Press Release - USM Names Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

June 4, 2002

USM Names Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Donald F. Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), today was named interim vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University System of Maryland (USM). Boesch succeeds Charles R. Middleton, who has been named president of Roosevelt University.

Joseph F. Vivona, interim chancellor for the USM, announced Boesch's appointment, effective July 1, 2002.

"Don brings great experience and perspective to this critical position," said Vivona. "As one the system's longest-serving presidents, his leadership of the academic affairs office will be both informed and inspired."

William E. "Brit" Kirwan, who will become the USM chancellor on August 1, also praised Boesch.

"Having worked with Don during my tenure at College Park, I know that the academic affairs responsibilities of the USM office are in good hands," said Kirwan.

Boesch, who will continue as president of UMCES, a position he has held since 1990, will serve as interim vice chancellor until a new vice chancellor is appointed. A national search to fill the position will begin soon.

"I look forward to working with all of the USM institutions on the system's many successful academic initiatives," said Boesch. "And I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve the entire system during this transition period."

The USM vice chancellor for academic affairs is responsible for providing leadership to the USM in academic planning and accountability, including program review and student outcomes assessment; academic policy; faculty affairs; student affairs; academic support services; research policy; and the USM's role in the statewide K-16 initiative.

UMCES conducts comprehensive environmental research; trains graduate students; develops public education programs about the environment; and advises public agencies and others on environmental and natural resource management. UMCES comprises three laboratories distributed across the state: Appalachian Laboratory, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, and Horn Point Laboratory. In addition, UMCES is responsible for the administration of the Maryland Sea Grant College program, part of a network of 30 university-based programs across the country involved in innovative marine research and education. With a special focus on the Chesapeake Bay and funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State of Maryland, Sea Grant-supported research targets practical problems with the aim of promoting wise use of marine resources. 

Nathan A. Chapman, Jr., chairman of the USM board of regents, called Boesch' s appointment a "wonderful choice," saying, "The USM is very fortunate to have someone of Don's ability and commitment, who is willing to answer the call when he is needed."

A native of New Orleans, LA, Boesch received his B.S. from Tulane University and Ph.D. from the College of William & Mary. He was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at the University of Queensland and subsequently served on the faculty of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.  In 1980 he returned to his native state as the first executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), where he was also a professor of Marine Science at Louisiana State University. He was appointed president of UMCES in 1990.

Boesch is a biological oceanographer who has conducted research in coastal and continental shelf environments along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Australia and the East China Sea. He has published two books and more than 60 papers on marine benthos, estuaries, wetlands, continental shelves, oil pollution, nutrient over-enrichment, environmental assessment and monitoring and science policy. Presently his research focuses on the use of science in ecosystem management. 

Don Boesch is active in extending knowledge to environmental and resource management at regional, national and international levels. He has served as science advisor to many state and federal agencies and regional, national and international programs. He has chaired a number of committees and scientific assessment teams that have produced reports on a wide variety of coastal environmental issues.

Boesch and his wife, Michaelyn, live in Annapolis. Their daughter, Kristen, lives in St. Petersburg, FL.


Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739

Kirsten Frese (UMCES)
Phone: 410/228-9250 ext. 614