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University of the District of Columbia: A Perspective


The University of the District of Columbia is the only public institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. Chartered in 1974 from three other institutions of higher learning, this Historically Black College/University maintains an open admissions policy, and is the only urban land-grant institution in the nation.


Today, the University fulfills many missions in serving the citizens of the District of Columbia. Responsive to the higher learning and occupational needs of District residents, the University offers graduate, legal and baccalaureate degrees and a community college curriculum. Driven by the ambition to educate and inform as many students as it can, the University continues to design programs and produce competitive and enlightened graduates. UDC today consistently seeks to realize the expectations reflected in its origin and meet the needs of its students, graduates, and community.


The University also offers courses designed to upgrade the skills of District residents who are already on the job or who wish to become more competitive to qualify for jobs. Also, as an urban land-grant institution, the University ensures that its core charge of teaching, research, and public service, as specified in the Morrill Act, is in the vanguard for improving the quality of life of the residents of the District of Columbia.


As an open admissions university, the University provides broad opportunities for a diverse student population - for those under-prepared as well as for those adequately prepared for higher education - to enable them to become productive citizens with marketable skills. The University believes that its role in developing the under-prepared student is critical to the success of its students, as well as to the future financial health and well-being of the District of Columbia.


The University also boasts a large international student population. More than 25 nations are represented in the student body, truly making this the University of Diverse Cultures. These visiting students are fully embraced by the university community, and their exposure to District residents helps foster international good will and understanding.


University of the District of Columbia: History and Distinctive Mission




The University of the District of Columbia is, at once, very old and very new. The seeds of higher education for the District were planted in 1851 when Myrtilla Miner founded a school for colored girls. In 1879, Miner Normal School became a part of the public school system. Similarly, Washington Normal School, established in 1873, as a school for white girls, was renamed Wilson Normal School in 1913. In 1929, by an act of Congress, both schools became four-year teachers colleges, Miner Teachers College and Wilson Teachers College, and the only institutions of public higher education in the City. Years later, after the long awaited Supreme Court desegregation decision, the two colleges united in 1955 to form the District of Columbia Teachers College.


However, for many residents who did not wish to become teachers or who were both black and poor, the opportunity for advanced technical training or study for liberal arts degrees was an unattainable goal. Years of persistent lobbying for comprehensive public higher education by District residents and others caused President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, to appoint a commission to study the Districts needs. It was no surprise that the Chase Commission found a definite and compelling need for public higher education in the District of Columbia. There was a demand for instruction that was affordable, and there was an overwhelming desire for learning that would enable residents to participate fully in the unique life of the City.


The Commission's report stimulated congressional action. Under the leadership of Senator Wayne Morse and Congressman Ancher Nelson, the Public Education Act (Public Law 89-791) was enacted in 1966. Two schools were established: Federal City College, whose Board of Higher Education was appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and Washington Technical Institute, whose Board of Vocational Education was appointed by the President of the United States. The mission of both institutions was to serve the needs of the community by directing the resources and knowledge gained through education toward the solution to urban problems.


As a sign of hope for the future, both schools proudly opened their doors in 1968. There were so many applications for admission to Federal City College that students were selected by lottery. Federal City College and the Washington Technical Institute achieved land grant status in 1968. Rapidly, the two schools grew in academic stature. The Washington Technical Institute received its accreditation in 1971 and Federal City College in 1974.


Although the schools were in their infancy, thoughts turned to a comprehensive university structure. In 1969, the District of Columbia Teachers College, the City's oldest teacher training institution, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Board of Higher Education. In 1974, the Board established a joint administrative support system and placed the District of Columbia Teachers College and Federal City College under a single president.


After Congress granted limited home rule to the District of Columbia, DC Law 1-36 authorized the mandate for consolidation of the three schools in 1975. A new Board of Trustees took office in May 1976, consisting of 11 members appointed by the Mayor, and three appointed by the alumni associations. From that moment, the monumental task of shaping a new University of the District of Columbia began.


The Board of Trustees, acting to effect the consolidation, assigned Presidents Wendell P. Russell of Federal City College and Cleveland L. Dennard of Washington Technical Institute to work jointly in identifying, developing, and implementing tasks required to complete the effort. Beginning in February 1977, 22 task forces were formed to develop recommendations for Board action. On August 1, 1977, the Board of Trustees publicly announced the consolidation of the District of Columbia Teachers College, the Federal City College, and the Washington Technical Institute into the University of the District of Columbia under a single management system. On the same day, the Board appointed Lisle Carleton Carter, Jr., the first president of the University.


In 1977, under the direction of President Carter, academic components began planning for consolidation of academic programs. These efforts culminated in the establishment of five programmatic colleges of Business and Public Management; Education and Human Ecology; Liberal and Fine Arts; Life Sciences, Physical Science, Engineering and Technology University College, Continuing Education, and several other academic units, which compose the University of the District of Columbia.


