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Update On UDC

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) is expected to withdraw emergency legislation that would reverse recent controversial decisions of the board of trustees at the University of the District of Columbia.

Council members learned this morning at a breakfast before today's legislative meeting that Barry would likely pull his legislation and introduce a permanent bill, which takes longer to make its way into law and requires fewer council members to get approval.

Barry's bill would stop a tuition hike and new admissions policies for the school's four-year program, which were recently approved by the university Board of Trustees.

Barry did not attend the breakfast.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  March 3, 2009; 10:23 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Comments

Marion Barry, what a moronic backstabbing move.

Barry has for so long participated in the destruction of governance in the district of Columbia, from appointing thieves and embezzlers to out right employment of his henchmen cronies.

Such a disservice to D.C.'s majority African American population that erringly join the D.C. Democratic Party only to be back-stabbed, robbed, and disconnected from non-criminal activities which falls under the representation of a convicted felon and tax evader. What a moronic D.C. government, and such a waste of citizen taxes to pay this moron's salary.

Barry sets to place U.D.C. back into the dark ages for neglectful malaise and crony politics to the disadvantage of every voter of the District of Columbia.

Posted by: eglobegus | March 3, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


This debate needs to be based in the cost of giving quality instruction to UDC students. Does UDC actually need the money to sustain/improve quality? Unless Hiz Honor Barry is looking such facts, he is simply pandering to the "free lunch" crowd.

Posted by: Towards_Light | March 3, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

As a University of the District of Columbia undergrad, I think what Barry is doing is what is best for the students. We are not saying that a tuition increase is bad; however, what we are saying is that a magnitude of 100% is absolutely ridiculous and absurd. Many colleges are indeed increasing their tuition by 5-7%, not 100%. The low tuition has made it possible for me to attend college and finance it on my own. I have a 3.0 GPA, and am very dedicated. I am proud of my fellow classmates for making this such a controversial issue and getting the attention of council members. We will continue to make our voices heard. GO BARRY!

Posted by: tjeanty | March 3, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Come to DC - Smell the Bananas!

Posted by: w2rgp | March 3, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Just another pandering, self-serving move by our reactionary Councilmember Barry. The school continues to crumble, the city is ill-served, but Barry gets street cred for "doing something" to "save UDC".

Posted by: hoos3014 | March 3, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

UDC is a sad joke. It's degree is close to worthless. Most of it's students would be better served at a community college.

It has a 14% graduation rate. And even that takes 8 years. 8 years. 14%.

We'd be much better served to follow this new direction, making part of UDC a real college, not the joke that it is now.

Sadly, Barry is of course fighting for the failed status quo, as usual. It's the right move politically, but it does a disservice to the city and the very people Barry claims to represent.

Posted by: HillMan | March 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Until the students and alumni of UDC realize that, without admission standards, their 4 year college degree program is disrespected among would-be employers, they will continue to languish in irrelevance.

The new president and board have proposed to split UDC into a community college with OPEN admission, and a 4-Year program with admission standards and cost commiserate, though quite lower, than other 4 year programs. I see nothing wrong with that.

If you require remedial work following high school graduation, your place is in the community college. It is there that you germinate and build the skills necessary to achieve academic success in a baccalaureate program.

To be competitive in the global market the students of UDC and all universities must be challenged not given a free pass because they lack focus and discipline.

Barry is doing no good service to the overall academic health of the students of this university. The school will never be able to recruit top notch faculty if they don't have admission and academic standards.

Barry, in essence, is saying that these students can't achieve, will never achieve, so a standard is "unfair". He underestimates the human spirit. He is doing a HUGE disservice here.

I hope he does not get the council support he requires here.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | March 3, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

tjeanty, your tuition will still be lower than at my state school. Students in NJ can manage to work, pay their way through school (at costs above $10,000), and get a GPA higher than 3.0. You get what you pay for. There is a reason that there are DC residents going to state schools that aren't UDC.

Posted by: a_allen | March 3, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Didn't this jerk just have a transplant and shouldn't he be in a mental institution somewhere recovering from surgery?

If UDC has a 14% graduation rate that takes 8 years, then it should be closed, bulldozed, and a park erected where it once was.

Posted by: citigreg | March 3, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Didn't this jerk just have a transplant and shouldn't he be in a mental institution somewhere recovering from surgery?

If UDC has a 14% graduation rate that takes 8 years, then it should be closed, bulldozed, and a park erected where it once was.

