Jean Elizabeth Spencer, deputy chancellor of the University of Maryland System Administration, which oversees all of the UM campuses, died Thursday of an embolism at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham. She was 58.
She joined the university administration in April 1987 as an assistant to then-President John S. Toll and three months later became vice president for policy and planning -- a job she held until being named in July 1988 to the No. 2 position in the university system's central office.
Dr. Spencer, who lived in Greenbelt, was born in Somerset, Pa., and raised in West Virginia and College Park.
She was a 1951 graduate of Hyattsville High School and received all three of her academic degrees from the University of Maryland -- a bachelor of arts in 1955, a master's in political science in 1961, and a doctorate in 1965.
From July 1974 to April 1987, Dr. Spencer worked for the State Board of Trustees of State Universities and Colleges in several positions including executive director.
Dr. Spencer worked in the late 1960s for then-Gov. Spiro T. Agnew, as staff director of a committee to implement the Curlett Commission
report, which reorganized Maryland's executive branch.
She was also assistant to the governor on the Constitutional Convention Committee and assistant director of a task force on management that reviewed state operations.
When Mr. Agnew was elected vice president of the United States on the Republican ticket, Dr. Spencer joined his Washington staff as assistant on press, research and information.
She also served the Nixon administration from January 1969 to October 1973 as assistant to the counselor to the president on women's programs.
Dr. Spencer's hobbies included photography, pottery and genealogy.
She is survived by three sisters, Janet Spencer Hartnett of Washington, Judith Spencer Heisinger of Centreville, Va., and Jacqueline Spencer Porthouse of Chesterfield, Mo.
A memorial service for Dr. Spencer will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday in the chapel at the University of Maryland.
The family suggested donations to the Jean Elizabeth Spencer Fund at the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., 20742.