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ACHIEVING THE VISION IN HARD TIMES: III

USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan's Report to the

University System of Maryland Board of Regents

Friday, October 21, 2005

Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the Board of Regents. I begin by thanking our host for today's meeting . . . the newest member of the University System of Maryland "family," the USM at Hagerstown. I thank Associate Director JoEllen Barnhart for providing us with a tour of this wonderful new facility.

With staff expanding, student services developing, fundraising underway, and community outreach growing . . . . USM Hagerstown is really hitting the ground running in its first year. I understand you have an open house scheduled for December 1st. I am sure those in attendance will be just as impressed as we all were with your campus.

I also want to thank our presidents for the insightful discussion on articulation issues we had earlier this afternoon.

Our schedule today is tight, so I will keep my report brief.

There are several items of note since we last got together. As you might imagine, I begin with a major accomplishment . . . . University of Maryland, College Park economist Thomas Schelling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on "Game Theory" earlier this month. This is obviously a tremendous honor for him, for College Park, and for the entire University System of Maryland. This achievement stands as another example of the progress we have made toward national eminence.

Also from UMCP, earlier this month President Dan Mote received the National Academy of Engineering's Founders Award, acknowledging both his work in engineering and his leadership in academia. Dan, congratulations.

Just this week, Robert L. Caret, president of Towson University, received the 2005 George L. Braude Award from the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society and spoke to the group about the role of Towson University in workforce development.

In another important honor, later this month University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski will accept the ABET Presidential Award for Diversity, in recognition of the fact that UMBC produces more minority faculty that any other institution in the United States. Freeman, this is certainly a wonderful testament to you and your leadership.

Next month, the Sloan Consortium, an association of more than 1,000 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning, will present its 2005 awards at its 10th International Conference on Online Learning. The award for the Most Outstanding Online Teaching & Learning Program will go to University of Maryland University College's MBA Program.

Earlier this week, President Ramsay was joined by Congressman Cummings, Governor Ehrlich and Mayor O'Malley as the University of Maryland, Baltimore, celebrated the grand opening of the UMB BioPark. Japan-based Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories is making a $20 million investment, opening 40,000 square feet of research space on the top two floors of the first building in the new BioPark.

In a recent review by the National Sea Grant Program Assessment Team (PAT), Maryland Sea Grant scored a "Highest Performance" in 13 out of 14 categories, receiving the highest rating ever for a Sea Grant program. I commend Don Boesch and the team at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science for this unprecedented achievement.

Salisbury University's Franklin P. Perdue School of Business recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with China's Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, giving students the opportunity to study Asian economics firsthand in one of the world's emerging economic powers.

Last meeting I shared a number of superlative rankings for USM institutions. I ran across another such ranking last week. Coppin State University was in the top 20 of U.S. News & World Report's ranking of wireless internet accessible campuses . . . the only Maryland institutionpublic or privateto make the top 50. This designation, along with the prestigious EDUCAUSE award for innovation in technology that Coppin received earlier this year, underscores CSU's leadership. Unfortunately, President Battle is not able to be here today . . . . he is at his Alma Materthe University of Pittsburghto receive the 2005 Legacy Laureate Award.

All these tremendous developmentsand so many others from throughout the systemshowcase our leadership across the entire academic spectrum.

Some other USM updates . . . .

The Frostburg State University presidential search committee has been appointed. The chair of the search committee is Thomas Bowling, Associate Vice President for Student and Educational Services at FSU.

The Bowie State University presidential search process is coming together. We held some very productive meetings earlier this week.

Of course, the UMUC presidential search committee, chaired by Don Orkand is under way as well.

As new leaders for these institutions are selected and brought on board, I have no doubt they will contribute to the tremendous record of success within the USM.

In one final item of note . . .

As you know, University System of Maryland Foundation President Susan Schwab has been chosen by President Bush to serve as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador. We are obviously sorry to see Susan go, but certainly understand her desire to serve her country in this important capacity.

Leonard Raley, currently executive director of The Ohio University Foundation and vice president for advancement at Ohio University, will be assuming the position of USMF president and CEO effective December 2005. He will also serve as Vice Chancellor for Advancement. Leonard is a proven and effective leader, bringing more than 25 years of experience in higher-education fund raising to USMF.

Before we turn to our agenda, I have a couple of brief observations . . . .

This past Tuesday I took part in a College Board press conference at the National Press Club regarding the release of the 2005 Reports on College Pricing and Financial Aid. On the plus side, increases in tuition are significantly smaller in 2005-06 than they were in the last two years. On the down side, average grant aid per student is not growing fast enough to prevent increased reliance on borrowing andperhaps most troublingrecent changes in student aid policies have benefited those in the upper half of the income distribution more than those in the lower half. While there is nothing in these reports that we were not aware of, they do provide the context we need to continue to stress the significance of the Board's Effectiveness and Efficiency initiative, the need to emphasize need-based aid to a greater degree, and the importance of enhanced funding for higher education.

This brings me to my final point. As you know, budget discussions continue with members of the Ehrlich administration. In fact, Joe Bryce, Joe Vivona and I have met recently with administration officials. I remain optimistic thatgiven the state's improved budget picture and the Governor's "on-the-record" support for an increase in USM fundingthat we will receive the support we need to continue along the path to national eminence. The progress taking place on each and every USM campus will go a long way toward helping us make the case for additional budgetary support in Annapolis next session.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my report and I would be pleased to address any questions Board members may have.