Leadership Statement

University System of Maryland
Adelphi, MD

Leadership Characteristics Sought in the Next Chancellor

October 5, 2001

[Search Process | Leadership Statement Development | Leadership Statement


The University System of Maryland (USM) seeks a Chancellor to assume office on or shortly after May 1, 2002. The Chancellor is the System's chief executive officer, reports to the Board of Regents, works with and through the System's 13 constituent institutions, and also serves Maryland higher education in conjunction with the Maryland Higher Education Commission and Secretary of Higher Education, the State Superintendent of Education, and various other executive and legislative offices, including the Governor's. The System Office, close to Washington, D.C., is spacious, attractive and adjacent to the University of Maryland, College Park, and belongs to the System.

Current enrollment stands at about 130,000, with 10,000 faculty, 600 programs (100 new within the last year and a half), 8,000 acres, 100 locations in the State and 160 overseas, 950 buildings, 19 libraries, and an operating budget of $2.7 billion. A System-wide, standardized, telecommunications network is available to -- and extensively used by -- other educational institutions around the State, and important work in the coordination of public education, K-16, has become a trademark of System work and commitment. Within several years, the University of Maryland University College, now with 60,000 on-line students worldwide, projects continued significant increases in enrollment, giving it fair claim to become one of the world's largest institutions of higher education.

The Search Process

The Search and Screening Committee will begin consideration immediately of candidates who either have applied for the position or have accepted a formal third party nomination. The Committee expects to review resumes, evaluate, interview, and conduct extensive background checks on candidates during the fall and early winter. The Board of Regents expects to interview "finalists" forwarded by the Committee and make a final selection immediately prior to, or immediately after January 1, 2002. All names -- applicants and nominees -- will be kept confidential; only the name of the next Chancellor will be made public.

Development of the Leadership Statement

Commissioned by the Board of Regents, performed with the assistance of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (Washington, D.C.), the Leadership Statement first was presented to and then developed by the Board's Leadership Subcommittee and then was approved by the Board as the guiding document for the search. The statement lays the groundwork for the new Chancellor and Board of Regents to establish shared expectations; as such, it offers candidates a tool to understand the organization and a starting point for future performance reviews.

The statement was the product of interviews with over 60 individuals in and around the System, including Regents; Presidents; Provosts; students; faculty; institutional staff; Chancellor and Vice Chancellors; System Office staff; boards of the University of Maryland Foundation and constituent institutions' foundations; and Maryland legislators and appointed officials. The Leadership Subcommittee, chaired by Admiral Charles R. Larson, identified the groups and individuals who were to be interviewed.

Leadership Statement

[1.0 Academic & community leadership | 2.0 Organizational leadership]
[3.0 Resource allocation & development | 4.0 Governance]
[ 5.0 Effective personal characteristics]

The Board seeks the following characteristics and qualifications in its next Chancellor:

1.0 Academic and community leadership

The 13 constituent institutions of the University System of Maryland, which was first established in 1988 through the merger of the University of Maryland System (five constituent campuses) and the Board of Trustees of State Universities and Colleges (six institutions), are the focal point and raison d'tre of this System. Through these institutions, the System provides the bulk of higher education in Maryland. The System supports its institutions, helps them do their jobs more effectively, advances their cause, and coordinates their efforts. The Board of Regents, the General Assembly, and the executive branch all recognize that Maryland's System is not strongly "centralized." Consider, for instance, that the budget the System submits each year to the Governor (who, in Maryland, prepares and then delivers the budget to the General Assembly), consists of the separate budget recommendations for each institution; when budget testimony occurs before the General Assembly, the Chancellor and, typically, a member of the Board of Regents, sit with the Presidents of the constituent institutions as they make their cases.

In its relatively decentralized character, Maryland's System corresponds to directions in system governance around the country (see Peter Schmidt, "Weakening the Grip of Multicampus Boards," The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2001). The strength of these constituent institutions was enhanced in 1999 with Senate Bill 682 (the outcome of the General Assembly's Larson Commission of 1998), which sought to give them greater authority in the generation of new, market-sensitive, and competitive programs. Distinct in mission, style, size, and work, these 13 institutions -- including the designated "flagship" University of Maryland, College Park; three historically black institutions; two land grant universities; comprehensive, urban, professional, research, and upper division universities; and two independent research centers -- have enjoyed extraordinary success in the 1990s, are in the process of further growth and transformation consistent with the State's plan for higher education.

