Press Release - Burnett to Extend Coppin Presidency

August 20, 2002

Burnett to Extend Coppin Presidency as Search for Replacement Continues

William E. Kirwan, chancellor of University System of Maryland (USM), today announced that Calvin W. Burnett, president of Coppin State College, will continue his presidency beyond his previously announced retirement date of August 31 in order to ensure a smooth transition for his replacement.

Burnett, who plans to retire after serving 32 years as Coppin president, will remain at the institution in order to provide continuity of leadership during the search process for his successor.

With the campus facing an accreditation visit for its College of Nursing in September and key annual budget issues to be decided in the fall, the campus community urged Kirwan to ask Burnett to stay rather than appoint an interim president.

"There are some decisions a chancellor faces that are easy to make because of overwhelming consensus, and this is one of them," Kirwan said. "It is clear that having Cal Burnett remain in office will provide a seamless transition for the new president, while allowing the campus to focus on pressing matters that might otherwise take a backseat to the arrival of an interim president."

Kirwan said the Coppin presidential search is progressing well, and he expects the board to be interviewing candidate finalists in October. He said the board hopes to have a new president in place by January.

"I was at Coppin last week to meet with its administrative council, and there was tremendous enthusiasm for the ongoing search," Kirwan said. "They are expecting great things from their next president, whoever he or she may be. But they also recognize the experience that President Burnett brings to the job every day, and they proposed that he be asked to stay through this period of positive change. Fortunately for us, he said yes."

President Burnett said he is looking forward to a few more months in office. "Retirement has its virtues, no doubt," Burnett said. "But to be needed by your colleagues is a wonderful thing that I place great value in, and I am honored to say yes to this request."


Francis Canavan
Phone: 301/445-2722