It can pay, to be Ronald J.

The president of Johns Hopkins University was the only head of a private college in Maryland to earn more than $1 million in total compensation in 2011, according to data compiled and released a few days ago by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Ronald J. Daniels took home $1,184,535 that year, earning him the No. 30 spot on the national list of highest-paid presidents of private colleges. Daniels, whose base pay was $859,555, was the only Maryland president to break the national Top 50.

Maryland’s second-highest paid private president was Ronald J. Volpe (why can’t my name be Ronald J?) from Hood College in Frederick — but Daniels beat him by a landslide. Volpe took home $860,790 in total compensation, which is just a hair more than Daniels’ base pay, landing him at No. 64 on the national list. Volpe’s base was $298,401.

But still, Volpe may be laughing the hardest on his way to the bank.

That’s because when the Chronicle calculated how much money the presidents made in relation to their school’s expenditures, Hood College was the most top-heavy with its dollars.

Volpe earned $21,664 per every $1 million in college expenditures, the most of any private president in Maryland and nearly four times as much as the median pay-relative-to-budget nationally, which was $5,466 per $1 million of expenses.

Hood spent a total of $39.7 million in 2011, a pittance compared to the $4.3 billion spent by Hopkins. That’s why Daniels earned only (“only”) $277 per $1 million in college expenditures, the lowest ratio on Maryland’s list and the sixth-lowest ratio on the national list (with the exception of religious institutions that pay $0 in executive compensation).

The nation’s highest paid president of a private university (based on total compensation) was Robert J. Zimmer (another R.J.!?!), of the University of Chicago, who received a total of $3,358,723 with base pay of $917,993.

Amherst College paid the highest base ($1,523,822) to its then-president, Anthony W. Marx, of any school. Marx received about $1.6 million in total compensation, which landed him at No. 11 on the list.

Be sure to read the “About these data” section at the bottom of the webpage for info about where the numbers came from and which schools were included and excluded from the list, if you’re into that kind of stuff.

Health care industry has been eating its spinach

Health care is the only major industry in Maryland with a workforce that increased consistently every year for the past 12 years (with the exception of a few quarters in which employment was steady or dipped by a nearly undetectable amount).

The December special publication “Doing Business in Maryland: Outlook 2014” features snapshots of 13 major industries, such as manufacturing, information technology and construction. For each industry, it provides a graph showing employment levels and rate of growth over time.

The information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and was compiled by the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University.

Health CareThe report also includes essays by Maryland’s business leaders, stories about up-and-coming business trends and in-depth analyses of the sectors driving the state economy.

Of the 13 industries featured, education looks the most similar to health care —perhaps unsurprising, given the close relationship between universities and medical systems.

The size of the education workforce increased steadily over time. There were no major fluctuations but there were plenty of visible blips in both directions. On the health care graph, there is only one visible (though small) decrease in employment: the first quarter of 2010.

I do want to differentiate between the rate of growth and the increase in the employment level. The dotted line on the graph shows the percent change in employment during a given quarter compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

Some fluctuation occurred in the rate of growth in health care employment. Between the fourth quarters of 2011 and 2012, the industry grew at a rate of 2.0 percent, adding 6,848 employees to payrolls, primarily in ambulatory care services.

For the past dozen years, the growth rate always stayed somewhere between about 1.3 percent and 3.8 percent.

That means that at any given point, there were always more health care jobs than there were at that time during the previous year.

The other 12 industries featured in the publication experienced contraction at some point during the last 12 years.

Even bioscience, a hot field in Maryland, is more volatile. Employment exploded in this industry around the turn of the millennium but has since leveled off, and numbers continue to dip up and down.

To examine employment trends in your industry, check out “Doing Business in Maryland.” Let me know which trends you found most intriguing — post in the Comments section or find me on Twitter @TDRAlissa.

Strawberry milk: Is nothing sacred?

No more strawberry milk in Montgomery County school cafeterias? How can that be?

Strawberry milk(shake)Marla R. Caplon, who apparently makes the big decisions on what you can and can’t put on your trays, told the Washington Post it’s the “right thing to do.” Kids have until January to drink up.