Posted by: citigreg | March 3, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

A UDC degree is worthless unless the school has the reputation of actually turning out college grads and not just being a large babysitting service. Until they raise their standards, the students that go there are wasting their money on a degree that nobody will respect. What good is a degree from UDC if you will automatically have your resume put to the bottom of a stack below people from Timonium, James Madison, or even PG Community College...all of which have better reputations than UDC.

Posted by: cambel1 | March 3, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Can the white idiots who think they have a clue about DC please do what UCon basketball coach Jim Calhoun told the idiot reporter that questioned his salary to do. Shut up. Most of you dont know enough about the story to have an opinion. You just saw a story that had Barry's name attached to it and declared whatever decision made related to him as wrong and DC as a bad place because he was once mayor of DC. You sound like a bunch of jealous teen girls who are mad because they did not make the cheerleader squad. Were any of you even living in DC during Barry's tenure as mayor. Do any of you even live in DC now? Most of you dont or just got here. Some of you think its cool to make wise cracks about DC based on its racial make up. Most of you are jealous because DC is a beautiful city with beautiful residence and you are just visitors who just learned where the nearest starbucks is located. Take your sorry butts back to your sorry towns you came from. If DC is soo bad why are you here? Like where most of you are from is better? I doubt it. If it were you would be there.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

cambel1

I know several people who graduated from UDC and have great careers. Do you know of any people that have graduated from there and have struggled to find work or career advancement based on their educational credentials? I mean you do have an example that backs up your opinions dont you? Please dont tell me you are just ranting on based on your confidence in being correct about your opinions like most people on these blogs do. Because your opinion is just that. Opinions are like your posterior we all have one. Doesn't make it fact because we do.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Way to play the race card, GED.

How can you even know the race of posters here?

And I note you didn't actually use any persuasive arguments in favor of the failed status quo at UDC.

The days of protected failed projects like UDC by simply playing the race card are coming to an end.

Sadly, you are actually hurting the poorer black residents of DC more than you are hurting anyone else. UDC is a laughingstock, as graduates (what few there are) quickly find out.

And so many more students could be helped if part of UDC was made a community college.

But no. That makes too much sense, but it hurts people's pride.

That's too bad. If you can't operate at a high school level, much less at a collegiate level, then you belong in community college. Making a special really crappy "University" just so people can pretend they have a university degree is pathetic.

The real scam is on the students, since that degree is immediately suspect in the vast majority of workplaces that require a degree.

But, again, good job on making it all about race.

Posted by: HillMan | March 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"Can the white idiots who think they have a clue about DC please do what UCon basketball coach Jim Calhoun told the idiot reporter that questioned his salary to do. Shut up."

"White idiots," huh? If someone had posted "black idiots attend UDC" as a comment, the WP would have removed it immediately.

Posted by: lwilliamson1 | March 3, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has had several friends graduate from UDC, it's silly to see these people in here talking about what you can't do with a UDC degree.

Obviously, a degree from UDC does not hold the same weight as it's private counterparts w/in the same city, GW, HU, AU, GT etc. But, not getting a job is something anyone who graduates from any school, may be forced to deal with.

Ask any person familiar w/hiring or colleges and they will tell you, outside of the immediate area, a degree from an unknown college is just as effective as a well-known. Any graduate can move all the way to LA and still get a job. The problem is the perception UDC has within this environment NOT across the country.

Posted by: dcis1 | March 3, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

HillMan

Your right, I forgot, playing the race card seems to be reserved for white people when they deem it appropriate to prove their points. Its OK to stereotype but if a black person points out how subjective people are based on race they are always playing the race card. White people never do it in their minds, they are just speaking the truth when they base things on race. Tell a white person that assuming young blacks are uneducated thugs is wrong and racist and they go and google crime stats and prison population breakdowns by race to try back up their stereotypes. Then call you racist for daring to question their thinking. And like I said to previous poster I know people that have graduated from there with good careers. Please tell me the people you know who have graduated from there that actually have been denied employment or promotion because of their educational credentials. Do your homework then get back to me. Instead of calling me racist when I never see you respond to those people that make worse remarks on the WP crime section about black people. I guess playing the race card is subjective to you. Like the new AG said about americans most of you are cowards when it comes to the subject anyway. You only want to address it when you can point the finger at a person like me. Tomorrow, when there is a story in the metro crime section and all the suburban yuppies chime in with their daily stereotypical remarks about DC and PG or latino people, I had better see you responding to them in the same mannor or else you are a coward too HillMan.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 3, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Barry's legislation should pass despite the way many people feel about him because, in this case, Barry is right.

New UDC President Sessoms needs an actual plan to fix UDC, and his problem is that he does not have one.

If there is a compelling need for drastic tuition increases, show us how by showing us the essential things UDC intends to spend it on. But Sessoms has provided nothing like that, as he has failed to answer basic student questions about his plan, like his definition of "need."

