John S. Toll took office yesterday as the University of Maryland's 22nd president and said he would devote his first year to "intensive planning" for the university's future.
At the end of a year, Toll said, he hopes "to set forth a master plan for the university to cover the next decade."
Toll, former president of State University of New York at Stony Brook, succeeds Wilson H. Elkins who retired Friday after a record 24 years as president at Maryland.
Meeting informally with reporters, Toll announced establishment of a Wilson H. Elkins professorship with a $500,000 endowment raised by a committee of friends of the university. Income from the endowment will be used to bring leading scholars in various disciplines to the Maryland campus as visiting professors, Toll said.
On the nomination of Marxist professor Bertell Ollman to head the department of government and political science at Maryland's College Park campus, Toll would say only that he plans to "review the file and take appropriate action." He said he would discuss the matter with B. Herbert Brown, chairman of the University board of regents.
The nomination of Ollman, as associate professor at New York University has become a major issue at the College Park campus. Some legislators and members of the board of regents have objected to having a Marxist in a top academic post while Ollman supporters contend that blocking the nomination at this point would be a serious breach of academic freedom.
The appointment has been approved at all levels up to the president's office.
Toll, a former chairman of the physics department at Maryland, said his year of planning would amount to a search for ways to "strengthen the academic program at all campuses of the university."