Javier Miyares Appointed President of University of Maryland University College
Cuban-born Immigrant who Escaped
Castro's Rule as Teen on July 4, 1961, Named to Top Position at National Leader
in Distance Learning and Online Higher Education
Md. (Oct. 1, 2012) -- James L. Shea, chair of the University
System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents,
today announced the appointment of Javier Miyares as president of University of
Maryland University College (UMUC). Miyares has served UMUC as acting president
since February 22, 2012, and has been a member of the UMUC management team for
more than 10 years. The appointment is effective today.
An institution of the University System of Maryland
(USM), UMUC offers online and on-site programs in 20 locations throughout
Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and in more than 27 countries.
"The Board of Regents is very
appreciative of the effective leadership Javier Miyares brought to his role as
acting president," Shea said. "It was impressive to the board that the UMUC
Board of Visitors expressed unanimous support of naming Javier the
institution's next president. He is an effective leader whose 30 years in
higher education and strong knowledge of UMUC bode quite well for the
Miyares, 65, joined UMUC in 2001 as vice president for
institutional effectiveness. Before joining UMUC, he served the USM office as
assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs. In that role, he was lead staff
member for USM on issues related to strategic planning, accountability, student
learning assessment, and institutional research.
The board's appointment of Miyares was made on the
recommendation of USM Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan.
"During his months as acting president, Javier has led
UMUC very effectively. His vision and
commitment and his ability to build consensus make him the ideal person to lead
UMUC at this time. All of the shared governance councils at the university were
very enthusiastic about his appointment," Kirwan said. He added, "In a time of
unprecedented technological change in higher education, UMUC's online model has
become a vital resource for USM and the state. And with its international
outreach, serving our military wherever they are stationed around the world,
UMUC is an important resource for our nation, as well. I have every confidence Javier will provide
the strong leadership necessary for UMUC to continue serving our state and
nation in an exemplary fashion."
During the past five years, UMUC has achieved many
notable milestones, including growth of statewide enrollment by an annual
average of 7 percent, successfully bidding for U.S. Department of Defense
contracts to provide higher education to American troops in Central Asia and
the Far East, and offering the first programs in cybersecurity in Maryland.
answered the call to serve in such an important role-and at such an important
time-demonstrating inspired leadership and energizing the UMUC community," said
Mark Gerencser, chair of UMUC's Board of Visitors. "He has put UMUC on a steady course and has
led the university with integrity, openness and vision."
The recommendation of the UMUC Board of
Visitors that Miyares be appointed as president was also strongly supported by
the university's advisory councils representing UMUC faculty, staff, and
"I am honored and humbled to accept
this appointment," said Miyares. "As I have said publicly, this is
not a position that I sought. My role as acting president has been to bring our
university community together during a challenging time, to remain focused on
our most important task - the education of our students - and to prepare UMUC
for continued success as a 21st century global leader in higher
education. Over the past seven months I have been heartened by the dedication
of our faculty and staff, and encouraged by the progress we have made together
on behalf of the institution. I offer my sincere thanks to the USM Board of
Regents, the UMUC Board of Visitors, our UMUC advisory councils and Chancellor
Kirwan for this vote of confidence. My focus throughout this period has been
academic integrity, transparency, and communication, and this will not change."
Miyares was born in Cuba and attended the Jesuit High
School Seminary. On July 4, 1961, at age 14 and while in the care of the
Jesuits after his father had been taken prisoner by Fidel Castro during the Bay
of Pigs invasion, he was sent to Venezuela. Eventually, he moved to Baltimore,
where he was reunited with his brother. He attended the University of Maryland,
College Park, earning bachelor's and master's degrees and beginning work on his
doctorate. Before finishing his dissertation he was offered a full time
position in the counseling center and has spent the rest of his career in
higher education in Maryland. "Both of my parents were educators," says
Miyares. "So, I feel a particular sense of pride in being appointed to lead
For more information about UMUC, visit www.umuc.edu.
Contact: Mike Lurie