All Sessoms has provided is his one-size-fits-all solution of tuition hikes and hostility toward open enrollment, which has already failed in New York (see www.saveudc.com for details).

Low tuition and open enrollment did not create UDC's management problems. Doubling tuition and ending open enrollment cannot stop those problems.

Here is some information about the Sessoms plan:

1) The UDC tuition hike is freakishly disproportionate- a whopping 100% increase right after UDC's recent 40% increase.

2) There is no plan for UDC that makes the tuition hike necessary or even begins to explain it. It puts the cart way before the horse, as Marc Fisher of the Washington Post puts it.

3) Dr. Sessoms, has a history of hostility to open enrollment and a history of using obscene and derogatory language to attack open enrollment students. His contempt for us makes him unfit to lead us.

4) The Trustees who voted for this plan have failed at fundraising and have not fixed their own broken processes that caused UDC to give back as much as $18 million in tax dollars that they "forgot" to spend. Until they fix their own funding failures, why squeeze so much more from the students during a recession?

www.saveudc.com

Posted by: wpforumtroll | March 3, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"Tomorrow, when there is a story in the metro crime section and all the suburban yuppies chime in with their daily stereotypical remarks about DC and PG or latino people, I had better see you responding to them in the same mannor or else you are a coward too HillMan."

Um, there is a lot of crime in certain black and hispanic communties in this area.

Pointing that out doesn't make you racist.

But back to my original point.... Instead of making a rational argument in favor of keeping UDC as is you instantly attack people using race.

That is, by definition, using the race card.

Even if others do the same in other instances that doesn't justify you doing it here.

Posted by: HillMan | March 3, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Hillman is right. ged0386, you are out of your accustomed race based idiosyncrasies in this discussion.

ged0386 you are a throw-back to the Cro-Magnon days of race bigotry and self hatred. You diminish yourself by disingenuous racist remarks to others that have a higher comprehension than you. You stereotype yourself in to the abyss of lost horizons.

Dr. Sessoms, a physicist (you can't touch), and has credentials circling the globe representing the U.S. government.

Backing a convicted felon who prays for forgiveness, and backs that up by service to the victims is honorable.
Marion Barry is disingenuous and pandering to his constituents - like you.

Unfortunately, when the light shines for higher capacities to reach obtainable reality, you like Marion Barry, back-stab and genuflect a bigots acclamation. An Acclamation that lowers the entire community for one’s own inability to accomplish any lasting meritous acclaim.

Mr. Barry should step aside, yet like Blagojevich he requires federal intervention, something the D.C. Council has experienced.

Mr. Barry still faces a Court Hearing related to failure to pay upwards of $122 thousand dollars over five years income taxes.

His putting forth a “emergency” legislative amendment to disable U.D.C. Board of Directors and its highly respected President, Dr. Sessoms, in-fact makes D.C. a laughing sock of American institutions in colligate circles.

Respectively, ged0386, you are a Barry supporter, and an endemic disease that has the rights to place racist comments in support of Marion Barry, and, so too do we have the right to challenge your disingenuous dribble.

Hopefully, President Obama, with the support of U.D.C.'s Board of Directors, the President (Of America) will sufficiently fund this institution to represent this administration's goal in achieving better educated Americans, no matter what ethnicity or fundamental under-education preceding U.D.C.'s admission to it's Community Colleges or Universities for letter.

Coining an old phrase, "down with dope(s) - up with hope."

Posted by: eglobegus | March 3, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

www.saveudc.com

I’m calling foul on eglobegus and ged0386 for making racial attacks on both sides of the debate.

To ged0386, you are wrong to decry “the white idiots who think they have a clue about DC.” I would point out that there are white students, faculty, and community members in the Save UDC coalition trying to stop UDC President Sessoms and the Trustees from doubling the UDC tuition and ending open enrollment.

To eglobegus, you are wrong when you say that “D.C.'s majority African American population” are “disconnected from non-criminal activities.” That ugly stereotyping is flatly untrue.

Further, eglobegus, your comment to an African American that “you are a throw-back to the Cro-Magnon days” speaks volumes about your credibility and intentions.

eglobegus says “Dr. Sessoms, a physicist (you can't touch), and has credentials circling the globe representing the U.S. government.”

Possibly, but that has nothing to do with running a university and being a leader to students. On both those scores, Dr. Sessoms fails.

The Trustees of CUNY not only demanded Sessoms’ resignation after a very short tenure, but they took the dramatic step of accusing him of dishonesty.