Maryland's next Chancellor, possessed of a broad academic vision and the ability to think in Statewide and national educational terms, will understand and endorse the distinct nature of this System and work comfortably within it.

Attempts at defining the role of this System, in specific fashion, can be challenging. This is no surprise considering the following:
  • Since the General Assembly began addressing issues of Statewide higher education in the early 1920s (and expressed the conviction that private institutions were best suited to advance it), some 10 different legislative reviews and restructuring of public institutions have occurred, most recently Senate Bill 682, which will be revisited in 2002. Trying to keep abreast of the structures and roles of the System, in order to respond to the often-asked question of "Where are we?" can be difficult -- and often has not been considered significant enough to worry about. So it is that one still hears individuals close to the System referring to it as "the University."
  • The System's constituent institutions -- and the State itself -- also have experienced dramatic growth and change, thereby making yet more difficult a precise historical context in which to consider and understand the System's current structure and role.
  • The roles and relationships among the Governor, the Department of Budget and Management, the Office of Planning, the General Assembly, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Board of Regents, the System Office, constituent institutions, their internal governance structures, the world of corporations and business, and the federal Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, necessarily are complex and also are described in multiple documents, documents that do not always refer to each other.
  • Not surprisingly, changes in individual occupants of given positions can and do result in dramatic shifts in power and role.
  • Although the Chancellor's role is defined in Section 12 of the Maryland Annotated Code as "the Chief Executive Officer of the University System of Maryland and the Chief of Staff for the Board of Regents":, there is regular discussion and debate, at all levels, about whether this means "coordinator," "majority leader," or "first among equals."  Except to agree that the System is not "centralized" and that the Chancellor must not be a "boss" or a "dictator," shared assumptions about the System's and Chancellor's roles do not exist.

Maryland's next Chancellor will be comfortable and capable working within a complex environment, know how -- through strong personal relationships and loyalty -- to build the power to serve, and recognize the important freedom this situation provides. Like other states, Maryland is highly political, and the politics include the System. A healthy ego, with low ego needs, will serve this Chancellor well.

The exceptional complexity of higher education in Maryland includes the 13 institutions within the System, two public four-year institutions outside the System (Morgan State University and Saint Mary's College), 16 community colleges (among the nation's finest), 27 private institutions (financially assisted, in Maryland, by public funds), and over 100 private career schools. Although the Maryland Higher Education Commission -- with its 12 commissioners, 80 staff stationed in Annapolis, and its gubernatorially appointed Secretary of Higher Education (a member of the Governor's cabinet) and Segmental Advisory Council -- oversees these many institutions and has final say on public institutions' new programs and missions, its responsibilities were changed by Senate Bill 682 and its role is evolving. In the midst of fragmentation of authority in higher education, the Chancellor of the System has an opportunity to be an important voice for higher education in Maryland.

Maryland's next Chancellor will know how, in the midst of a complex set of agencies and institutions, to work constructively and productively, as well as to become the preferred source of information and perspective on public higher education. The Chancellor will lead discussions on public policy, including such significant issues as:

  • Maintaining access in a System whose institutions have become increasingly selective.
  • Defining whom higher education in Maryland serves -- only the brightest? Only those from instate?
  • Guaranteeing affordability, as the quality and cost of Maryland's higher education rise.
  • Securing quality and service, as institutions grow and class sizes rise.
  • Supporting and facilitating the work of Maryland's four historically black institutions, and, through expected future increases in funding, implementing the State's agreement with the
  • U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
  • Speaking out for creative, inter-institutional collaboration and partnership, within and around the System.
  • Considering the geographical impact of current institutions' locations in an era of rapid demographic change.
  • Advocating coordinated K-16 education.
  • Meeting the need for high quality engineers, information technology specialists, teachers, nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals in short supply.
  • Addressing social needs through education.
  • Advancing economic development.
  • Using technology as a transformative tool in education.
  • Making best use of distance education, within and around the State.
  • Funding.

A courageous, broad-thinking, articulate educator, already recognized as an important thinker in the arena of early 21st century academia and academic and public policy, will know how to advance this role from the start, assume it with eagerness and pleasure, and attract the attention and respect of academic, political, and corporate communities.

