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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Incoming President sees a Med School in UDC's future

The man tapped to be the next president of the University of the District of Columbia yesterday outlined an unprecedented overhaul of the long-troubled institution, calling for turning part of the existing school into a community college, creating an honors four-year program and adding graduate programs that could include a medical school.

Allen Sessoms, 61, now president of Delaware State University, said he plans to implement a "total reconstruction" of UDC.

His goals include finding a new home for UDC's accredited law school, "which is in a space that is awful," and establishing major academic programs that meet the needs of industries such as hospitality and tourism, defense and health. In the long term, he said, UDC should also have a medical school.

UDC was created to serve as a vital avenue of social and economic advancement for needy District residents. But it has suffered from instability, with 15 presidents and interim presidents and more than 26 provosts. The most recent president, William Pollard, was forced to resign last year because the governing Board of Trustees felt he was not making changes quickly enough.

A majority of the school's freshmen need math and reading remediation, and the student population has dwindled from a peak of 15,000 in the 1970s to about 5,700 this past fall. The median age of faculty members is 63, with only 4 percent younger than 30. The median length of service is 32 years.

Read more at: Med School for UDC


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