UMGC President Javier Miyares to Assume New USM Leadership Role

Will Advise Chancellor, USM Presidents on Improving, Innovating Digital Curriculum

Baltimore, MD (Sept. 28, 2020) – University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Jay A. Perman has announced that Javier Miyares, the retiring president of the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), will transition this fall into an advisory capacity to the chancellor, focusing on Systemwide data analytics and how to better position the USM for distance education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In this new role, he will work with USM presidents and their respective academic teams to assess and improve the digital curriculum Systemwide. His appointment is effective immediately.

Lawrence E. Leak, PhD, will assume the role of interim president at UMGC until the search for a permanent replacement can be completed. Leak is highly regarded within the USM, having served at what was then known as the University of Maryland University College from 2003–2007 as professor and vice provost for academic affairs, acting provost and chief academic officer, and finally interim provost and chief academic officer. Leak also served on the education faculties of Towson University and Morgan State University, and was a member of former State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick’s executive team at the Maryland State Department of Education.  He is currently Secretary of the Board of Trustees at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Miyares recently announced his plans to retire after leading UMGC for the past eight years. On Sept. 1, Perman announced the appointment of a UMGC Presidential Search and Screening Committee charged with finding a successor for Miyares who will continue the institution’s impressive trajectory.

“When I assumed the role of chancellor, I knew that Javier was eager to begin his retirement after an incredible tenure as UMGC president—and yet he agreed to stay on another 10 months,” Perman said. “Javier’s new role will better allow System leaders to tap his considerable expertise and improve remote learning across the USM. The pandemic has reinforced how vital it is that students benefit from a high-quality online education—and I’m deeply grateful that President Miyares will remain to advance our work in this area.”

“I am grateful to Chancellor Perman for this opportunity to both step back from day-to-day institutional responsibilities and yet remain focused on the educational needs of students in our wonderful System—particularly those students who would be unable to access postsecondary education without new and innovative delivery methods,” Miyares said. “I look forward to working with my colleague presidents in this new and important capacity.”

“The Board of Regents is grateful for the many years that President Miyares has dedicated to the System and, most especially, for his innovative leadership at UMGC,” said Board of Regents Chair Linda R. Gooden. “But we are also extremely pleased that he can remain in this new capacity and assist Chancellor Perman and our presidents in such important work.”

Miyares will serve in this advisory role through the end of June 2021. In the meantime, the UMGC Presidential Search and Screening Committee will continue its work and provide its recommendation of finalists for consideration by the chancellor and the Board of Regents. The board will make the final selection. The work is expected to conclude by January 2021.

About the University System of Maryland

The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.

Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 172,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit

About the University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus is a world leader in innovative educational models, with award-winning online programs in disciplines including biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics and information technology that are in high demand in today’s increasingly technical, global workplace.

With an enrollment of some 90,000 students, UMGC offers open access with a global footprint and a specific mission—to meet the learning needs of students whose responsibilities may include jobs, family and military service. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, including doctoral programs. A pioneer in distance education since 1947, UMGC today is harnessing the power of learning science and technology to deliver high quality, low cost, accessible higher education.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719