When C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr. assumed the presidency of the University of Maryland more than a year ago, he brought with him from the University of California at Berkeley an impressive reputation as a fund-raiser. So perhaps it's not surprising that a record $81.7 million was raised for College Park in his first year.
But Mote, a mechanical engineer who had been vice chancellor for fund-raising and public relations at Berkeley, has brought more than money to the Maryland campus.
Picking up where William E. Kirwan, his high-energy predecessor, left off, the mild-mannered Mote, 62, has continued to raise the profile of the school, which has 33,000 students, and he has set high goals for the next five years.
Kirwan left in part over frustration with the state's funding for its designated "flagship" campus, but Mote, who has immersed himself in the local politics of higher education, remains determinedly optimistic on all fronts.
By 2004, Mote confidently expects that U-Md. will take its place among the country's most prestigious public universities, by strengthening a "culture of excellence" on campus, enhancing the academic experience for all students and building stronger loyalties among alumni, donors, legislators and taxpayers to the institution.
Specifically, Mote aims to raise undergraduate and graduate admissions standards, construct more campus housing, increase financial aid and improve graduation rates for full-time students from 67 percent in six years to more than 80 percent.
Mote arrived in the midst of a drive to provide state funding for the university that would match monies received by its "aspirational peers" in other states. The university achieved modest gains in his first year, but still was below desired levels.
Mote says that U-Md., as a top research university, can contribute directly and indirectly to the state's economy. But he knows he's got to sell the university to make it happen, and he has dedicated himself to the task--without, seemingly, breaking a sweat.
"Nothing's either that challenging or that frustrating," he said during a break at a recent campus forum. "This is a land of opportunity."
CAPTION: President C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr. expects that the University of Maryland will take its place among the most prestigious public universities by the year 2004.