- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 13, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) The chairman of the state university system's Board of Regents has resigned two months earlier than previously planned.
Nathan Chapman Jr., who resigned Friday, had said in July that he would step down as chairman at the end of this year, thereby letting the regents name a new chairman with the backing of the new governor, to be elected in November.
Mr. Chapman said at the time that he wanted to devote more time to his Baltimore investment-management business, which is the subject of a federal investigation centering on the firm's handling of state pension funds.
But in recent weeks, regents have privately expressed the hope that Mr. Chapman would resign earlier. Some said that repeated references to Mr. Chapman's position as board chairman in reports on his business troubles were affecting the board's image.
Mr. Chapman didn't mention such pressures at the board meeting Friday. He said he was stepping down now to allow regents time to select a new chairman immediately after the election Nov. 5. He said he will remain a regular board member for the remaining two years of his term.
"I think this is an appropriate time," Mr. Chapman said. "It's important the new chair have an excellent relationship with the new governor, so this way the board will have enough time to make sure that person is prepared to see that through."
Mr. Chapman said he was honored to lead the system during a period that saw a rapid rise in its national reputation.
The board will select a new chairman after the November election and in time for its next meeting, in December.
The resignation will give Mr. Chapman more time to focus on his company, EChapman.com, which has seen its stock plummet during the past year.
Federal officials are investigating the purchase of stock in the company by managers selected by Mr. Chapman to invest state pension funds. Officials have said those purchases cost the pension fund about $5 million.


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