According to the school system, 18 percent of all the milk it serves right now is strawberry milk. Chocolate milk accounts for 67 percent. But apparently the red dye #40 is an issue (and you thought it contained strawberries?)

It’s a pity, really. Strawberry milk features in one of the best-known manga quotes of all time. Way to deprive kids of a multicultural education — and a lunchtime treat.

Appealing to students’ stomachs – and consciences?

When Johns Hopkins University pledged to buy more local, sustainable food, part of officials’ rationale for doing so was that it could encourage other schools to follow suit. As a powerhouse university with major influence, officials said, Hopkins could blaze the trail.

If multiple college and universities in Maryland also signed the pledge (which is organized by a national group called Real Food Challenge and which asks colleges and universities to buy at least 20 percent of their food from local sources by 2020) that could make a real difference for small farmers, ranchers and other suppliers throughout the state, advocates said.

FoodThe economic benefit to those local producers is clear, as is the potential environmental payoff of more sustainable farming practices and reduced emissions from not transporting food across the country. But when Jon Berger, the RFC’s mid-Atlantic regional coordinator, told me the organization is working to revive
“the art of cooking from scratch” in the nation’s college cafeterias, I couldn’t help but wonder how that would go.

What’s the benefit to universities and colleges?

How do you persuade administrators who aren’t interested in the “buy local” movement to shift their focus, and, in some cases, to pay more for food? How do you convince worn-out dining services workers that cooking is better than, as Berger put it, “unzipping and unpacking”?

Berger had an answer: “It’s about what young people want,” he said. “If you look at what students say they want in a college, the amount they say they care about the food has gone up a lot in the past decade, so more schools are starting to pay attention to that as a crucial piece of attracting students.”

He might be on to something there. Environmental issues are certainly important to a substantial number of people, particularly young people. But how many students would choose a school because it emphasized sustainability in the dining halls? Or, conversely, how many would rule a school out based on its lack of support?

Leave your opinion in the comments section!

Site calls University of Maryland underrated for entrepreneurship

Despite high rankings for entrepreneurship from various media outlets, one site says the University of Maryland is highly underrated.

PandoDaily, which aims to be “the site-of-record for that startup root-system,” used its own method for ranking the entrepreneurial quality of colleges, the StartEngine College Index, and decided that UMCP is the second-most underrated school in the country, and the most underrated public institution.

How did they do that? Well, they created a list of every college with 15 or more alumni whose startups got investor funding. They took the total funding to date each startup received and divided that by the number of founders, creating the measurement “capital per founder,” or CPF. From there, they found the median CPF for each school, which was used to determine the ranking.

University of MarylandMaryland’s median CPF was $10.3 million, second in the nation only to Northwestern University. It beat out all of the Ivy Leaguers, of which Princeton University ranked the highest, third place, with a median CPF of $10.1 million.

Although the university’s number of founders, 18, is meager compared to Stanford University’s 207 and Harvard’s 130, it comes down to the amount of money people tended to invest in those startups, which was generally higher at UMCP.

But PandoDaily, why the tone of surprise? Here is how the writer, Howard Marks, reacted to the stat:

“Who saw that coming?  The Terrapins have zero reputation for being an entrepreneurial bunch, but here they are crushing private schools (including the entire Ivy League) on the StartEngine index. Maryland ranks second, with a median IPF of $10.3 million.”

Marks goes on to remind the reader that, after all, Google cofounder Sergey Brin completed undergrad at UMCP. However, perhaps he forgot a little bit more than that.

It’s also alma mater to Ramit Varma, co-founder of Revolution Prep and  Jeong H. Kim, whose electronic communications firm, Yurie Systems, was acquired for $1 billion. And let’s not forget Under Armour founder Kevin Plank — it’s no secret where he went to school given his company’s elaborate Maryland Pride creations for the college’s sports teams.

The school’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship offers competitions, pitch practice, tech transfer opportunities and a network of angel investors. The university’s Hinman CEOs program was the nation’s first living and learning program for entrepreneurs.

