UMBC president is eyed to head William and Mary Dr. Hooker, four others vie for post at Virginia college.

March 18, 1992|By Mark Bomster | Mark Bomster,Staff Writer

Dr. Michael K. Hooker, the president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is one of five finalists for the presidency of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., the college has announced.

Joining him on the list is George R. Packard, dean since 1979 of the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, who was scheduled to meet with faculty and students at William and Mary yesterday and today.

The president of UMBC since July 1986, Dr. Hooker has campaigned over the past nine months for the merger of the 10,400-student UMBC with the University of Maryland at Baltimore. That proposal is pending before the General Assembly. It is supported by Gov. William Donald Schaefer as well as by the heads of both institutions.

But Dr. Hooker said Nov. 14 that he would not be a candidate for the presidency of the proposed institution, to be called the University of Maryland Baltimore.

If the merger goes through as expected, "I have to find another job," Dr. Hooker said.

He spoke highly of William and Mary.

"I'm a native Virginian, so I've always had a great admiration of the institution," Dr. Hooker said. "It's one of the best institutions in the country now for providing a good liberal arts education."

The College of William and Mary is a liberal arts university with 5,200 undergraduates and 2,200 graduate students. A state institution founded in 1693, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the country, after Harvard University.

William and Mary has been without a president since Feb. 8, when Paul R. Verkuil left to become president and chief executive officer of the American Automobile Association.

As a finalist for the presidency, Dr. Hooker is scheduled to participate in a pair of open forums with faculty and students there on March 30 and March 31. He will be the last of the five candidates to appear at the forums.

A spokesman for William and Mary said there is no deadline for selection of a new president, but Dr. Hooker said he expects a final decision to be made in April.

At the end of last year, Dr. Hooker was a finalist for the presidency of the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He withdrew from that candidacy and said yesterday that "it didn't seem like it was a fit" between him and the Florida university.

Dr. Packard, meanwhile, was scheduled to be in Williamsburg yesterday and was unavailable for comment.

A former White House and diplomatic correspondent, and former editor of the Philadelphia Evening and Sunday Bulletin, he served as deputy director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington from 1976 to 1979, when he became the SAIS dean.

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