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Veteran educator named University of Maryland’s next president

The main administration building at University of Maryland, College Park. (The Daily Record / Tim Curtis)

The main administration building at University of Maryland, College Park. (The Daily Record / Tim Curtis)

Darryll J. Pines, a veteran faculty member and dean of the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, will be the university’s next president.

Pines, who has been with the university for 25 years, will take over for Wallace Loh, whose decade as president was marked by significant development both on campus and in downtown College Park along with strong fundraising but was also blemished by several high-profile student deaths and struggles with racial diversity.

Pines will bring experience as both a prolific fundraiser and someone who has worked to improve diversity in his own college.

Linda Gooden, chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, praised Pines’ leadership and highlighted his experience with the college and the state.

Darryll J. Pines has been named the new president at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Submitted photo)

Darryll J. Pines has been named the new president at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Submitted photo)

“The Board is delighted to welcome as president of our flagship institution a leader of the caliber of Dr. Pines,” she said in a statement. “The University of Maryland, College Park is a world-class institution, and Dr. Pines brings to the position a wealth of experience. He knows intimately the strengths of the faculty, the energy of the students, and the circle of legislative and philanthropic support both in the State of Maryland and beyond.”

Loh is retiring after 10 years as president of the university. He nearly retired last year after investigations into the 2018 death of football player Jordan McNair led to the reinstatement of then-football coach D.J. Durkin.

But after an outpouring of support from university alumni, fundraisers, faculty and lawmakers, Loh fired Durkin and later said he would stay on through June 2020, the end of his employment agreement.

Months after Durkin’s death, Loh also dealt with the 2018 death of freshman Olivia Paregol after she contracted adenovirus while living in a mold-infested dorm. Paregol’s parents have criticized Loh’s response to her death, but a Board of Regents-commissioned report found that the university followed established protocols.

In 2017, a black Bowie State University student, Richard Collins III, was murdered on the College Park campus. His death was the most violent of what had been a series of racial incidents on campus including racist graffiti.

Following Collins’ death, the university issued a number of goals it hoped would help improve the diversity and inclusion climate on campus and established a center to study diversity and inclusion in higher education.

At the same time, the university has struggled with declining enrollment among black students.

Pines brings a track-record of addressing diversity in the school of engineering. 

In a letter to the University of Maryland community, University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman credited Pines with increasing his college’s number of faculty who are women or from underrepresented backgrounds.

Pines also has a reputation as a strong fundraiser. He played a critical role in securing the $219.5 million gift from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation in 2017, one of the largest gifts to a public university.

“It is an honor to take on the leadership role at the University of Maryland, College Park — clearly one of our nation’s finest Research I universities — and one that I know and love so well,” Pines said in a statement. “As professor and dean of engineering, I am well acquainted with and have long admired the outstanding faculty, the executive leadership, and the passionate and civically engaged alumni and students who make Maryland such a special place. I’m excited by this new challenge and can’t wait to listen, learn, and lead this incredible university.”

Pines is the second internal promotion within the system this academic year. Perman was named chancellor in November after serving as president at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

In his letter, Perman said he already has a strong working relationship with Pines.

“Of course, I’ve known Dr. Pines for a long time,” he wrote. “I’ve known him as an outstanding teacher, a dedicated mentor, a brilliant researcher, and an extraordinary leader. It’s fitting — and gratifying — that UMD will be led by a member of its own family, by someone who knows so well its people and programs, its considerable strengths and enormous potential.”

Pines will become the 34th president of the University of Maryland, College Park on July 1.

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