- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2002

From combined dispatches
Ohio State University President William E. Kirwan said yesterday he will leave the state's largest university to become chancellor of the University System of Maryland.
Mr. Kirwan spent 34 years at the University of Maryland as a professor and was president from 1989 to 1998 before becoming president at Ohio State.
"The decision has caused me great anguish, because I feel enormously proud and privileged to serve as president of this university," Mr. Kirwan said in a statement released by Ohio State.
The Maryland university system has been searching for a replacement for Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, who will step down April 30 as head of the organization overseeing Maryland's public universities.
Maryland government officials yesterday praised Mr. Kirwan's selection as the new chancellor. Mr. Kirwan, 63, will take over Aug. 1.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who is leaving office in January and briefly had expressed interest in the post himself, applauded the Board of Regents' choice.
"There is no one who could be a more effective, more respected chancellor than 'Brit' Kirwan," the governor said.
Mr. Glendening enthusiastically endorsed Mr. Kirwan, one of three finalists for the job, in a letter last week to board Chairman Nathan A. Chapman Jr. He said Mr. Kirwan is a respected friend, dating back to their working days together at College Park, when Mr. Glendening was a professor of political science.
Mr. Glendening said that Mr. Kirwan "was extremely valuable in helping to shape and support my efforts to restore higher-education funding to its deserved place of prominence in Maryland's budget."
Mr. Kirwan resigned from the College Park post in 1998, complaining the state wasn't spending enough to make the school a top-ranked university.
Since then, Maryland officials have boosted public support for the university system by 33 percent and the College Park campus has gained some prestige.
"His biggest goal, and he'll have to work with the regents and the campus presidents, is to build on the momentum and the prominence that so many of our campuses have achieved," Mr. Glendening said.
State Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, Baltimore Democrat and chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, nominated Mr. Kirwan for the chancellor's job.
She said yesterday that strong state support for higher education would continue, despite current fiscal constraints.
"You never have to worry that this state is not committed to higher education," Mrs. Hoffman said.
Mrs. Hoffman said Mr. Kirwan would not neglect the system's 12 smaller campuses despite his close ties to College Park and would be fair to all the system's 120,000 students.
Mr. Kirwan will receive $375,000 in his first year as chancellor, compared with his salary of $275,400 at Ohio State. Mr. Langenberg's salary this year is $359,000.
Mr. Chapman said in a statement the regents viewed Mr. Kirwan as "a native son returning home," even though he was born and raised in Kentucky.
"He knows the USM and has long-standing family and community ties in Maryland," Mr. Chapman said.
Mr. Kirwan said the move was based on family considerations. The Kirwans' two children were raised in Maryland and still live there with the Kirwans' grandchildren.
"Patty and I will soon be 64, and at this stage of our lives, spending time with them is of paramount importance," he said.
"While both positions offer extraordinary professional challenges and rewards, the position in Maryland affords us the opportunity to continue doing important work in higher education while living near our family."


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