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At UB, search is on for new leadership

Classes resume at the University of Baltimore on Monday, marking the final semester under the leadership of President Robert L. Bogomolny, who announced his retirement in September. He will have held the top office for 12 years.

Robert L. Bogomolny

Robert L. Bogomolny will step down as UB president in the spring, then return as a law professor after a year.

A search committee — which was announced in November and is headed by Marie Van Deusen, a 1989 alumna, member of the UB Foundation board of directors and a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney — is now about halfway through the process of finding a replacement.

Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, which is based in Illinois but has an office in Bethesda, was brought on to aid in the process. Members of the committee estimated they would need six months to find and nominate potential candidates. The final selection will be made by University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan and the Board of Regents.

The search process is confidential, and although Van Deusen said she can’t share any information about the potential candidates or the exact number of applicants, she did say “interest is high.”

The goal is to have the new president in place by the start of the 2014-15 academic year, and Van Deusen said the committee is on track to meet that target.

In fall 2015, after a year-long sabbatical, Bogomolny plans to return to the faculty as a law professor.

This spring semester is also the last for Stephen Percy as dean of the College of Public Affairs, a job he’s held since August 2011.

Percy gave notice in mid-December that he would step down at the end of the academic year to accept a position as dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. He will begin that role June 1.

The members of a search committee to find a replacement Public Affairs dean will be announced shortly, UB spokesman Chris Hart said.

The university’s Merrick School of Business is also going through a transitional period. In September, Frank J. Navratil, a faculty member at John Carroll University in Ohio, began serving a one-year term as interim dean, following the resignation last year of Darlene Brannigan Smith, who served as dean of the business school from 2008 to 2013. A search committee is working to find a replacement.

Smith submitted a letter of resignation to Bogomolny and Provost Joseph Wood dated July 16, in which she said: “After careful analysis of the current culture of the University, I do not believe that this culture will allow me to achieve my future goals and successfully lead the school forward.”

Percy, however, said he had not been actively looking to leave the university but was contacted by a search firm about the deanship at Portland.

“Portland State University has been a national leader for some time in the area of university-community engagement, and that’s my passion,” Percy said in an interview. “So when the opportunity came and I explored it, I thought it was something I really wanted to pursue professionally.

“But at the same time,” he said, “I will regret leaving so many good folks at the University of Baltimore, and I think the best days of the university are ahead.”