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UMB president Perman named next USM chancellor

UMB president Perman named next USM chancellor

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University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman will be the next chancellor of the University System of Maryland, the higher education system encompassing most of the state’s public universities.

Perman will take over for Chancellor Robert Caret, who announced in May he would not seek an extension of his employment agreement with the system after it ends June 2020.

University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman, center, chats with University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace Loh at the launching of the Graduate Research Innovation District at the University of Maryland BioPark in December 2017. (File photo)

“In our search for a new USM chancellor, we were looking for a nationally recognized leader — ideally someone who had run a large and complex institution, an innovator committed to economic growth and development — but above all a person with a passion for education and committed to shared governance, transparency and diversity,” Linda Gooden, chair of the USM Board of Regents, said in a statement. “Fortunately for us that we found all of those things right in our own backyard.”

“Jay Perman embodies these attributes,” Gooden continued. “He is warmly regarded by his fellow USM presidents and greatly respected in Annapolis. I know I speak for every regent in saying we are delighted that he has agreed to take on this new and important challenge. And I also know that every regent would like to thank Chancellor Caret for his service to the USM.”

Perman has been president of UMB since 2010. He carries the respect of many of his fellow university presidents, serving as chair of the Council of University System Presidents for the past four years.

“I am deeply humbled to be called to this responsibility,” Perman said in a statement. “It will be a privilege to work as chancellor with our outstanding USM institutions to ensure that Marylanders — today and tomorrow — have the opportunities I was so fortunate to be given in gaining a higher education.”

Caret has overseen enrollment growth of 7% during his tenure and also created an investment vehicle to help university-related startup companies.

He has maintained a favorable reputation within the national higher education community, including praise from fellow leaders who led a review of the system’s governance last year.

But over the past year, Caret’s leadership during investigations into the University of Maryland’s football program and an ethics flap led to concerns about his continuing as chancellor. The episodes also irritated some state lawmakers and eroded confidence in the leadership of the public institution.

Perman is someone who is familiar with the state’s university system and with the politics in Annapolis.

He has been UMB president during a time when the state legislature formalized the partnership between the Baltimore and College Park campuses. With College Park President Wallace Loh, who is also retiring next year, Perman has worked to develop more joint research and business opportunities for the two campuses.

Perman has also been a presence in region’s business community, most recently serving as president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

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