University of Maryland Global Campus President Javier Miyares, who announced in July that he would be retiring after eight years at the helm, has been tapped by University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman, M.D., to assume a new advisory role focused on the System’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. In this capacity, he will advise on analytics and efforts to respond to the growing demand for distance education. He will work with the presidents of sister institutions and their respective academic teams to assess and improve the digital curriculum System-wide.
“When I assumed the role of chancellor, I knew that Javier was eager to begin his retirement after an incredible tenure as UMGC president—and yet he agreed to stay on another 10 months,” said Perman. Javier’s new role will better allow System leaders to tap his considerable expertise and improve remote learning across the USM. The pandemic has reinforced how vital it is that students benefit from a high-quality online education—and I’m deeply grateful that President Miyares will remain to advance our work in this area.”
Commenting on moving up his departure from UMGC, Miyares, a self-described “data guy,” said this new role is in many ways a perfect fit. “I am grateful to Chancellor Perman for this opportunity to both step back from day-to-day institutional responsibilities and yet remain focused on the educational needs of students in our wonderful system—particularly those students who would be unable to access postsecondary education without new and innovative delivery methods.”
Perman has tapped Lawrence E. Leak, Ph.D., a highly regarded leader in Maryland higher education, to serve as interim president of UMGC while the search continues for a permanent replacement. Leak is currently secretary of the board of trustees at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
In a distinguished career, Leak has served on the faculties of Towson University and Morgan State University and, from 2003 to 2007, was vice provost and chief academic officer at UMGC, which was then known as University of Maryland University College.
Said Leak, in reflecting on the opportunities ahead, “I am excited to once again join a global community that is so devoted to the needs of adult students and so focused on providing them with both an exceptional educational experience and outstanding support.”