Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg tried to put it delicately, but the message he delivered to the Board of Regents this week left no doubt that certain members of the University of Maryland's family have not been acting in a familial way.
While outlining his "vision" of the university's vast system and how he hopes to guide it in the years ahead, Dr. Langenberg urged the regents to clamp down on overly rambunctious campus leaders seeking full autonomy from the University of Maryland empire. "Neither our system nor the state of Maryland can afford a 'commonwealth of independent academic states'," the chancellor said.
Some campus leaders have exploited the 1988 law giving each institution a high degree of self-governance to push for full independence. They care not how their grandiose plans might harm other campuses. They have rejected cost-saving opportunities to maximize both resources and delivery of services through cooperative ventures with other UM institutions. And campus presidents have done a lousy job of cutting the size of their bureaucracies, according to the chancellor: "There is little convincing evidence that our institutions have yet been able to achieve substantial permanent reductions in their administrative overheads."