From 1994 to the present, new academic consolidations have been implemented. The University currently offers 75 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs through the following college and schools: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. Additionally, the University's public service arm, the Division of Community Outreach and Extension Services (COES), offers a variety of practical, nonacademic educational programs and training to the citizens of the District of Columbia.


Mission Statement


The University of the District of Columbia is an urban land-grant institution of higher education with an open admissions policy. It is a comprehensive public institution offering quality, affordable post-secondary education to District of Columbia residents at the certificate, associates, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. These programs will prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce, for the next level of education, for specialized employment opportunities, and for lifelong learning.


University Goals


The ultimate goal of any institution of higher learning is to produce quality graduates that can prosper in, and contribute to, their communities. The University undertakes strategic reviews to assess its direction and ability to meet the needs and demands of its students, faculty, academic leadership (including the Board of Trustees), alumni, staff, and citizens of the District. The President serves as a facilitator and leader through the strategic reviews and planning process.


Currently, the University works to meet the following student-centered goals:


Student Access: To ensure the legislative entitlement of the residents of the District of Columbia to comprehensive public post-secondary education.


Student Choice: To offer a broad variety of programs within its available resources to provide reasonable choices for post-secondary education to the residents of the District of Columbia that will lead to meaningful employment opportunities.


Student Achievement: To set high standards for student achievement and to provide quality instruction and support services to enable students to meet those standards.


Land-Grant Functions: To be innovative in carrying out the traditional land-grant functions of teaching, research, and public service to solve urban community problems and to improve the overall quality of urban living in the District of Columbia.


Institutional Quality: To ensure institutional excellence in management and leadership, academic programs, support services, instruction, research, and public service.


Institutional Growth and Development: To be responsive to new and emerging job market demands in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area.


Advancement of Knowledge: To advance knowledge at the local, national and international levels through various innovative strategies in teaching, research, and public service as America's only public urban land-grant institution.


Responsibilities of the University


The University of the District of Columbia strives to ensure that the institution continues its mandated mission to meet the comprehensive post-secondary education needs of the residents of the District of Columbia. Education, across the continuum, is central to the development of the City, not only in the present, but also in planning and building for the future. It is the foundation for the active participation of all of the citizens of the District of Columbia - economically, socially, morally, culturally and politically.


The University places education at the highest priority in plans to revitalize the City, without placing limits on what citizens can achieve and how they can contribute. University students come to the institution with a wide variety of educational interests, and to the extent feasible, every effort is made to meet their needs.


The University shares with the rest of the region the responsibility of building a community of learners, able to access a multitude of educational options, as well as access entry and exit points along the educational pipeline. In this way, the City is assured of a world-class workforce, current in their skills and talents, advancing as rapidly as the industry base demands.


The University reaffirms its commitment to excellence through service, as it prepares its students for the global, technological challenges of life in the 21st Century.


Academic Programs


The University of the District of Columbia has 75 undergraduate programs, including 20 associate degree programs, 12 master's degree programs, and offers a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the David A. Clarke School of Law.


The College of Arts and Sciences is central to the UDC educational experience. Almost half (49%) of the student body is enrolled in undergraduate or graduate majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College is divided into ten departments: Education, English, Language & Communication Disorders, Mass Media, Visual & Performing Arts, Biological & Environmental Sciences, Chemistry & Physics, Mathematics, Nursing & Allied Health, Psychology & Counseling, Urban Affairs, Social Science and Social Work.


The School of Business and Public Administration enrolls 21 percent of UDC students. The school is organized into two departments: Accounting, Finance and Economics, and Management, Hospitality and Graduate Studies. The school is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).


The School of Engineering and Applied Science enrolls over 800 students in the following three departments: Architecture, Graphic Communication and Design, Engineering & Aerospace Technology, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. The School of Engineering and Applied Science is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).


The David A. Clarke School of Law evolved from two predecessor schools--the Antioch School of Law and the District of Columbia School of Law. When Antioch University closed its law school in 1986, the Council of the District of Columbia established the District of Columbia School of Law, retaining Antioch's mission, curriculum, clinical programs and personnel. In 1996, the District of Columbia School of Law was merged with the University of the District of Columbia, and was later named The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) in honor of the legacy of former DC Council Chairman David A. Clarke, who ardently advocated for the School of Law's educational, diversity, and public service missions.


Today, the Law School enrolls approximately 238 students and is one of only five fully American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It has the sixth highest percentage of minority law students and the fifth highest percentage of African-American law students enrolled in the 192 ABA-accredited law schools. The School of Law is considered the most diverse law school in the nation because 50% of its students are members of minority groups, and 61% of the students are women.




