- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2001

ANNAPOLIS Gov. Parris N. Glendening withdrew his name from consideration as chancellor at the University System of Maryland yesterday, saying that because of his love for the university, "I will not allow any action I take to cause harm."
"The University System of Maryland is one of our state's crown jewels. The search for its next leader cannot suffer even the slightest hint of compromise," Mr. Glendening said in a letter to Nathan Chapman, chairman of the Board of Regents.
"Therefore, I ask that my name no longer be considered for this post as you continue with the current search process," the letter says.
Mr. Glendening had never formally expressed a desire for the $345,000-a-year job at the end of his term as governor 13 months from now. But he is a former professor at the University of Maryland College Park, and there has been speculation for months that the Board of Regents might choose him to replace Donald Langenberg, who will leave the post in April.
Critics said the governor's interest would discourage top-rank academics around the country from applying for the job. They also said it would be improper for him to be considered by the regents since he appointed or reappointed all of the members of the board.
House Speaker Casper R. Taylor, Allegany County Democrat, said he believed Mr. Glendening was "eminently qualified" for the position, but he appreciated the decision he made "for the sake of the entire system."
"I think he's the unfortunate victim of some rank partisanship," Mr. Taylor said. "But given the circumstances, there's no question that he has acted as the statesman that he is."
Critics stepped up their complaints when Mr. Glendening said in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education published this week that he would consider it an honor to be nominated.
Two trustees of the University of Maryland's fund-raising foundation said they would retract their donations if Mr. Glendening pursued his bid to become chancellor.
The two donors asked not to be identified, but Brodie Remington, president of the foundation and a university vice president, said both donors made the threat at a recent foundation board meeting.
The donors told the Baltimore Sun that the withdrawn money would total $1 million.
Mr. Glendening's press secretary, Michelle Byrnie, said the governor had spent most of the day at the College Park campus, "visiting, taking a look at the projects moving forward with state funding."
"He loves higher education. He loves the University of Maryland. He thinks that this was the right thing to do," she said.
G. Madison Powers, director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, said before the announcement was made that the governor's candidacy could undermine the public's confidence in the process of selecting a chancellor.
"The public has a right to expect [the regents] to appoint the very best person they can get for arguably one of the 10 or 12 most important university systems in the country," he said.
Mr. Glendening said in a statement distributed by his press office that he is "fully committed to completing my term as governor." The state constitution prohibits him from running for a third term.
"Along with the ongoing fight to support higher education, we still have challenges to address in the areas of smart growth, land preservation and environmental protection," the statement says.

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