- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

William E. Kirwan yesterday laid out his primary objectives as the new chancellor of Maryland's higher-education system.
Mr. Kirwan said his first efforts as chancellor will be to get more students to come to Maryland colleges, get more financial support for the system and improve graduation rates for minorities.
"Developing the support throughout the state for building higher-education excellence is a vitally important role for the chancellor," he said during a press conference in Adelphi yesterday.
Mr. Kirwan, who left his post as president of the University of Maryland in College Park to take over as president of Ohio State University in 1998, returns to a system that has stronger, more autonomous university presidents than when he departed.
He said he thinks he can improve cooperation between the Board of Regents and the universities without infringing on the independence of the campuses.
As president of the College Park campus from 1989 to 1998, Mr. Kirwan was a major proponent of giving more power to individual universities. He said he has no difficulty now assuming a position he helped weaken. "The regents wanted a CEO of the system," he said. "This is a role I think I can do."
Mr. Kirwan said he didn't accomplish everything he wanted to in Columbus, Ohio, but the desire to be closer to his family proved irresistible. Mr. Kirwan's two children and two grandchildren live in Maryland.
"This was an entirely personal decision," said Mr. Kirwan, 63. "The choice was all the more difficult. I do leave with some disappointment I don't feel that my work there was done."
Mr. Kirwan took issue with some leaders in Ohio over university funding. He said that while progress was made in changing that state's attitude about funding for higher education, he regretted it "hasn't moved at a faster pace."
Since he arrived at Ohio State, the amount of money spent on research and development has increased to $377 million from $236 million in 1998, and the amount of awards from federal agencies increased from $135 million in 1998 to $198 million in 2001.
He pledged to resolve Ohio State's budget issues, plan for the school's new bioscience research tower and complete an undergraduate-education project before he leaves June 30.
He assumes his new job Aug. 1. Current Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg will step down April 30.
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.

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