City Desk

UDC President Allen Sessoms Ousted by Board

The University of the District of Columbia's Board of Trustees announced that it was firing four-year university President Allen Sessoms late Wednesday night, according to a press release from the board.

Board of Trustees Chairwoman Dr. Elaine Crider thanked Sessoms for leading UDC. “But as we grapple with the challenges of reducing staff and programs, continuing to improve our physical plant and attracting new students, the Board has decided to go in a different direction," Crider says in the statement.

UDC expects to name a short-term replacement for Sessoms within two days, and has already started interviewing potential interim presidents, according to the release. Sessoms' contract was originally set to run through August 2013, according to University spokesman Alan Etter.

Sessoms' future at the school has been in doubt at least September, when the board reportedly met to consider whether to opt not to renew his contract. Before that, Sessoms was criticized for his exorbitant travel expenses, like taking a nearly $8,000 trip to Cairo on the university dime. Before that, his plan for big tuition increases drew student protests.

It's probably small consolation for Sessoms, but at least he's been in this situation before. In 2000, he resigned as president of New York's Queens College amid accusations that he'd misled officials about his school's finances. He's also following in the path of his predecessor at UDC, William Pollard, who was also ousted by the trustees.

In May, Washington City Paper's Lydia DePillis wondered how much Sessoms, with his goals of reform and attendant controversies, was like former DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Now they have one more thing in common: getting pushed out.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery.

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  • Mike Licht

    Members of the UDC Board of Trustees listed @

    (scroll down)

  • Tom M

    THis was only a matter of timel. Still doing it in the last days of December with half the academic year still to run? This will likely speed the date when UDC/CCDC split. After that, UDC will not be sustainable and will close within a few years.

  • Blind Leading Blind

    Sessoms was a loser from day one. Glad for the school's sake he's out of there. I wonder what kind of exit package he got? Any info on that Will??

    Mike Licht - Just took a look at the distinguished board of trustees. It truly is the blind leading the blind. Or perhaps more accurately, the dumb leading the dumb. Jerome Shelton couldn't get a management job at McDonald's with that resume.

    It's sad when they list their first achievement as being 3rd generation Washingtonians. Really!? Have you done nothing more important or impressive than being born within a certain geographical area? Unfortunately many haven't.

    DC kids deserve better. Sadly I don't see a bright future under the current "leadership"

  • Mo Biglsely

    This guy was a loser and thief. I cannot believe it took this long to fire the idiot. Need to clear out the board too.

  • Typical DC BS

    @Blind: Plenty of DC government employees that stretch back to Mayor Barry's time whose main attribute is "third generation Washingtonian" for employment. Lots still need to be weeded out!