The University of the District of Columbia’s board of trustees has voted to approve a controversial tuition hike, one that would nearly double tuition over the course of two years.
Of the board’s 14 members, 10 voted in favor. Three members—Verizon exec Joseph Askew, alumni representative Eugene Dewitt Kinlow, and student representative Dale Lyons—voted against. One member was absent.
UDC President Allen Sessoms said afterward he is gratified by the vote and by the discussion and debate that accompanied it: “UDC has not had a truthful, in-depth discussion of where this university is going.”
The next step, he says, is moving forward with measures to expand the university’s autonomy from the District government, allowing it greater freedom to manage its own affairs. “We want to be accountable,” he says. “We don’t have accountability right now.”
Board chair Jim Dyke says that lessons were learned from the uproar that accompanied the tuition-hike proposal. A task force on communications, he says, has been established to combat what he calls the “misinformation” that went out to students about the tuition hike.
Despite all that, he says, “I think the students conducted themselves very well.”