The transformation of Maryland's public institutions of higher education in the last decade not only has advanced them toward the standard of "national eminence" that was required by law when the System was founded in 1988, it also has been a source of great State pride. Not only had Maryland's higher education traditionally followed the northeastern model of reliance on prestigious private institutions, it also had struggled with issues of quality and perception of quality. Within a decade, the flagship alone has advanced from the status of comfortable "open admissions school" to peer of the finest public research universities in the country; the University of Maryland, College Park's progress is matched by a number of other institutions within the System; the achievements, excitement, and potential for each institution are among the System's greatest attractions. Residents, the Governor, and the General Assembly alike are enthusiastic about the State's progress in this field; they want to see more progress and fear any slips backward. Some also wonder whether the progress is real. By the same token, some leaders in and around the System still question whether the System should be restructured once again, or even abolished, in the cause of yet further "decentralization."

The System's next Chancellor will know how to measure and articulate constituent institutions' many successes, feed pride and confidence, reassure the community, build understanding of higher education's critical role in building the new Maryland, and prove that the System adds value. A history of public visibility and a talent for effective communication are important foundations for this Chancellor's success, as is long and current experience with excellence and best practice in American higher education today. This Chancellor has the chance to define the shared vision of higher education in Maryland. The ability to function effectively in the midst of uncertainty is essential.

In the past, Maryland traditionally has underfunded higher education; however, this has been reversed and public appropriations to Maryland higher education have risen some 80% since 1994. Yet, as normally is true in any state, funding still falls short of demonstrable need:

  • Quality has rapidly increased, lifting expectations for the delivery of yet more and higher quality programs.
  • Competition with institutions outside the System has increased, notably in the for-profit sector.
  • The baby-boom echo is projected to boost System enrollments by another 10,000 or 12,000 students during this decade, not including the University of Maryland, University College.
  • The Maryland economy is thriving, and desperate for technologically capable employees.
  • The U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, has reached an agreement with the State of Maryland to enhance the State's historically black institutions, in and out of the System.
  • Some System institutions still lag their peers in the technological capacity to coordinate and serve.

Institutions must compete for available dollars, students, and programs. The entrepreneurial mode built into the System and furthered in Senate Bill 682 naturally inspired and created inter-institutional competition, and, in Maryland, this has been viewed as healthy and has produced beneficial results. Of course, the significant differences in mission among the System's institutions also can make such competition challenging. How can constituent institutions' needs be measured against each other and support of them all be balanced? Moreover, how can their needs best be considered and met within the context of service to Maryland's students, potential students, and future? In other words, does support of current institutions always best further broader educational needs within the State? How should the System best respond to the increasingly strong presence in Maryland of for-profit institutions of higher education? The recent agreement (between the State of Maryland and the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights) concerning levels of support and service to historically black institutions adds further complexity to System needs, particularly in the context of Senate Bill 682 and its encouragement of individual institutions to open new programs. Important and increasing numbers of initiatives among institutions throughout the State (within and around the System, public and private) also offer evidence of the benefits of collaboration.

Through long experience with a wide range of institutions of higher education and with creative partnerships (including corporations and foundations), through a voracious appetite to know each constituent institution inside out, and through time spent on campuses, the next Chancellor will know how to help advance the worth and strength of each constituent institution, foster mutually beneficial collaboration, balance needs, enhance the System's academic coherence, and also add value to the State.

Today, the System stands at a critical crossroads in its own development. At the time of its creation in 1988, the System faced significant challenges. The two merged systems did not seem to fit together well, and tensions ran high between the state universities (all but one, former normal schools) and the campuses of the University of Maryland. In the words of one longtime observer, "It was hard. We all were going our separate ways. No one was sure they wanted to be in it." Moreover, difficult issues of leadership style and an ensuing interim Chancellorship exacerbated problems of adaptation.

The identity crisis was followed by a funding crisis. Although State funding had risen considerably in fiscal years 1988, 1989, and 1990, severe funding shortfalls in 1990 forced midyear recissions, just as the current Chancellor came into office. Allocations fell 19%, and System personnel were cut from 220 to 100. Said one, "Passion was plentiful, money scarce." The recession and weak funding lasted through much of the decade. In short, the System's challenge through those hard years was to survive, and the Chancellor's approach was to pursue a steady, quiet, philosophical, and hands-off stance, a commitment to "national eminence," and a focus on technology, K-16 education, and national educational issues.

