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D.C. Mayor Gray Nominates Two to UDC Board

Dorothy Rowley | 12/23/2013, 10:04 a.m.
Joshua Wyner (Courtesy of the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program)

For the past few years, fiscal problems at the University of the District of Columbia have not only threatened the future of the city's only public four-year college, but the success of its community college as well.

In an effort to lend more focus to the four-year-old community college as a cornerstone of job training in the District, Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently announced the nominations of Anthony Tardd and Joshua Wyner to the UDC board of trustees.

Gray said the two "bring a wealth of higher-education expertise — specifically with strengthening world-class community colleges — to the board of trustees of the University of the District of Columbia."

"Throughout their careers they have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to connecting community colleges with successful workforce-development efforts."

Gray said in explaining the vital role their presence on the board will play ensuring that District residents have sustainability in the labor market.

James E. Lyons Sr., the university's interim president, said while introducing a proposal this fall to refocus the university's mission and priorities that the school "can no longer attempt to be all things to all people."

But Lyons, board members, faculty and city officials have also had to reluctantly concede that it was a mistake to create the community college within the troubled structure of the flagship campus. Having done so has consequently led to the insufficient attention given to ensuring the viability of the four-year-old community college — which in alignment with the workforce development plan focuses on student training for immediate job placement in high-demand fields.

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Anthony Tardd (Courtesy of George Mason University)

Tardd, who earned his doctorate degree at Virginia Tech and currently serves as an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Northern Virginia, brings more 40 years of community college and higher-education experience to the board. He has also served as an acting vice president at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., and as provost of the school's campus in Sterling, Va.

"Throughout my career I have worked to manage the academics of large community colleges and ensure that they are held to high academic standards preparing students for future careers," he said. "I look forward to bringing my experience to the UDC Board and serving its students, faculty and the residents of the District of Columbia."

Wyner, who earned a law degree from New York University, has served since 2011 as executive director of the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program, where he has developed and led several education projects and initiatives.

In addition to his experience with the New York City-based New Leaders for New Schools and the DC Appleseed Center, he has been a senior executive at both the College America and Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in Lansdowne, Va.

Wyner said he is excited to join the board and intends to improve the educational experiences for all of UDC's students.

"I look forward to lending my experience in higher-education policy and management to build up the UDC Community College as a key institution helping to improve employment opportunities for District residents," he said.