Not to mention, UMCP’s undergraduate Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was ranked 15th in the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine’s report, and college rating website declared UMCP the fourth best college for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Underrated, perhaps, but does UMCP really have “zero reputation” for entrepreneurship?

Stevenson discounts tuition for hospital employees

Employees at Medstar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore will now get a 20 percent discount on tuition for courses in Stevenson University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Stevenson University

The Baltimore County liberal arts school announced the offer on Thursday. Stevenson officials wanted to extend a “thank you” to the hospital, where many of its nursing students go to get their clinical experience.

Officials from both institutions said they hope Union Memorial employees will take advantage of the offer to continue their education by enrolling in one of the department’s accelerated degree programs, which are geared toward working adults.

Most can be completed within 18 to 24 months, depending on how many credits a student has upon entering. Courses come in either a traditional 16-week format or an eight-week hybrid format that includes online classes.

The master’s degree programs (some are online or part online) are: Business and Technology Management, Cyber Forensics, Forensic Science, Forensic Studies (with tracks in accounting, information technology, legal, investigation, interdisciplinary, and criminalistics), Healthcare Management, Nursing (with a focus on either leadership/management or nursing education) and Teaching (with a focus on STEM).

There are also eight undergraduate programs: Business Administration, Business Communication, Business Information Systems, Computer Information Systems, Criminal Justice, Interdisciplinary Studies, RN to BS Nursing, and Paralegal Studies.

For more information, please contact Angela Scagliola at 443-352-4414 or email; or visit Stevenson’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies online at

Tom Clancy’s local ties

Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy’s 1969 Loyola College yearbook photo. (Courtesy Loyola Maryland University)

Tom Clancy, the best-selling author who died Tuesday in Baltimore, had many well-documented local ties. Here are some other tidbits about him:

– Clancy was a 1969 graduate of what is now Loyola University Maryland. His yearbook photo (pictured at right) shows he was an English major who also participated in the Chess Academy and on the debate team. Clancy received an honorary doctorate from Loyola in 1986 after giving the commencement address.

“He truly embodied the creativity we inspire our students and alumni to bring to their personal and professional lives, and we are proud to call him a member of the Loyola University Maryland family,” said Nick Alexopulos, the school’s media relations manager, in a statement.

– Clancy was behind the largest condominium transaction in Baltimore history in November 2009 when he paid $12.6 million for a penthouse space in the Ritz-Carlton residences. As we wrote at the time of the sale:

Clancy’s new home is actually three units merged into one, and a spokesman for the Ritz said the deed reflects the sale as one residence. With four bedrooms, six bathrooms and six balconies, the condo totals 11,959 square feet and boasts views of the Inner Harbor, the Chesapeake Bay past Locust Point and the area near the Camden Yards sports complex.

Other amenities include hardwood flooring, imported marble, a theater, a computer-controlled heating and cooling system, custom cabinets and three semi-private elevators.

A little more than a year later, he purchased the entire floor. (That’s a total of 17,000-plus-square-feet of living space if you’re scoring at home.)

– Clancy’s divorce from his first wife made its way to Maryland’s top court. In 2008, the Court of Appeals reversed a lower court and gave Clancy a chance to argue “that he be allowed to take his name off of a series of books written by someone else in a ‘Clancyesque’ style.”

Clancy was seeking to distance himself the bestselling “Tom Clancy’s Op-Center” books partly owned by the Jack Ryan Limited Partnership he formed with his ex-wife, Wanda King.

The couple, which divorced in 1999, settled the case in May 2010, according to court records.

Raters of the liberal arts

UM Baltimore GraduationMF30AThe new college and university rankings from U.S. News & World Report are out. And after you have checked on where your alma mater stands (mine is at No. 18 among regional universities), you should read The Atlantic’s concise roundup about why you should ignore these ratings.

John Tierney lumps the U.S. News rankings in with junk food and celebrity obsession as something we consume though it’s bad for us. What’s wrong with the list? A sampling:

*U.S. News changes what it measures, so it’s hard to compare one year with another.

*“Because the rankings have a popular audience, they encourage colleges and universities to game the system.” Or outright cheat.

