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ERIC Number: EJ861839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-20
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Changing Course
Ruffins, Paul
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v26 n14 p32-36 Aug 2009
The University of the District of Columbia's problems are so deep and longstanding that some people thought it would take a rocket scientist to figure them out. So a year ago, its board of trustees appointed as president Dr. Allen Sessoms, the former Delaware State University president and Yale University-trained physicist who spent years sniffing out secret nukes as a weapons inspector for the U.S. Department of State. Now Sessoms is widely seen by his supporters and detractors as a man intent on blasting UDC far out of its orbit. When classes resume this month UDC will be part of a "university system" consisting of a new community college and the university operating as the system's selective "flagship." Sessoms' plans to end open admissions at the historically Black institution, raise tuition almost 100% and eliminate the undergraduate education major have generated a storm of controversy. As a result, students, faculty, trustees and city officials are trying to understand his agenda for UDC's future, some by looking at his previous presidencies, which include heading Queens College in New York. While some UDC students and faculty members see in Sessoms a hard-charging, controversial figure who wants to remake their university, others see someone with high standards, grand ideas and a proven track record needed to turn the struggling school around. It's too early to tell whether Sessoms will succeed at turning UDC around. His undiplomatic style may mask his energy and intelligence and make his proposals seem more radical than they are. However, so far, he has had several lucky breaks.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia