The council of deans at the University of the District of Columbia has drafted a letter opposing UDC President Benjamin H. Alexander's plan to dismantle a key tutorial and counseling program as part of a reorganization effort.
In the letter, addressed to the board of trustees, UDC's eight deans criticized the proposed abolition of the university college, which now offers special tutorial and counseling services to 9,500 of UDC's 14,000 students. They also said the plan would diminish their power and was prepared without their involvement.
The deans cited a 1980 master plan for the university as the basis for much of their criticism of Alexander's proposal. They said the new plan "conflicted" with the master plan's call to strengthen the university college and to allow the deans a greater voice in university decisions. Alexander's reorganization plan calls for the deans to report to him through a new deputy vice president instead of a vice president for academic affairs. Such an arrangement, the letter said, "reduces further the leadership role of deans and would create another super structure which would result in further delays and diminution of quality of academic services to the colleges."
The opposition from the deans, the highest echeleon of academic leadership at the university, comes two weeks after Alexander unveiled his plan to the trustees. The Faculty Senate, which represents many of the university's professors, criticized the plan earlier.
The trustees have appointed a committee headed by former D.C. school superintendent Vincent E. Reed to study Alexander's proposal.
The major feature of the reorganization plan is dissolution of the university college, established four years ago as a central point to provide tutoring, counseling and remedial help to entering students.
Alexander said he would reassign the tutorial and counseling staff to individual departments because he believes it is no longer necessary for all incoming students to receive the services of the university college. He said the move would reduce by half the number of students receiving tutorial or counseling services.
Dr. John Butler, dean of UDC's college of liberal and fine arts, said yesterday that he was still putting finishing touches on the letter to the trustees, and expected it to be submitted today.
Alexander said yesterday he had already received a copy of the letter and had mailed it immediately to the board.
Marjorie H. Parker, chairman of the board of trustees, said she had not received the letter.