Howard U.’s board leaders change, among other shifts at schools in the D.C. region


File: Graduates react as their school is called during Howard University's commencement ceremonies on May, 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Bill O'Leary/Washington Post)

With the approach of summer, leadership shifts are in motion at colleges and universities in the Washington region, including a switch atop the Howard University Board of Trustees.

Here are some of the notable developments:

●At Howard, Addison Barry Rand will step aside as board chairman at the end of this month after an eight-year run. So will board Vice Chairwoman Renee Higginbotham-Brooks after nine years in her position. Rand and Higginbotham-Brooks clashed last year over the financial condition and management of the private university in Washington, a prelude to the abrupt retirement of Howard President Sidney A. Ribeau last fall.

Stacey J. Mobley, a lawyer who has served as a trustee since 2005, will become chairman of the board, while businessman Robert L. Lumpkins (on the board since 1999) and businesswoman Benaree Pratt Wiley (on the board since 2009) will become vice chairs. Pratt Wiley is the sister of former D.C. mayor Sharon Pratt. A committee led by lawyer and longtime trustee Vernon E. Jordan Jr. is searching for a replacement for Ribeau.

●At St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Tuajuanda Jordan takes over as president July 1. Jordan, a chemist and academic dean from Oregon, succeeds Joseph R. Urgo, who left abruptly last year amid budget and recruiting troubles. Gail Harmon, the chairwoman of the public college’s governing board, this week disclosed terms of Jordan’s contract. The new president, whose contract term will be three years, will earn a base salary of $310,000 a year and will be eligible for an annual performance bonus of up to 20 percent. She also will receive annual allowances of $35,000 for housing and $7,000 for an automobile.

The president’s salary has been an issue at St. Mary’s. Some faculty members suggested capping the salary at no more than 10 times what the college’s least-paid employees make. The idea was debated this year in the school’s faculty senate and dropped. Jordan’s base salary is identical to what Urgo’s was.

●At Virginia Tech, Timothy D. Sands became president June 1.

●At the University of the District of Columbia, the Board of Trustees has extended the contract of Interim President James E. Lyons Sr. through August 2015. UDC expects to launch a national search for a president in the fall.

Kurt L. Schmoke, a veteran Howard administrator and former mayor of Baltimore, will take over as president of the University of Baltimore in July.

●The chancellor of the University System of Maryland, William E. “Brit” Kirwan, announced in May that he will retire after a 12-year run in the position. Kirwan, a prominent figure in higher education, will stay on until the system’s Board of Regents names a successor.

A former Post education editor, Nick writes about college from the perspective of a father of three who will soon be buried in tuition bills.
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