Leadership Statement Summary
University System of Maryland
Summary of Leadership Characteristics Sought in the Next Chancellor
October 5, 2001
[1.0 Academic & community leadership |
2.0 Organizational leadership]
[3.0 Resource allocation & development |
[5.0 Effective personal characteristics]
The Board seeks the following characteristics and qualifications in its next
Maryland's next Chancellor, possessed of a broad academic vision and
the ability to think in Statewide and national educational terms, will
understand and endorse the distinct nature of this System and work
comfortably within it.
Maryland's next Chancellor will be comfortable and capable working
within a complex environment, know how -- through strong personal
relationships and loyalty -- to build the power to serve, and recognize the
important freedom this situation provides. Like other states, Maryland is
highly political, and the politics include the System. A healthy ego, with
low ego needs, will serve this Chancellor well.
Maryland's next Chancellor will know how, in the midst of a complex
set of agencies and institutions, to work constructively and productively,
as well as to become the preferred source of information and perspective on
public higher education. The Chancellor will lead discussions on public
policy, including such significant issues as:
- Maintaining access in a System whose institutions have become
- Defining whom higher education in Maryland serves -- only the
brightest? Only those from instate?
- Guaranteeing affordability, as the quality and cost of Maryland's
higher education rise.
- Securing quality and service, as institutions grow and class sizes
- Supporting and facilitating the work of Maryland's four historically
black institutions, and, through expected future increases in funding,
implementing the State's agreement with the
- U. S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.
- Speaking out for creative, inter-institutional collaboration and
partnership, within and around the System.
- Considering the geographical impact of current institutions'
locations in an era of rapid demographic change.
- Advocating coordinated K-16 education.
- Meeting the need for high quality engineers, information technology
specialists, teachers, nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals in
- Addressing social needs through education.
- Advancing economic development.
- Using technology as a transformative tool in education.
- Making best use of distance education, within and around the State.
A courageous, broad-thinking, articulate educator, already recognized as
an important thinker in the arena of early 21st century academia and
academic and public policy, will know how to advance this role from the
start, assume it with eagerness and pleasure, and attract the attention and
respect of academic, political, and corporate communities.
The System's next Chancellor will know how to measure and articulate
constituent institutions' many successes, feed pride and confidence,
reassure the community, build understanding of higher education's critical
role in building the new Maryland, and prove that the System adds value. A
history of public visibility and a talent for effective communication are
important foundations for this Chancellor's success, as is long and
current experience with excellence and best practice in American higher
education today. This Chancellor has the chance to define the shared vision
of higher education in Maryland. The ability to function effectively in the
midst of uncertainty is essential.
Through long experience with a wide range of institutions of higher
education and with creative partnerships (including corporations and
foundations), through a voracious appetite to know each constituent
institution inside out, and through time spent on campuses, the next
Chancellor will know how to help advance the worth and strength of each
constituent institution, foster mutually beneficial collaboration, balance
needs, enhance the System's academic coherence, and also add value to the
Patient listening, creative thinking in organizational structures and
possibilities, and intimate knowledge of academic institutions and
governance will allow this Chancellor the exciting opportunity -- perhaps
the greatest of this assignment -- to work within the System's traditions,
and in the context of its institutions' needs and dreams, to define and
advance this System now emerging in new and undefined ways. Survival and
success require a new vision, and the structures to support it.
The System's next Chancellor will be experienced in reading and
analyzing institutional structures in the context of mission, have the
courage and will to articulate needed change, and make appropriate
adjustments. Fortunately for the System and its new Chancellor, office space
is sufficient, the building structurally sound, technology adequate,
budgeting for salaries and benefits strong, and fiscal reserves in place.
Skill as a "cheerleader" will go a long way.
The next Chancellor habitually will have worked in teams and will know how
to build and use them -- for effectiveness, communication, and mutual support.
As work spirit increases, the returns on shared leadership will be dramatic
The System's next Chancellor will recognize the dramatic benefits of
seeing the System Office as a means of supporting constituent institutions, as
consistent with the history of the System, and also as adding new value,
synergy, and effectiveness.
Working with empowered, capable, independent -- and often new -- Presidents
will provide the next Chancellor with one of the position's most interesting
and rewarding opportunities. Regular meetings with Presidents -- one on one
and as a group -- will build collaboration, confidence, and vision. Hard
issues will be addressed and resolved. The Chancellor and the Presidents,
working together, will form one of the System's fundamental groups. The
foundation for success will be the Chancellor's ability to inspire
Presidents' respect, listen carefully, draw out shared themes, and
articulate vision. This Chancellor will enjoy Presidents and their work, seek
out their company, know, support, and defend them, build their trust and
confidence, and enjoy putting the spotlight on them. The results will be far
greater pleasure in work, heightened morale, strengthened constituent
institutions, a more effective System, and a better-served State.
