To the Editors:
Regarding “Perman praised, but USM search leaves questions for troubled system” (Nov. 11, 2019):
I was surprised and disappointed to read the story in The Daily Record regarding the selection of University of Maryland, Baltimore President Jay Perman as the next chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM). While I completely agree that Dr. Perman is an exceptional choice, I must point out several serious mischaracterizations about the process that need to be addressed.
By any objective assessment, the USM conducted a fair, open, inclusive search that complied with both state law and standard USM and higher education practice. The search committee — a diverse group that included regents, USM presidents, faculty, business people and alumni — took part in 10 town hall meetings with internal and external audiences, getting extensive input from throughout the USM and across the state. Public comment was solicited and accommodated. The publicly announced search drew an impressive and diverse pool of over 50 applicants nationally.
State law, in recognizing the importance of maintaining candidate confidentiality, does not require an open search. However, the results of this search will be forwarded to the full board for final affirmation at a public meeting that will take place on Nov. 22 at the Universities at Shady Grove.
The bottom line is that the USM conducted an extensive, open, transparent search that resulted in a tremendous selection. This is something to be celebrated.
The writer is the chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.