Of UDC's approximately 5,000 graduate and undergraduate students - 42% are full-time students and 58% are part-time students. Women represent 60% of the student body. By ethnicity, Black student enrollment is 73% of the total enrollment and the balance denoted as White-6.3%, Hispanic-5.9%, Asian-2.4%, Native American-0.1%, and unspecified-12.9%.


Forty-five percent (45%) of the graduate and undergraduate students are age 25 and older, reflecting the fact that a high percentage of the student population is composed of adult learners.


The Faculty


The University of the District of Columbia has 215 full-time faculty members. Slightly more than 66% of the full-time faculty members hold terminal degrees. More than 80% of the faculty is tenured.


As a result of several circumstances in its relatively short life, UDC has a faculty age distribution unusually skewed toward more senior ranks. Two-thirds of the faculty are older than 60. Thus, one important challenge for UDC's next president will be managing a substantial number of faculty retirements and the recruiting of younger faculty.


Accreditation, Memberships, and Affiliations


The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2005, UDC received a 10-year unconditional reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Commission.


Additional UDC accreditations include:


* Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

* American Board of Funeral Service Education

* American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training

* Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

* Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (CAA)

* Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

* National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

* National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)


Institutional Memberships


* American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

* American Council on Education (ACE)

* Association for Institutional Research (AIR)

* Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB)

* College and University Personnel Association (CUPA)

* Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area

* Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)

* Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Inc.

* National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)

* National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC)

* National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

* The Greater Washington Board of Trade


Campus and Facilities


The main campus of the University of the District of Columbia is located at Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street in northwest Washington. Some UDC programs are offered at Reagan National Airport and at other off-campus locations.


Financial Operations and Tuition and Fees


The University of the District of Columbia has an annual operating budget of approximately $125 million. In fiscal year 2006, the District of Columbia Government appropriated slightly more than $64 million dollars which represented just over half of UDC's operating budget.


Undergraduate tuition for full-time students is $75 per credit hour; for non-resident students, tuition is $185 per credit hour.




UDC participates in the NCAA at the Division II level. Men's sports teams include basketball, cross-country, soccer and tennis, and women's teams include basketball, cross-country, volleyball and tennis.


Keys to Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities


The next President of the University of the District of Columbia will be an outstanding leader with a demonstrated ability to organize and to lead a university with a substantial, complex budget.


Preferably, the President will have a terminal degree or the equivalent and a record of intellectual leadership in higher education or another professional field.


Indispensable are the background, experience, and personal qualities necessary to merit the respect of the faculty and of all the University of the District of Columbia's constituencies. The successful candidate will be someone who demonstrates competent leadership and academic achievement in his/her discipline; has the wisdom and ability to take informed and decisive action when required; has high ethical standards; understands and has sufficient knowledge and/or experience with public higher education, and has a particular appreciation for the role of public land-grant institutions.


The President will be an open-minded, visionary leader who places a premium on fresh thinking that generates forward momentum for the University. The President will have a firm conception of, and unwavering commitment to, academic excellence. The new President's commitment to students as central to UDC's mission will be obvious and unquestioned. The selected individual also will possess characteristics that inspire the confidence and respect of others and exude enthusiasm and passion for the mission of UDC.


The President will be a consensus builder who is capable of leading processes through to closure. The successful candidate will be committed to fiscal prudence and integrity, will be capable of making difficult choices in the allocation of resources, and will possess the capacity to focus and to build resources through enrollments, partnerships, and philanthropy. The President will recognize and anticipate national political, social and economic trends that impact higher education. Specifically, the ideal candidate will possess and have demonstrated the following attributes:


Strategic Vision and Leadership - have a broad understanding of current trends in higher education; a clear vision and capable of providing effective leadership in the context of those trends and of UDC's particular circumstances as the urban land-grant university of the District of Columbia; capable of providing strong, visible academic leadership; willing to attend to the continuing development of the University's physical infrastructure; able to provide credible leadership in the development of comprehensive academic programs that meet the current and future needs of UDC's students and faculty; bring highly refined relationship-building and advocacy skills, with experience in promoting an organization, and effective in interacting formally and informally with public policy leaders, business leaders and the community.


Student Focus - maintain a focus on the academic and socio-economic needs of UDC's students and continue to build the quality of the faculty as the primary locus of UDC's academic excellence; foster faculty engagement with the art and science of teaching and learning; build a strong system for advising and supporting students, and for assessing student growth and accomplishment with the objective of strengthening student progress and achievement.


Communication - establish a leadership role as the face and voice of UDC and of public higher education in the District of Columbia; develop and maintain effective, open and honest communication channels to all of UDC's internal and external stakeholders; and place particular emphasis on the public media. The selected candidate must be capable of creating common ground among diverse constituencies. In addition to the community and the general public at-large, UDC's target audiences include UDC's students, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees, and externally - the Mayor, members of the City Council, Federal agencies, alumni, the business and civic communities and other local and national institutions of higher education.


