Cuts in Athletic and Academic Programs Proposed at the University of the District of Columbia

DrJamesELyonsJames E. Lyons Sr., the interim president of the University of the District of Columbia has proposed abandoning all intercollegiate sports at the historically Black educational institution in the nation’s capital. The university competes in the NCAA’s Division II and fields teams in four men’s and six women’s sports. In 1982, the men’s basketball team won the Division II national championship. The cuts in intercollegiate sports would save an estimated $4.4 million.

In addition to cuts in intercollegiate athletics, Dr. Lyons wants to end major degree programs in disciplines with few students. Some possible cuts that have been rumored are physics, sociology, and environmental science.

Dr. Lyons was hired for a year and has gone on record that he is not interested in the job on a permanent basis. Before joining the university as interim president in March, he served as president of Bowie State University in Maryland, Jackson State University in Mississippi, and California State University, Dominguez Hills. From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Lyons served as secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Dr. Lyons holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, a master’s degree in student personnel, and a doctorate in higher educational administration, all from the University of Connecticut.

Update: The university board of trustees met on November 19 and voted 7 to 5 to continue the university’s involvement in intercollegiate athletics. But the board did approve the elimination of 17 academic degree programs with low numbers of enrollments. Among the degree programs facing elimination are sociology, history, economics, and physics.

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  1. It would be short sighted to end degree programs in each of the four areas above. Perhaps, several courses offered in sociology & history can be restructured to become more accurate and relevant to the future needs facing the upcoming high school applicant’s potential future career paths.

    The study of economics, math, and statistics are more relevant globally today than ever before in the history of the world. One method of exposing future students to these topics and generating interest may be through workshops, on-line webinars, and outreach to middle and high school students who are very interested in finding methods of quantitatively identifying information of world economies. These courses can be accessed via online options and provide professors various methods of interaction with students.

    Physics has multiple applications and can be meshed with all aspects of construction, design, engineering and architecture, as well as health professions. These careers have astronomical growth potential and can easily be taught through webinars and on-line classes.

    It is best to find ways to reach out to the students beyond the local student body. Redirect your funding to new methods and energetic professors.
    REMEMBER – STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math)

    HBCU’s have to expand their THINKING!

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