The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) announced the selection of Ronald Mason Jr. as the school’s new president Monday.
The school scheduled a news conference that included D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on May 12 at the UDC main campus to make the announcement official.
“I welcome Ronald Mason to the District of Columbia and look forward to collaborating to develop programs and initiatives that will create pathways to the middle class for residents and the entire student body,” said Mayor Bowser. “I congratulate the board of the University of the District of Columbia for selecting a leader with a wealth of experience as they work to transform the District’s public university. We share in the commitment to improve UDC, and that is why we fully funded their budget through the budget process.”
The 65-year-old Mason Jr. served as president at two of the nation’s well-known Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. and Jackson State University in Mississippi.
He is a national spokesman for issues relating to improving the standing of young black males and uses Youtube videos to push his message.
Mason Jr. comes to UDC which has not had a permanent president since the University Board of Trustees fired president Alan Sessum more than two years ago.
The school had its budget cut by the Mayor’s office by $3.5 million which led some to speculate that was because there was no strong leadership to speak on its behalf.
While some members of the UDC community are excited about the arrival of Mason Jr., others have opposing views of the new president after some UDC students and faculty noted that the Southern University faculty voted no confidence in him.
Interim president James Lyons told ABC 7 that approximately 90 people applied for the position of UDC president.