Failed university presidents are usually ushered out quietly and politely. They have to fail horribly for Trustees to make such strong accusations, and Sessoms failed horribly at CUNY. You can see the details on www.saveudc.com.

Dr. Sessoms has already failed UDC in many ways, including his inability to formulate a plan that explains why such a radical tuition increase is needed and where the money will go. This led to Mac Fisher of the Washington Post to reject Sessoms’ tuition increase.

Marc Fisher’s said “If UDC's goal is to improve to such a point that students would be willing to pay big money to go there, then the first thing the school needs to do is address its poor quality instruction and lousy record of graduating students.”

If Sessoms was really capable of fixing UDC, he would do that first, and radically increase tuition once UDC was a the great institution it can be.

But Sessoms can’t fix UDC, as he has never fixed any university. Perhaps he should stick to physics and “circling the globe.”

www.saveudc.com

Posted by: wpforumtroll | March 4, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

wpforumtroll quotes:

"Marc Fisher’s said “If UDC's goal is to improve to such a point that students would be willing to pay big money to go there, then the first thing the school needs to do is address its poor quality instruction and lousy record of graduating students.”

Hmmm. More stringent admission standards? They would do a whole lot to address its lousy record of graduating students. If students aren't able to meet UDC's new admission standards, they would be free to enroll in UDC's new community college which would have open-enrollment.

As for poor quality instruction..... Dr. Sessoms has already come up with a plan to address the faculty. If you don't know what it is, I suggest you find it. I have.

Disclaimer: I've taken classes at UDC before. I'm not white.

Posted by: otavio | March 4, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

And, i forgot to add that the already-approved community college's tuition rate would be lower than UDC's current rate. Studies by the university show that about 40 percent of UDC's student body are in associate degree programs and are not even enrolled in the 4-year program.

Posted by: otavio | March 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

UDC was designed to be an institution of higher education for the underserved in DC who could not afford to attend say Georgetown, AU or other established colleges w/in the city. Additionally, the reason it takes some students so long to graduate is many are working professionals. They start and stop the education process based on their life experiences and schedule. For many, UDC offers a second chance at higher education. This was one component of why UDC was created. The services and educational standards at UDC have declined because of cronyism, crookism and self-centered officials (some who have graduated from UDC)
who have raped UDC over the years and it now stands as a sad microcosm of DC's education systems. Unfortunately for Dr. Sessums and The UDC Board of Trustees students have had enough of bearing the brunt of so called educated leaders who have run UDC into the ground and never seeing any of the millions of dollars appropriated to UDC have not made their way into the classroom or the crumbling infrastructure where students persevere theses substandard conditions to receive an education. Marion Barry regardless of his mistakes (and who hasn't made some) has always been a champion of the poor and as mayor created many programs, i.e., the DC summer job programs that still exist to help minority district residents

The money misappropriation and in order to finally turn UDC around it has to be forced upon the least able to afford it a 100% tuition increase over two years. In my view all district residents should be in an outrage about this instead of harping on old mistakes and racial slurs.

Posted by: onedaye | March 5, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

www.saveudc.com

Otavio says: “More stringent admission standards? They would do a whole lot to address its lousy record of graduating students.”

Really? Prove it.

If you can’t prove your assertion, at least explain your reasoning. After all, more stringent admission standards could cause far fewer students to graduate by driving away more students.

Also, please recall the role of UDC, which is to serve an underserved population.

Sessoms pushed a very similar plan in New York’s CUNY (evidently originality is not strong suits). When that plan was given an extensive review by the New York Bar, they found rejected it outright because it was clear it would hurt the very underserved minority population that CUNY was chartered to serve. (details www.saveudc.com)

Why do you suppose that Sessoms has refused to get a similar external review of this similar plan at UDC?


Otavio says: “If students aren't able to meet UDC's new admission standards, they would be free to enroll in UDC's new community college which would have open-enrollment.”

Which misses the whole point that UDC was created for.


Otavio says: “As for poor quality instruction..... Dr. Sessoms has already come up with a plan to address the faculty. If you don't know what it is, I suggest you find it. I have.”

So you have found out all about this "plan"? Do you approve of it? What about it do you like? If you know so much about it, why do you fail to carry the argument further by mentioning any part of it?

And how does Sessoms propose to retain the excellent older instructors who may be more tempted to take a buyout than the poorly performing older instructors?


Otavio adds: “And, i forgot to add that the already-approved community college's tuition rate would be lower than UDC's current rate. Studies by the university show that about 40 percent of UDC's student body are in associate degree programs and are not even enrolled in the 4-year program.”

So?

www.saveudc.com

Posted by: wpforumtroll | March 5, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

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