All changed late in the decade: Through the vision and dedication of the Governor, a strong economy, a very successful Larson Commission on Higher Education, and a supportive General Assembly, funding became generous, and Senate Bill 682, coinciding with new leadership at College Park, also furthered the development of all of the System's constituent institutions. Significantly, the System's name changed from the "University of Maryland System" to the "University System of Maryland," and the "second-class status" of former state universities also largely became a thing of the past.

Today, with transformed constituent institutions, new patterns of leadership, and many new leaders as well, the System is thriving; its institutions display ever more the "national eminence" expressed as a goal in 1988. Survival, as expressed in 1990, no longer is an issue, and something new has begun to appear. Throughout and around the System, constituents express the need for "something more," but cannot yet articulate what that means.

Patient listening, creative thinking in organizational structures and possibilities, and intimate knowledge of academic institutions and governance will allow this Chancellor the exciting opportunity -- perhaps the greatest of this assignment -- to work within the System's traditions, and in the context of its institutions' needs and dreams, to define and advance this System now emerging in new and undefined ways. Survival and success require a new vision, and the structures to support it.

2.0 Organizational leadership

The greater-than-50% cutbacks in System Office personnel in the early 1990s had a powerful impact on morale for years to come and dramatically increased the work load on those still there. Moreover, since many of those let go worked at a support level, normal office functions suffered still more and often kept leaders from leading. Late in the decade, new successes and demands emerged within the System -- for greater support of constituent institutions and personnel, capital planning, shared governance, K-16 coordination, information technology and telecommunications, government and public relations, etc. Pressures on staff, in other words, rose still more. Yet today's office structure is that of 1988; it has yet to be thoroughly examined in view of the needs of today's System -- and tomorrow's. No one expects much increase in numbers of staff, but many question the allocation of responsibilities. Among the many issues raised are the comparative numbers of support and managerial staff, placement of institutional research, the status and structuring of the University of Maryland Foundation's and Vice Chancellor for Advancement's offices.

The System's next Chancellor will be experienced in reading and analyzing institutional structures in the context of mission, have the courage and will to articulate needed change, and make appropriate adjustments. Fortunately for the System and its new Chancellor, office space is sufficient, the building structurally sound, technology adequate, budgeting for salaries and benefits strong, and fiscal reserves in place. Skill as a "cheerleader" will go a long way.

As workloads have increased through the course of the 1990s, the System Office staff increasingly have worked in isolation from each other, even as the needs for their coordinated energies have increased. In this context, frequent references to "silos" are understandable.

The next Chancellor habitually will have worked in teams and will know how to build and use them -- for effectiveness, communication, and mutual support. As work spirit increases, the returns on shared leadership will be dramatic and satisfying.

Within the last half-decade, Vice Chancellors have adopted new ways of working with constituent institutions' administrative offices in academic affairs, finance and administration, student affairs, advancement, human resources, facilities management, information technology and telecommunications, , etc. Instead of using the monthly forums of constituent institutions' administrators largely to distribute information, Vice Chancellors have begun to use these opportunities to share issues and concerns, develop institutional conversation, and provide assistance and support. The result has been widespread and increased interest among participants and a climate of productive exchange, both within and after the meetings. Information and expertise flow; professional development increasingly is built in and institutional capacity grows; and confidence in a different kind of System emerges.

The System's next Chancellor will recognize the dramatic benefits of seeing the System Office as a means of supporting constituent institutions, as consistent with the history of the System, and also as adding new value, synergy, and effectiveness.

The Presidents have long been the lead players in the System. The transformation of their institutions would not have occurred without them, and the excitement and energy they radiate are one of the System's greatest strengths. To be sure, as Presidents increasingly have been given the authority to work on their own, in a System already loosely configured, they have gone separate ways, but they have also engaged in significant collaborations. The Larson Commission recommendations and Senate Bill 682, which followed, encouraged them to play a more entrepreneurial role in their programs, and legislators, politicians, the System Office, and Regents also all work with them individually.

