Acting UMAB president resigns

November 21, 1990|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Evening Sun Staff

William J. Kinnard Jr., acting president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore, has resigned effective Monday because he was not offered the job on a permanent basis by the UM Board of Regents.

Kinnard tendered his resignation to UM Chancellor Donald Langenberg last Friday after a search committee informed him that his candidacy to head the downtown Baltimore campus of UM professional schools was rejected.

He is being replaced by Dental School Dean Errol L. Reese, a source said. Reese has been informed that the regents may take up to two years to fill the presidency because the national search so far has not yielded any candidates that are acceptable, a source said.

"After 1 1/2 years of acting president, you just run out of steam," said Kinnard, 58. "It was obviously not going to be, and the decision to select the president was delayed so long that I felt I could no longer be effective, so I stepped down."

Kinnard, a pharmacy professor who has been at UMAB for 22 years, became acting president on April 1, 1989, after Edward N. Brandt Jr. resigned to become executive dean of the medical school at the University of Oklahoma.

Kinnard weathered the storm created by the abrupt resignation in August 1989 of Augustus A. White 3rd, the Harvard University surgeon who was appointed to be Brandt's successor. White quit before even assuming the post following a policy argument with then-Board of Regents President Peter F. O'Malley. O'Malley also resigned as a result of the flap.

Other candidates who have been rejected are UM Law School Dean Michael J. Kelly and UM Director of the Maryland Biotechnology Institute Rita R. Colwell, a source close to the search said yesterday.

Kinnard said last night he is planning to take a one-year paid leave of absence.

"It's been a difficult year and a half to calm things down and get people to look at us in a normal sense," Kinnard said of his efforts to improve the university's image after White's resignation caused national embarrassment for UM and the regents.

"We'll have to work through this," he said. "I have great hope for this campus. My vision has been shut off now, but it has been exciting to work with the professional schools and on societal problems -- those kinds of things move us ahead."

Kinnard said he plans to work with Reese to make the transition smooth. He also said that a gala holiday party on Dec. 1, for which he mailed out elegant, engraved invitations, will still be held as planned at Hidden Waters, the president's residence.

"I'm not walking out the door and slamming it. I have too much love for the campus," Kinnard said. "I have great pride in our campus."

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