership of the University. Councilmember McDuffie will continue to work with University leadership throughout this process and is confident that the residents of the District of Columbia will have renewed confidence in the University at the conclusion of this process."