Not surprisingly, particularly given the pressures of institutional transformation with which they wrestle daily, Presidents also can feel isolated from each other and cut off from central direction and involvement. If they are key to the System, they also can feel disconnected from it. Those new to their institutions -- within the next few years, as part of a natural generational shift, the majority of them -- appreciate varying combinations of orientation, mentoring, and development. Within recent years, there is evidence of the emergence of a new group of leaders, with fewer conflicts, and greater desire for collaboration.

Working with empowered, capable, independent -- and often new -- Presidents will provide the next Chancellor with one of the position's most interesting and rewarding opportunities. Regular meetings with Presidents -- one on one and as a group -- will build collaboration, confidence, and vision. Hard issues will be addressed and resolved. The Chancellor and the Presidents, working together, will form one of the System's fundamental groups. The foundation for success will be the Chancellor's ability to inspire Presidents' respect, listen carefully, draw out shared themes, and articulate vision. This Chancellor will enjoy Presidents and their work, seek out their company, know, support, and defend them, build their trust and confidence, and enjoy putting the spotlight on them. The results will be far greater pleasure in work, heightened morale, strengthened constituent institutions, a more effective System, and a better-served State.

Throughout the System there have been calls for more effective, supportive, and frank assessment of Presidents' performance. Among those most insistent on significant feedback have been the Presidents themselves.

Working within bylaws that place responsibility for the appointment and performance of Presidents with the Board of Regents, the Chancellor still will play a key role in evaluating the performances of Presidents, and will know how to establish and implement appropriate and comprehensive policies -- of the kind elaborated by AGB in its recent publication on presidential and Board assessment.

The General Assembly recently has approved legislation the Governor sponsored to implement collective bargaining within the constituent institutions of the System. Originally intended to result in labor agreements for each of four classes of classified employees, the final legislation gives each institution authority to develop for itself such labor agreements as become appropriate and/or necessary. Opposed by many within the System, including some Regents and the Council of System Staff, collective bargaining, if not handled wisely and adroitly, may have far-reaching consequences on the way business is done.

Maryland's next Chancellor will be comfortable and capable working in an environment of multiple and complex bargaining agreements, and capable of assisting work that will benefit all. A major advantage is the competitive pay that workers in the System -- a "public corporation" that sets its own terms of compensation -- already have.

Given long independence, some offices and persons, no matter how hungry for future leadership, always can be expected to struggle with anything new.

The Chancellor will be experienced in managing change and steady under pressure. This Chancellor also will know through long experience the importance of developing strategic plans and of capturing within them the wisdom and perspective of those affected. The current System strategic plan -- USM in 2010 -- makes for a strong start. It also is another indicator of a growing new sense of vision.

3.0 Resource allocation and development

Among United States governors, Maryland's has no equal in budgetary and fiscal power. Not only does the Governor send the General Assembly the operating budget for the coming fiscal year, the General Assembly may not increase any of the items in that budget and only may reduce allocations. The support of the current Governor -- double-digit increases for several years now -- has been essential to the significant advances of higher education in Maryland in recent years; without him and the commitment of the entire executive branch, the progress would not have occurred as it has. The Governor's second and final term ends January 2003, and his successor, of course, is not known. Among questions to be asked are: Should the System legitimately expect future Governors (and, for that matter, members of the General Assembly) to share the commitment to funding that Maryland now enjoys? Should the System expect Maryland's economy, robust as it is, to continue its current boom? Should the System assume that other priorities will not emerge to compete with higher education, which has been so favored now for years? Maryland's needs in higher education will not diminish, greater success lifts expectations, and stronger performance in other states around this nation makes the attainment of "national eminence" all the more challenging. Consider, for instance, that, beyond the $1.5 billion the State already has invested in capital in the last decade, and that largely has come out of recent budget surpluses, the System -- if it is to advance its institutions, provide space for the baby-boom echo, provide for new student markets, and satisfy the agreement with OCR -- will require substantially more.

The System's next Chancellor will recognize the Governor as a close ally and supporter, a friend to be developed and served. A desire to listen, understand, and help out is essential, as is the ability to articulate vision in concrete terms. Comfort and pleasure in the political arena and skills in its use are prerequisites for this Chancellor.

