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Burnim named interim president at UMES

Former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim will lead the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on an interim basis. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim will lead the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on an interim basis. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim has been named the interim president at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the University System of Maryland announced Monday.

Burnim will begin transitioning into the job next week and officially take over as interim president July 1, holding the position until a permanent president is named.

“Mickey Burnim is a widely respected member of the (University System of Maryland) community with success leading two Historically Black Institutions, including more than a decade of excellent service as president of Bowie State University,” Robert Caret, the university system chancellor, said in a statement.  “He is the ideal leader to guide UMES on an interim basis while the search and selection process for a new president concludes.”

Juliette Bell, the university’s current president, announced in February that she would be stepping down this summer.

Caret previously announced a search committee chaired by Regent Michelle Gourdine in March to find Bell’s replacement. The system noted in a release that committees typically take about six months to choose a candidate.

Burnim retired from the presidency at Bowie State University last summer after leading the historically black school for 11 years. During that time, the university made strides in updating that school’s campus and raising its profile within its local community.

“I am honored to have been asked to serve for this interim period and look forward to working with the many people who want to see UMES grow and prosper,” Burnim said in a statement.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has had its own struggles over the past several years.

The university’s enrollment struggled under Bell’s tenure, as it has at USM’s other small schools, Coppin State University and Frostburg State University.

In the fall of 2011, the year before Bell took over as president, the university enrolled more than 4,500 students, both full time and part time. In the fall of 2016, the last year for which data is available, enrollment had fallen to just over 3,900.


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