Butta, to reduce stress, quits three state posts Blood pressure led to decision STATE HOUSE REPORT

January 29, 1993|By Marina Sarris and John W. Frece | Marina Sarris and John W. Frece,Staff Writers

J. Henry Butta said yesterday that he is resigning from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which he has chaired since its creation in 1988, because of high blood pressure.

Mr. Butta, a friend and informal adviser to the governor, said he also is quitting the Governor's Commission on Economy and Efficiency in Government, which finished work yesterday, along with the Workforce Investment Board.

Mr. Butta, 64, said his doctor told him to eliminate the stress in his life. "As of tomorrow, I'm retired" from public service, said the retired chief executive officer of Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. "I'm really going to miss it."

Gov. William Donald Schaefer appointed him to the Higher Education Commission when it was created in 1988 to regulate the University of Maryland System, community colleges and private colleges. The commission also oversees Morgan State University and St. Mary's College, two public schools not in the UM system.

Mr. Butta said yesterday he was proudest of his accomplishments at that commission, which has been successful in forcing schools to drop duplicative or unnecessary programs.

During his tenure, he said, scholarship funds rose from $8 million to $21 million.

has been instrumental in the passage of financial aid reform and the new funding formula for community colleges," said Page W. Boinest, Mr. Schaefer's press secretary. "He's been a visible and active advocate for higher education."

Mr. Butta and then-Mayor Schaefer became friends in 1979, and since then Mr. Schaefer has turned to him to lead several commissions and councils. The Workforce Investment Board, which Mr. Butta chaired, oversees the state's job training programs.

Mr. Butta lives in Harwood in southern Anne Arundel County.

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