Maryland's General Assembly clearly also plays a significant role in funding the System. A number of factors must be considered, including the following:

  • Members take increasing pride in the quality of Maryland's higher education and want to do all they can to advance it. They are good people with whom to work, and they have collectively expressed a desire to better understand higher education.
  • Because Maryland places no term limits on its legislators, and because the Democratic party tends to dominate State politics, there has emerged in the General Assembly a small group of long-term, hardworking leaders who are dedicated to the welfare of higher education.
  • Individual members of the Legislature have strong ties to individual Maryland institutions of higher education, whether as alumni or as representatives.
  • The System's budget is a bundle of constituent institutions' budgets; it is presented to the General Assembly, institution by institution, President by President. The System has no overall budget that, according to agreed-upon tactics, is focused on strategies to be implemented by constituent parts. If, increasingly, little maneuvering room is left among constituent institutions in general appropriations, more can be found within capital budgets.
  • Members of the General Assembly all come up for election in 2002 and will need platforms for campaigns. Traditionally, about a third come in new. In 2002, the General Assembly will, as it does each decade, redistrict the State.
  • During the legislative session and the bill-signing period immediately thereafter -- the first four months of each year -- a Chancellor easily can dedicate a third or more of available time to the General Assembly.

This Chancellor will recognize Maryland's legislative strength and special situation, enjoy working with legislators, inspire respect among them, provide helpful orientation and information to new members, and build overall knowledge and support. An open, evenhanded, straightforward, and honest approach, grounded in well-honed political instincts and skills, offers best chances for success. This Chancellor probably already will have a history of successful legislative and political relationships. Building rewarding relations with the General Assembly in this complex and still relatively small state remains another of the Chancellor's greatest opportunities.

As a result of Senate Bill 682, each public institution of higher education in Maryland assembled "peer groups" and determined -- by combining appropriations, tuition, and fees -- each of those peers' level of funding. That is, instead of trying to analyze the details of each individual institution's finances, the State decided to fund each institution at a given percentile of its peers' revenues. Within the years to come, Senate Bill 682, the Department of Budget Management's "Managing for Results," and the Maryland Higher Education Commission's "Performance Accountability" will be applied for purposes of accountability, in ways yet to be determined. Within the System, the data and formulas developed by the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, while difficult to apply with perfect equity to the variety of constituent institutions, still have marked a significant advance over anything prior. Combined with rapidly increasing funding, these procedures have helped ease inter-institutional relations.

Since everyone acknowledges that no formula can be ideal and that constituent institutions, if they are to continue to advance, require appropriate funding, Maryland's next Chancellor will have the important opportunity to insist on the development of procedures that will allow Presidents to work with each other, the Chancellor, and the System Office to secure optimal allocations, good times and bad. Most of the System's current Presidents were not in office during the hard financial times of the early 1990s.

The System enjoys an endowment of almost $500 million, about equally divided between the University of Maryland Foundation and the Common Trust (managed by the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration). Foundation returns between 1990 and 1999 were number one in the country among all university endowments (24%) and have allowed constituent institutions, even if they have their own legally-separate foundations, to place their funds with the Foundation profitably, and for very modest fees. The Foundation operates without fiscal support from the System. Now, as the System concludes -- at $900 million -- its combined $700-million-goal capital campaign for constituent institutions, the timing is right to assess the overall structure of System advancement operations and fundraising, including the Foundation, constituent foundations, and the Common Trust.

The System's next Chancellor will recognize the importance of private fundraising, the impact possible through judicious use of time and expertise, and the need to lead this System-wide effort to a successful, institutionalized resolution.

Over the last decade, State economic growth has been unprecedented, and the potential -- particularly in biotechnology, information technology, and life sciences -- has only just begun, even as a dramatically diverse population eagerly seeks education and professional advancement. Given the widely varied nature of Maryland business -- including agriculture, aquaculture, technology, biotechnology, and many others -- a unified voice of business understandably has not emerged, and may not. Affiliations of members of the business community have been with the System's constituent institutions; the System has not been identified as an entity separate from them.

Maryland's next Chancellor will be experienced in working productively and effectively with the business community, thereby benefiting institutions and business, strengthening and extending programs (academic and service), and generating new income streams. Maryland's business community is ready for such involvement, and the Chancellor can help make it happen. The position also goes beyond the academic and includes ambassadorial work for both the System and the State.