Working within bylaws that place responsibility for the appointment and
performance of Presidents with the Board of Regents, the Chancellor still will
play a key role in evaluating the performances of Presidents, and will know
how to establish and implement appropriate and comprehensive policies -- of
the kind elaborated by AGB in its recent publication on presidential and Board
Maryland's next Chancellor will be comfortable and capable working in
an environment of multiple and complex bargaining agreements, and capable of
assisting work that will benefit all. A major advantage is the competitive pay
that workers in the System -- a "public corporation" that sets its
own terms of compensation -- already have.
The Chancellor will be experienced in managing change and steady under
pressure. This Chancellor also will know through long experience the
importance of developing strategic plans and of capturing within them the
wisdom and perspective of those affected. The current System strategic plan --
USM in 2010 -- makes for a strong start. It also is another indicator
of a growing new sense of vision.
The System's next Chancellor will recognize the Governor as a close ally
and supporter, a friend to be developed and served. A desire to listen,
understand, and help out is essential, as is the ability to articulate vision
in concrete terms. Comfort and pleasure in the political arena and skills in
its use are prerequisites for this Chancellor.
This Chancellor will recognize Maryland's legislative strength and
special situation, enjoy working with legislators, inspire respect among
them, provide helpful orientation and information to new members, and build
overall knowledge and support. An open, evenhanded, straightforward, and
honest approach, grounded in well-honed political instincts and skills,
offers best chances for success. This Chancellor probably already will have
a history of successful legislative and political relationships. Building
rewarding relations with the General Assembly in this complex and still
relatively small state remains another of the Chancellor's greatest
Since everyone acknowledges that no formula can be ideal and that
constituent institutions, if they are to continue to advance, require
appropriate funding, Maryland's next Chancellor will have the important
opportunity to insist on the development of procedures that will allow
Presidents to work with each other, the Chancellor, and the System Office to
secure optimal allocations, good times and bad. Most of the System's current
Presidents were not in office during the hard financial times of the early
The System's next Chancellor will recognize the importance of private
fundraising, the impact possible through judicious use of time and expertise,
and the need to lead this System-wide effort to a successful,
Maryland's next Chancellor will be experienced in working productively
and effectively with the business community, thereby benefiting institutions
and business, strengthening and extending programs (academic and service), and
generating new income streams. Maryland's business community is ready for
such involvement, and the Chancellor can help make it happen. The position
also goes beyond the academic and includes ambassadorial work for both the
System and the State.
While recognizing that any public institution of higher education
works within an inherently political atmosphere,Maryland's next
Chancellor also will have important experience and convictions in best
practice in academic governance, know that any system best serves its state
through independence, and recognize that the opportunity to help develop an
effective Board is one of the greatest this position can offer. As chief
educator of the Board, the Chancellor will know how to assess and modify
current structures and procedures, create appropriate information systems,
address policy issues, engage constituents and Regents in shared tasks, and
build consensus and vision. This Chancellor will take the time to know the
Regents; support, engage, protect, and advance them; develop their capacity
to add value to the System; and help them take pride in their work. Strong
and proven in the work of governance and change, this Chancellor will know
how, under stress, to hold a Board together, and broadcast its achievements.
If the Chancellor must look to the Board as primary support, so must the
Board to the Chancellor. In all of this, the Chancellor, working with the
Board, will, in yet another way, give birth to this newly emerging,
"nationally eminent" System.
The System's next Chancellor will recognize the benefit of this solid
foundation of shared governance and the importance of maintaining current
open communications. The Chancellor also will be able to work with the Board
of Regents and the plethora of other System groups to assess best governance
structures and procedures. Here, as in so many other areas of the System's
life, a careful review that is appropriate to today's needs has yet to
occur. When completed, it can advance the function of this System that is in
the process of change and improvement.
The Chancellor will know how to help the Board establish and implement full
self-assessment procedures; set annual goals -- within the framework of the
strategic plan -- and assess their performance against them. Accountability at
the top sets the tone for all in the System.
For the Chancellor to work effectively within a populist-minded,
changing, political, diverse, active, and still relatively small state, a
gregarious yet not overbearing personality will prove effective. An
"imperial presence" guarantees trouble. The Chancellor should not
need to be the center of attention. A person of few ego needs, the Chancellor
must be ready to praise and give credit to others. Any individual needing
steady public applause soon will fail.
This Chancellor will have no need to run a campus directly, but will
know, if from a more distant perspective, the unique culture, strength, and
needs of every institution, and be ready to advocate for them.
Given the magnitude of the challenges this Chancellor must address,
sound principles, integrity, stamina, courage, persistence, and, perhaps, a
fine sense of humor, will be needed.
A strong, appealing, public presence will provide early credibility
and boost success, for both the Chancellor and the emergent System.