- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 20, 2007


William L. Pollard announced his resignation yesterday after five years as president of the University of the District of Columbia.

Mr. Pollard told the university’s Board of Trustees at their regular meeting that he will leave June 30.

“We’ve had five great years,” he said. “We”ve made great progress here and have much in which we can take justifiable pride, but now is a good time to transition to new challenges as I round out my career.”

Board of Trustees Chairman James W. Dyke Jr. said Mr. Pollard “played an important role in bringing the university to a level of stability and advancement.”

When Mr. Pollard arrived in 2002, faculty and staff were optimistic that his presidency would mark a turning point for the troubled school. He came with good credentials: a doctorate in social administration from the University of Chicago and 13 years at Syracuse University, where he was a professor of social work and the founding dean of the College of Human Services and Health Professionals.

The UDC community was confident that Mr. Pollard would improve the school’s image and provide stable, long-standing leadership for the first time in the its 29-year history. Before he arrived, the university had 10 presidents, none whom served longer than five years.

In announcing Mr. Pollard’s departure, the university said his administration was “characterized by a stabilization of the university systems and services, a restoration of quality in both teaching and learning and student support services, an expansion of access to programs for D.C. residents, and the building of a student-centered environment.”

However, after taking the reins, Mr. Pollard was criticized for the proliferation of university executives making $100,000-plus salaries and for spending $263,000 to renovate his university residence, which had fallen into disrepair, while other parts of the campus deteriorated.

The president also was accused of cronyism after hiring family friend Wilhelmina M. Reuben-Cooke as the school’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, despite her apparent lack of the requisite education and experience. However, D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics dismissed an ethics complaint about the hiring.

UDC is the District”s only public university with an enrollment of 5,700 for the past school year.

Mr. Pollard earned $200,000 annually and last year renegotiated a multiyear extension that would have raised his salary to $250,000. His current contract expires July 1.

The board said it will form a search committee to look for a new president.

Mr. Dyke and Donald N. Langenberg, former chancellor of the University of Maryland System and a UDC trustee, will work with the administration on operational and academic matters until a new president is found. Stanley Jackson, senior vice president and chief of staff, will oversee day-to-day operations.

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