With considerable pomp and at considerable cost - $68,500 - the University of the District of Columbia has planned a week-long series of events for the inauguration of its president, Lisle C. Carter Jr.
The inaugural week, starting Monday, includes symposiums, receptions, and a concert, as well as the inauguration ceremony itself Thursday morning at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
For the ceremony, Carter, 52, who has been in office for a year and earns $52,000 annually, will wear a new $1,200 gold medallion, which also will be used by future UDC presidents, and a $500 red and gold robe, a gift from the university trustees.
"Every university has this kind of exercise," said UDC public information director John Britton. "It's especially important to us because this is the first president of a new university, and we want our constituents - the people of this city - to be aware we are here."
The university, which is financed mostly by the D.C. government, was formed last year by a merger of the three public colleges in the city - Federal City College, Washington Technical Institute and D.C. Teachers College.
Britton said about $19,000 of the inaugural week budget would be spent for pamphlets and brochures to be distributed to prospective students.
The expense of the inauguration has drawn criticism from some UDC student leaders and faculty members, although most plan to participate.
"I guess they're trying to impress the city," said David Rector, editor of the student newspaper, The UDC Trident. "It would be more impressive if they did something educationally instead of showing off."
Several faculty members who were critical declined to be quoted by name.
Last year Georgetown University inaugurated its new president, the Rev. Timothy Healy, at a cost about $9,000, a university spokesman said. Two years ago American University spent $35,000 for the inauguration of its president, Joseph Sisco.
Larry Wilson, UDC vice president for financial affairs, said that $51,000 for inaugural events and publications would come from the university's regular budget.Another $10,000, he said, is from interest earned on its federal land grant funds, $7,000 is from private contributions and the $500 for the presidential robe comes from the trustees themselves.
Wilson said $25,000 is being spent by a special inaugural committee composed of faculty members, trustees and alumni. It includes rent for the concert hall ($2,000), which officials say is necessary because the university has no suitable auditorium of its own. Principal speaker for the occasion will be Harold Howe II, vice president for education and research of the Ford Foundation.
In addition, there will be a lunch for 600 guests in the Kennedy Center atrium after the ceremony and a reception the night before in Marvin Center at George Washington University for students, faculty and guests.
The symposium series, organized around the theme, "UDC: Partner in Urban Regeneration," will cost $24,000, according to Wilson.
Speakers at the 10 sessions will include Patricia Roberts Harris, secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Newark (N.J.) Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson; Rep. Parren J. Mitchell (D-Md.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and the presidents of six Washington area universities.
Wilson said the money will be used for honorariums, transportation and lodging for many of the symposium participants. The largest expenditure, he said, is $1,300, including transportation, being given to Joyce Tsunoda, provost of Kapiolani Community College at the University of Hawaii. She will moderate a symposium on Tuesday on "Life Sciences - the Community's Link with Present and Future Career Realities."
Wilson said $1,000 apiece is being paid to Mayor Gibson and to Harold Enarson, president of Ohio State University.
The University of the District of Columbia now has about 13,600 students, a full-time-equivalent enrollment of 7,985, about 725 faculty members and a budget of $51 million.
The inaugural concert will be given Wednesday night by the D.C. Youth Orchestra. It begins at 8 p.m. in Lisner Auditorium.