4.0 Governance

Within the last two years, 13 of the 17 members of the Board of Regents have been appointed. More change can be expected within the years to come. This dramatic turnover roughly coincides with the selection in 1999 of a new Board Chair, one of the Board's long-term leaders. Deeply committed to advancing Maryland's higher education, eager to make a difference, typical of more active Board members around the country, and filled with the fresh perspectives of individuals unfamiliar with the System's hard early days, members of the Board severely question their role, the Chancellor's, and the System's. Around the Board, concerns also are expressed, with respect to membership, politics, procedure, and role.

The fact of the matter remains that this Board is supportive and wants to do the right thing for higher education. The challenges are significant: First, its powers, like those of the System and the Chancellor, are not always precisely defined. Second, its authority has been impacted in recent years by:

  • An activist Governor who, already, by statute, is one of the nation's most powerful.
  • Division of authority with the Secretary of Higher Education, appointed by the Governor, a member of the Governor's cabinet, and chief executive officer of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
  • Long-term members of the General Assembly with strong feelings about individual institutions of higher education and about the System as well.
  • Powerful special interest groups.
  • Rapidly developing Boards of Visitors at constituent institutions, often accompanied by separate foundations as well. Boards of Visitors are required by statute to make annual reports to the Governor, MHEC, the presiding officers of the General Assembly, and the Chair of the Board of Regents.
  • The agreement with the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
  • Statutory Systemwide Councils.
  • The K-16 Leadership Council.

Third, and most importantly, the Board's governance structures and procedures now are evolving to meet the demands of this still undefined and still emerging new System.

While recognizing that any public institution of higher education works within an inherently political atmosphere,Maryland's next Chancellor also will have important experience and convictions in best practice in academic governance, know that any system best serves its state through independence, and recognize that the opportunity to help develop an effective Board is one of the greatest this position can offer. As chief educator of the Board, the Chancellor will know how to assess and modify current structures and procedures, create appropriate information systems, address policy issues, engage constituents and Regents in shared tasks, and build consensus and vision. This Chancellor will take the time to know the Regents; support, engage, protect, and advance them; develop their capacity to add value to the System; and help them take pride in their work. Strong and proven in the work of governance and change, this Chancellor will know how, under stress, to hold a Board together, and broadcast its achievements. If the Chancellor must look to the Board as primary support, so must the Board to the Chancellor. In all of this, the Chancellor, working with the Board, will, in yet another way, give birth to this newly emerging, "nationally eminent" System.

The System has been blessed with a number of statutory advisory councils -- of System staff, faculty, students, and (already addressed) Presidents. Meeting regularly, they have advanced the sense of shared issues, focused attention on important constituent matters, made numerous contributions, and prevented possible errors. Attention to them over the years has resulted in largely productive and positive relationships.

The System's next Chancellor will recognize the benefit of this solid foundation of shared governance and the importance of maintaining current open communications. The Chancellor also will be able to work with the Board of Regents and the plethora of other System groups to assess best governance structures and procedures. Here, as in so many other areas of the System's life, a careful review that is appropriate to today's needs has yet to occur. When completed, it can advance the function of this System that is in the process of change and improvement.

The most important focal point for higher-level performance, by both the Chancellor and the Board, is appropriate self-assessment -- and comprehensive policies for it.

The Chancellor will know how to help the Board establish and implement full self-assessment procedures; set annual goals -- within the framework of the strategic plan -- and assess their performance against them. Accountability at the top sets the tone for all in the System.

5.0 Effective personal characteristics

For the Chancellor to work effectively within a populist-minded, changing, political, diverse, active, and still relatively small state, a gregarious yet not overbearing personality will prove effective. An "imperial presence" guarantees trouble. The Chancellor should not need to be the center of attention. A person of few ego needs, the Chancellor must be ready to praise and give credit to others. Any individual needing steady public applause soon will fail.

Within the walls of the System Office, there are no students, professors, or Board members milling about. The office is quiet and distant. The ready pleasure of constituent presence goes with on-campus jobs.

This Chancellor will have no need to run a campus directly, but will know, if from a more distant perspective, the unique culture, strength, and needs of every institution, and be ready to advocate for them.

Given the magnitude of the challenges this Chancellor must address, sound principles, integrity, stamina, courage, persistence, and, perhaps, a fine sense of humor, will be needed.

A strong, appealing, public presence will provide early credibility and boost success, for both the Chancellor and the emergent System.