Lislie C. Carter Jr., president of the University of the District of Columbia, promised yesterday not to use a new city law that his faculty strongly opposes until faculty members and university trustees can agree on ways to protect tenure rights.
Carter made the promise at a meeting with faculty representatives after a two-day strike, prompted by the new law, had seriously disrupted classes at the university's Van Ness campus.
Leaders of the strike said they still mistrusted Carters' intentions. They indicated that the strike, which ended Tuesday, would not be resumed.
Other faculty members were hopeful that a compromise soon would be worked out allowing Carter to move ahead with consolidating the city's three public colleges - Federal City College, Washington Technical Institute and D.C. Teachers College - without any cuts in faculty ranks and benefits in the new university.
"I think Mr. Carter is trying to allay (our) fears," said Kelsey A. Jones, chairman of the department of social behavorial sciences on the Van Ness campus. "He promised not to use the legislation against the faculty. Now we must work together to see that the university succeeds."
Meanwhile, the faculty senate at the Van Ness campus (which formerly was Washington Tech) criticized Carter for ousting the chief administrator on campus, Raleign Allen, because Allen aided the strike.
Allen, who was dismissed Wednesday, said he would not fight his removal as dean.
"The president has the right to select and terminate administrators," Allen said at a press conference. "He must have that right.
"I joined my faculty in the protest," Allen continued. "I have paid the price of my beliefs, and I would do the same thing again.
Allen, who is veterinarian, said he would remain in his tenured position as a professor of agriculture and natural resources. His $33,385 pay will be cut $1,200 a year.
Allen added that he thought Carter would not have promised to delay using the new law unless the strike had occurred.
A spokesman for Carter said the president never intended to use the law to reduce professors to a lower rank, but sought it only to make temporary administrative appointments before permanent personnel policies are adopted.
The law went into effect for 90 days on Feb. 2.
Faculty representatives who are working with administrators to draft ground rules on how the law might be used said they hoped their recommendations would be adopted by the university trustees at a meeting next Wednesday.
"It's too bad there's been so much trouble about this," one faculty member said. "But there are a lot of people here who are worried about their futures. How does a (two-year) technical school like WTI fit in with a four-year college (like Federal City)? The trustees said they have to be put together, but nobody really knows how it's going to be done."