In Memoriam: Richard Rose, 1947-2007

Richard Rose enjoys a
Chesapeake cruise with colleagues, Summer 2006.

Photograph by Beth Meeks, FSU

ADELPHI, Md. (January 15, 2007) - The University System of Maryland (USM) is saddened to announce the passing of Richard N. Rose, executive director of the University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications System (UMATS) and USM Office IT, who succumbed to cancer on Friday, January 5, 2007. He was 59.

"Richard had a long and distinguished career with USM, and his expertise, experience, and insight were vital to our office and to the system as a whole," said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "But Richard brought so much more to his position. His personal warmth, optimistic outlook, and indefatigable desire to be of service to others made a great impression on all who had the good fortune to know him, professionally and personally. He will be sorely missed."

Rose began his lifelong career in higher education at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1969 after serving in Vietnam. In 1983, he transferred to USM (at the time called the University of Maryland Central Administration). Counting his time in active-duty service with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, he had more than 39-and-a-half years of state service.

Colleagues remember Rose as a leader, mentor, and friend who ran "a well-oiled machine" and valued professionalism, the highest degree of customer service, and a good sense of humor from his staff.

"Those of us who worked closely with Richard for many years saw him as far more than a boss," said Fred Hayes, USM computer systems information officer. "He was a teacher, a mentor, and, most of all, a great friend."

"His kindness, intellect, warmth, and humor will be greatly missed, but we know that our lives will be forever enriched for having known him," added USM colleague Norwin Malmberg, IT systems programmer.

In addition to overseeing the IT operations of USM, he directed UMATS, the provider of advanced telecommunications services for the system's 13 institutions. He was instrumental in introducing an integrated video network as a key component of distance learning throughout the system. Colleagues credit him with working to ensure high quality and cost-efficient internet services for the system. In addition, he was a staunch advocate for USM employees as an active participant in the Council of University System Staff (CUSS).

"Richard was an extremely creative administrator," said Don Spicer, associate vice chancellor and CIO. "He dealt with complex issues and always developed innovative solutions. He engaged a wide range of stakeholders, both within the USM and outside. People depended on his advice. He used these relationships to the benefit of the USM and the state of Maryland as a whole. Many people will miss his advice and counsel."

A man of many interests, Rose enjoyed spending time with his family and looked forward to retiring in the near future. Besides devoting time to "fixing up the house," he intended to fulfill a lifelong dream to go fishing in Alaska and to work on perfecting his golf game-hoping to break under the ever-elusive 80 par! He was also an accomplished guitarist who enjoyed playing the blues and entertaining friends and family with his prized National resonator guitar.

Rose, who lived in Owings, MD, is survived by his wife Carla and two daughters, Erika and Courtney.

On Thursday, January 25, 2007, Rose will be interred with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, following his father, mother, and grandfather, who was a veteran of World War I. The service is open to all friends and family. The gravesite service will begin at 10 a.m. Those wishing to attend must meet at the Arlington National Cemetery Administration Building at 9:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, his family has requested that memorial donations be made to:

Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation
DeCesaris Cancer Institute Fund
2001 Medical Parkway, Suite 240
Annapolis, MD 21401

Contact: John Buettner
Phone: 301.445.2719