Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Dr. Robert L. Caret chats with guests at an event in December introducing him as the incoming chancellor of the University System of Maryland. USM officials say they agreed to a compensation package with Caret that is roughly equivalent to what he was making as head of the University of Massachusetts system. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Caret: college completion is key goal

University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret says getting students to graduate sooner can translate to big savings for the system’s member schools.

Increasing the speed of college completion is one of Caret’s two chief priorities as chancellor, he said during his inaugural address Thursday.

“For too long we have focused only on access [to higher education],” Caret said in his written remarks. “But access is just the beginning … reaching the goal line, completion, is success.”

Caret touted the success of the university system’s Effectiveness and Efficiency, or E&E, initiative, which he said has saved the system more than $500 million over the last ten years. But if students can graduate one semester sooner, the system could save $360 million per year, Caret said.

“That success means we will also graduate more students, more educated citizens,” Caret said. He has spoken of the advantages of getting students to graduate within four years since taking office July 1.

Caret said his second major priority is to enhance the university system as “a dynamic economic engine, both through our direct economic impact and through targeted workforce development initiatives.”

The system is already off to a great start, with seven incubators, four research parks, and about $1.2 billion in academic research and development year year, Caret said.