*There is no measure of educational outcomes. You know, like getting a job.

*“A very substantial chunk (22.5 to 25 percent) of an institution’s ranking comes not from any hard data but from a ‘reputational’ measure, in which U.S. News solicits ‘peer assessments’ from college presidents, provosts and admissions directors, as well as input from high-school counselors.” Hmm. Sounds like college football’s Top 25.

Tierney says the rankings can provide a “rough guide” to colleges, but “using the U.S. News rankings for any more exacting purpose is about as good for you as eating potato chips and Gummy Bears for dinner. With maple syrup.”

YouTube Preview Image


UB unveils newly named communications school

The University of Baltimore has renamed its School of Communications Design in honor of a family that made a $1.5 million donation to the school, officials announced Tuesday.

The Klein Family School of Communications Design is named for the Owings Mills-based Philip and Harriet Klein Foundation and other members of the family, including Michael F. Klein.

Philip Klein graduated from the university in 1938, while Michael, his son, graduated in 1976. Rachel Klein, Michael’s daughter, graduated in 2000.

“UB played a vital role in my grandfather, Philip Klein’s, life, and he would be pleased to know that the foundation he created through his life’s work will be assisting his alma mater for generations to come,” said Daniel Klein, the foundation’s trustee. “Additionally, my grandmother, Harriet Klein, was an ardent supporter of education and would be equally enthused at the Foundation’s continued devotion to its core mission and values.”

The newly designated school, which is part of the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, will continue to house UB’s undergraduate and graduate programs in design and communications. Those offerings include bachelor’s degree programs in English and digital communication, as well as master’s degrees in integrated design and creative writing and publishing arts.

The endowment will be used to support to continued academic development of the school, officials said.

“The Klein family’s generosity and progressive spirit will allow our school to introduce writing, graphic design, technology and creativity to the next generation of bright, high-achieving students at UB,” Laura Bryan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement. “Their support is crucial to our success.”

Core standards aren’t ‘Common’ knowledge

School books and appleMost Americans don’t know the first thing about the Common Core State Standards, according to a recent Gallup poll, even though most public schools across the country will launch these new learning standards at the end of this month.

The Common Core State Standards initiative is a national effort being voluntarily implemented and managed by local school systems in 45 states and Washington, D.C.

In 2010, the Maryland State Board of Education became one of the first states to vote to adopt CCSS. Some schools have already begun rolling out the new curriculum.

All schools in the state will implement the standards (which set rigorous new learning goals in English/language arts and math for students in grades K-12) during the upcoming school year.

Yet the 45th annual PDK International/Gallup “Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools” found that 62 percent of adults surveyed said they’d never heard of the Common Core. Of the respondents who were familiar with the standards, many incorrectly believed the federal government mandated their implementation, according to the survey, which was released to the public Wednesday.

But because not all of the 1,001 survey respondents were parents, the results aren’t too surprising, said William Reinhard, spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education.

“It’s only being fully implemented this year,” he said. “And I don’t think it’s real surprising that non-parents wouldn’t know about the Common Core any more so than non-parents wouldn’t know about the current curriculum. It’s mostly parents who are involved in that.”

Reinhard said the MSDE has been working since 2010 to publicize the initiative, involving hundreds of teachers, administrators and parents. The department’s website  puts the Common Core front and center.

“We’ve been working for three years on this,” he said. “This is not something we plan to roll out without having people aware… but we’re going to continue to get the word out to folks.”

The basic idea behind the new standards is to establish common expectations for what students should learn in each grade and how those concepts should be taught.

The focus is on helping students master basic concepts that will better prepare them for college and for careers in a global economy.

According to the survey, only 41 percent of Americans believe the Common Core will make schools more globally competitive. Yet 95 percent want schools to teach critical thinking skills, which is another major goal of CCSS.

The poll also examined public views about arming teachers to protect against school shooters (most Americans oppose that idea), the value of standardized testing (or lack thereof, according to the majority of respondents) and the merits of home-schooling (which most respondents support). To view the survey results in full, check out the PDK International website.