No. 2 official named acting college chief Dean of instruction to serve until selection of interim president

September 02, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Henry Linck, vice president and dean of instruction at Howard Community College, has been named the school's acting president as the Columbia institution searches for an interim president as well as a permanent replacement for Dwight A. Burrill, who resigned in July.

Linck, the college's No. 2 administrator, will be acting president until the school's board of trustees completes interviews of three finalists this week and makes its selection for the interim-president position, said board member Roger Caplan.

"What we're looking for is a highly professional, competent person who can come in and do the job immediately," Caplan said, adding that the school must start organizing its annual capital and operating budgets this month.

"It's sort of like baseball," Caplan said. "This person has got to know how to pitch in the big leagues."

Caplan said the board hopes to find a permanent president in six months.

Linck said he is honored to hold the post -- no matter how temporary it is.

"I'm certainly flattered that the board felt that I could step in," Linck said. "The institution has to keep going, and this helps to facilitate that."

Burrill had been president for 16 years when he unexpectedly announced his retirement July 24.

Linck, who also has taught at several area colleges, including Morgan State University and Catonsville Community College, said he knows he has big shoes to fill.

"When someone who has been on a campus for 16 years leaves, there's going to be some anxiety," said Linck, who lives in Ellicott City. "My role is to help the faculty and staff make the transition as smooth as possible."

Burrill, whose retirement took effect yesterday, was the second president in the college's 27-year history. Al Smith was the school's first president.

At the time of Burrill's announcement, David A. Rakes, chairman of the board of trustees, said the board was prepared to spend as much as $20,000 in its search for a replacement.

Rakes also said the board had contacted the Association of Community College Trustees Presidential Service to find an interim president before the beginning of the fall semester and a permanent replacement in the next six months.

Caplan said the college has received dozens of resumes from former college presidents and academic deans from universities in California, Florida and the state of Washington.

"We're delighted that we've had such good demand," he said. "This is a very sought-after position."

But Caplan said he and his colleagues are taking a cautious approach.

"We could've slam-dunked this," Caplan said. "We could've sat in a room with 20 resumes, drank coffee and said, 'Let's do this in one day.' But this is a very critical position for the community and the town, and we don't take it lightly."

Caplan denied speculation that the board is considering Carol Copenhaver to be the college's next president.

Copenhaver, who was replaced by Linck in January, left the college to become vice president of educational and student services at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida, a five-campus system with an enrollment four times that of Howard.

"Carol is a wonderful woman who did an outstanding job, and we hated to see her leave," Caplan said. "But she has not notified any of us that she wants the position."

Since the school opened in 1970, its facilities have expanded with its enrollment. In addition to its main campus on Little Patuxent Parkway, the college occupies two floors of an office building in Hickory Ridge village.

The school has several capital projects scheduled, including construction of a $10.5 million cultural arts center by 2006 and an $8 million building by next year that will have 85,000 square feet for classrooms, faculty offices, laboratory space and child-care facilities.

Student population at the school has grown from 3,042 in 1980 to 4,954 during the last school year.

The college's full-time faculty has increased almost 50 percent since 1990-1991 to 96 members.

The school offers associate's degrees and certificates in nursing, sciences, business administration, theater, engineering and other programs.

Pub Date: 9/02/97

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