Management and Accountability - build and maintain an effective and efficient administrative structure led by a high-quality leadership team; exercise consistent financial and business acumen with a focus on performance accountability appropriate to a university.


Fundraising - advance UDC's capability for attracting financial support from sources other than the District of Columbia, particularly from alumni and friends of UDC, from the business community and philanthropic support from foundations and other sectors.


Partnerships-build partnerships with other organizations serving the needs of the District of Columbia and its citizens, including the District of Columbia Public Schools, other government agencies and businesses throughout the Washington, DC area.


Additional Personal Characteristics


In addition to the qualifications and experiences enumerated in the leadership challenges above, the following personal characteristics are also sought:




Strong values, personal and professional integrity; persistent and dedicated to the mission of UDC; unquestionable integrity and the highest moral standing.


Decisive and fair; demonstrates excellent judgment.


Academic Leadership




* An appreciation for academic experience and academic rigor; the ability to serve as a champion for both teaching and research, promoting the enhancement of research capacity, while understanding the appropriate balance in the context of a liberal arts university.




* An ability to deal with the challenges and opportunities of a university operating in an urban setting and understands the nuances of a commuter university.




· Capable with a willingness to address UDC's academic challenges.




* A track record of working successfully with the community and in supporting the development of outreach initiatives, which involve both faculty and students.




* A student-oriented individual who demonstrates a passion for students and participates in and celebrates student activities; authentic in wanting to help all students, including non-traditional and disadvantaged students.




* Respect for, and a true interest in the work and contributions of faculty.




* Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with the faculty and staff; supportive of shared governance involving the participation of faculty, staff and students.




· Understanding of career and technical education and supportive of career and industry programs.




· Strategic planning expertise, significant experience with strategic planning, program development and assessment.




· Experience in developing and implementing accountability and performance management tools.








* A vision and track record consistent with the mission of UDC.




* An ability to recognize and encourage innovation and new ideas; creative, analytical and pragmatic with the ability to translate principles and ideas into action and programs.




· Open minded/open to change.




* An up-to-date and a futuristic vision of technology with an appreciation for the increasing role of technology both within and beyond the classroom.




* Possess and promote "global literacy" across academic programs and in creating opportunities for students and faculty.



UDC Advocate





* Politically savvy, flexible and approachable, with the ability to inspire trust and develop positive relationships.




* Capable of working effectively within the environment of the District of Columbia government structure and being an effective advocate for the needs of UDC.




· Legislative and community engagement; significant experience with local and federal government and officials.





Administration/Management/Team Building





* Effective managerial skills, including problem-solving skills, characterized by a track record of strong financial management abilities and demonstrated competencies in budget planning and fiscal accountability.




* Ability to identify and work with existing talent and to attract new talent.




· An open and collaborative decision-making style; a strong sense of fairness and good judgment.




* Willing to promote as a high priority a "customer friendly" environment for students, faculty, staff, parents and visitors.




· Enthusiastic, flexible, creative and comfortable with change.










· Highly effective communications skills; an ability to communicate effectively with a variety of constituencies; excellent speaker; good listener, superior written skills.




· Strong interpersonal skills and a demonstrated capacity to forge partnerships with local, regional, national and international organizations.




· An outgoing personality style; projects a healthy self-image characterized by confidence and openness.








* A willingness and talent for building bridges to the wider community, especially by raising the University's public image and by undertaking partnerships with other organizations and institutions as appropriate.




* An interest in, and commitment to, strengthening the connection between UDC and the communities of the District of Columbia.








· Able to generate resources for UDC through the establishment of strategic partnerships with other organizations, including the corporate community, foundations, community groups and governmental organizations.




· Capable of providing leadership for UDC's current and future fundraising and activities; development of a broad network of potential benefactors for UDC.




· A passion for playing an active role in fundraising.



Knowledge of UDC





* An appreciation for the historic role of UDC; able to capture and understand the total history of UDC, including that of the predecessor institutions.




* Help the campus and the community to recapture the spirit of UDC.




* A caring individual who shows dedication to the University community.


Alumni Involvement



* Support and promote the involvement of alumni in UDC activities, including a pre-alumni student orientation program


Procedure for Candidacy



Expressions of interest by applicants and/or nominations should be sent (email preferred) with a curriculum vitae, a brief letter of interest outlining how his or her background and experience can contribute to the mission of the University of the District of Columbia, and the names of five references with contact information to:


University of the District of Columbia Presidential Search and Screening Committee


c/o: Howard Jessamy and Oliver Tomlin




7201 Wisconsin Avenue Suite 675


Bethesda, Maryland 20814


301.654.5070 voice/301.654.1318 fax



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