Marion Barry is set to attend the D.C. Council meeting today, after undergoing a kidney transplant on Feb. 20.
He's charging back into the council with a bill that opposes the recent tuition increase at the University of the District of Columbia and the proposed new admission policies.
As Nikita Stewart reports: Barry has drawn up emergency legislation to require the UDC board of trustees to conduct a 45-day review of the impact and rationale for almost doubling tuition to $7,000 for District residents who are full-time, four-year students. The proposed resolution would also prohibit the university from establishing "stringent" admission requirements for its four-year program. Currently, anyone with a high school diploma or general equivalency degree can enroll.
But don't expect that legislation to sail through. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray has already expressed reservations about intervening in the school's affairs. He's also been promoting more autonomy for the university.
Autonomy is a great thing, but one might find the staunch hands-off approach a little odd. The university does serve city residents, and the council, under Gray's leadership, has legitimately fought to have some leadership role in school reform. Is that limited to DCPS?
UDC trustees said the changes are meant to help push the university to the next level and, as Stewart notes, they have lobbied against Barry's bill. The councilmember, however, does have the support of some UDC students, who have already been protesting the tuition increase.