Jay A. Perman, M.D.
University System of Maryland
Growing up in a limited income family, he did not think he would have the opportunity to get a higher education simply because of affordability.
“People I never met helped me along the way to the kind of education that I was fortunate to get,” he said. “… When that sort of thing happens to you, ideally, you develop a zeal, a desire, even an obligation to make sure it happens for others. That’s the reason I’ve got this determination to make sure that people have the same opportunities I was given.”
In January, the pediatric gastroenterologist became the fifth chancellor of the University System of Maryland after serving as the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore for nearly a decade.
“I am hoping we make even more progress than we have already in terms of two words that are commonly used but are meaningful, access and affordability,” Perman said. His goal is to make sure students, whether just out of high school or continuing their education as an adult, have the opportunity to continue their education.
Interacting with students is what brings him the most joy in his job. “After all, the students are literally what this is all about,” Perman said. “I don’t want to be the kind of executive that isn’t essentially walking the floor with the very clients that we have.”
He is privileged to work with talented colleagues, administrators, faculty, staff and students. “Every day I have incredible interactions, learn something from somebody and am inspired by somebody, a student that is achieving heights that she or he never thought they would achieve. It not only keeps me going but gets me excited.”