Chancellor William E. Kirwan Appoints USM Financial Aid Task Force

Chaired by Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp,

group to recommend ways to ensure affordable access to universities

ADELPHI, MD William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM), has appointed a 17-member task force to study undergraduate, graduate, and professional school financial aid issues and make recommendations to ensure that USM institutions are affordable and accessible to qualified students.

Specifically, Kirwan has charged the USM Financial Aid Task Force to:

  • survey best financial aid practices at comparable systems and institutions;
  • review current financial aid policies and practices at USM institutions;
  • consider ways to improve the efficiency of financial aid operations;
  • develop creative strategies for enhancing financial aid resources;
  • recommend policies that will ensure the ability of USM institutions to provide access and affordability for all qualified students.

The level of state appropriations to the University System of Maryland in recent years has fallen to comprise less than a quarter of the system's $3-billion operating budget. While working hard to maintain academic quality, the system has met its difficult fiscal challenges by reducing expenditures, containing costs, and increasing tuition. Based on student headcount, the system's weighted average tuition (for in-state students) across institutions has increased from $4,000 per year in fall 2002 to $5,300 for the upcoming fall, an increase of 32 percent.

"The University System of Maryland must do all that it can to help qualified students and their families afford quality education at USM institutions," said Kirwan. "Financial aid is one of the most important tools available to address access and affordability. Therefore the work of this task force is especially critical at this time."

In announcing the members of the task force, Kirwan said: "I am especially pleased that Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp has agreed to chair the USM Financial Aid Task Force. During her more than 25 years as a public servant, including her service as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, she has been a long-time advocate for access to quality public higher education."

"I am honored to have been asked to chair the Financial Aid Task Force," noted Treasurer Kopp. "Our University System of Maryland's mission is to provide the highest quality of public higher education in the most affordable way. To ensure access for all qualified students, financial aid must be used efficiently and effectively; students and their families must be fully aware of available resources.

"The critical need in this time of tight budgets is for tough analysis and innovative, creative strategies. The task force provides an opportunity to review the best financial aid systems and practices across the nation and assure that Maryland is in the lead. I eagerly look forward to chairing and serving on this important task force with its outstanding membership. I thank Chancellor Kirwan for this opportunity."

In addition to Treasurer Kopp, the task force members are:

  • David Buchanan, Provost, Salisbury University
  • Dominic Cirincione, a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, representing the USM Student Council
  • Vince Conti, Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, University of Maryland University College
  • Janice Doyle, Assistant Secretary for Finance Policy, Maryland Higher Education Commission
  • Patricia Florestano, Member, USM Board of Regents
  • Senator P. J. Hogan, Maryland General Assembly
  • Angela Hovatter, Director of Financial Aid, Frostburg State University
  • Richard Hug, Member, USM Board of Regents
  • Earl Jenkins, Vice President for Student Affairs, Coppin State University
  • Donald Kiah, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Bowie State University
  • Barbara Klein, Associate Vice President for Government and Community Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Barbara Miller, Director of Financial Aid, University of Baltimore
  • C. D. Mote, President, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Vince Pecora, Director of Financial Aid, Towson University
  • Delegate James E. Proctor, Jr., Maryland General Assembly
  • Thelma Thompson, President, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

The USM Financial Aid Task Force is expected to submit its preliminary report to the chancellor by mid-September 2004. Following review by the system's institutional presidents and other constituent groups, the report and recommendations will be submitted to the Education Policy and Finance committees of the Board of Regents for review. Following the committees' action, the report will be submitted to the full board.

Contact: Anne Moultrie

Phone: 301/445-2722