Claude A. Ford, 57, chosen interim president of the University of the District of Columbia yesterday, is a self-described manager by background and training who has been at UDC since its inception and has filled in as the school's chief executive once before.

A symbol of continuity at an institution that has known considerable turmoil and three presidents since its creation in 1977, Ford has been vice president for administrative services under all three, including Robert L. Green, who resigned yesterday.

Ford, a District native and Silver Spring resident, was previously named interim president of the city's only public university in 1983 after the resignation of the school's second president, Benjamin H. Alexander.

His roots at UDC go back to administrative posts at the old Washington Technical Institute, one of the three public colleges merged to form the university.

Ford, a Howard University architecture graduate, was a Veterans Administration design and planning official when Cleveland Dennard, WTI's first president, tapped him to join the fledgling technical school.

When he became WTI's campus planning and development director in 1968, he was only the 30th employe at the institution.

A veteran administrative pinch-hitter, Ford served in 1977 as interim president of WTI during the transition period before UDC opened.

In a brief interview last night, Ford expressed "high hopes" for the future of UDC, which he said boasted "an excellent faculty and excellent administrators," as well as dedicated employes and talented students. Calling himself "a full believer" in both the university and public education here, Ford said, "We will all rally together to make certain all the students have an excellent education."

Ford's wife, Yolande Williamson Ford, directs human relations programs at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland. A son, Claude Jr., is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, and a District firefighter. A daughter, Diane, is finishing up her degree at UDC