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Barry to Attend Council Meeting, Pushing UDC Bill

Marion Barry is set to attend the D.C. Council meeting today, after undergoing a kidney transplant on Feb. 20.

He's charging back into the council with a bill that opposes the recent tuition increase at the University of the District of Columbia and the proposed new admission policies.

As Nikita Stewart reports: Barry has drawn up emergency legislation to require the UDC board of trustees to conduct a 45-day review of the impact and rationale for almost doubling tuition to $7,000 for District residents who are full-time, four-year students. The proposed resolution would also prohibit the university from establishing "stringent" admission requirements for its four-year program. Currently, anyone with a high school diploma or general equivalency degree can enroll.

But don't expect that legislation to sail through. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray has already expressed reservations about intervening in the school's affairs. He's also been promoting more autonomy for the university.

Autonomy is a great thing, but one might find the staunch hands-off approach a little odd. The university does serve city residents, and the council, under Gray's leadership, has legitimately fought to have some leadership role in school reform. Is that limited to DCPS?

UDC trustees said the changes are meant to help push the university to the next level and, as Stewart notes, they have lobbied against Barry's bill. The councilmember, however, does have the support of some UDC students, who have already been protesting the tuition increase.

By Marcia Davis  |  March 3, 2009; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Comments

www.saveudc.com

This is an excellent article. This point is very well put:

"Autonomy is a great thing, but one might find the staunch hands-off approach a little odd. The university does serve city residents, and the council, under Gray's leadership, has legitimately fought to have some leadership role in school reform. Is that limited to DCPS?"

Exactly right. That's why a full review by the DC Council is so essential. The Council could ask things like:

1) Why would the UDC Trustees hire a university president who has been forced to resign by Trustees (at CUNY) for having been dishonest with them about money?

2) Why raise rates so radically without first improving services for the students?

3) Where is the plan that explains why such a radical tuition increase is needed?

4) Why would the Trustees hire someone with a history of using obscene and derogatory language about open enrollment students?

5) Were there really no university presidents available who were consistently honest with Trustees and consistently respectful of their students?

Get informed:
www.saveudc.com

Posted by: wpforumtroll | March 4, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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