Some Western Maryland residents are perplexed about Herb F. Reinhard Jr.'s resignation as president at Frostburg State University, effective Jan. 20. Dr. Reinhard compiled an impressive record in 4 1/2 -years, after all. Student registrations climbed 33 percent to 5,000. More money is being spent on classroom materials than ever before. Why resign?
The reason: Dr. Reinhard evolved from an educator into a regional personality. He thought the flattery he received was real power. His ship sprang a leak after he diverted a $10,000 estate gift earmarked for scholarships to his own discretionary fund. Some of the money was donated indiscreetly to help politicians or to support their favorite projects -- a move that might have violated federal tax laws. Gov. William Donald Schaefer's campaign received a $100 donation. Another $400 contribution went to a charity associated with Del. Casper R. Taylor Jr., D-Allegany, who is a local political power.
Dr. Reinhard's eagerness to rally support for Frostburg State led to the misdirection of foundation funds to these men of influence. An internal audit has cleared the college president of any wrongdoing, but his handling of the $10,000 gift to Frostburg may cause future donors to think twice before making similar bequests.