Trustees agree on college name changes, are seeking approval from legislature Chairman says renaming speaks 'with one voice'

November 18, 1997|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

In the first move to consolidate Maryland's largest community college system, trustees are seeking legislative approval for name changes at Baltimore County's schools at Essex, Dundalk and Catonsville.

The changes reflect a restructuring designed to craft a single-college, multicampus system that speaks "with one voice" as it serves about 70,000 students, board of trustees Chairman Francis X. Kelly said.

"Aside from naming the new chancellor, this is one of the biggest steps we will take in the reorganization," he said. "We want to retain each campus' identity with the community, yet place them under the aegis of the new system."

The board unanimously agreed to the new names. If the changes are approved by the state legislature, the colleges will be designated Community College of Baltimore County Essex Campus, Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville Campus and Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk Campus.

If the system's satellite branches in Owings Mills and Hunt Valley grow, they, too, could be renamed.

While praising the new board and chairman, Margaret Guchemand, chairwoman of the Essex music department, criticized the move. She said the trustees have "created monsters by consolidating before a clear picture has developed. No one sees a final shape to all of this."

Guchemand, who also is Essex chapter chairwoman of the American Association of University Professors, said: "There is such unease on the campuses. Paychecks have been delayed. You can't get outside work done quickly. And we all wonder if there will be common courses offered at the three colleges."

Kelly said the 15-member board, which met in special session Wednesday night, also decided to retain the office of president at each campus.

"We want strong management at each campus, and the current presidents will be retained pending our selection of a new chancellor," he said.

The chancellor will have the power to select presidents, he said.

Kelly said eight finalists for the position of chancellor will be interviewed and a system head will be selected after Jan. 1.

Interim Chancellor Hal D. McAninch said he will retire Dec. 23.

In September, a 100-page consultants report said the system was in "near chaos." The consultants, a group of higher education specialists, recommended sweeping changes such as upgrading technology, improving library services and eliminating duplication of programs among the campuses.

The college system has been buffeted by the firing of Chancellor Daniel J. LaVista in January and the proposed abolition of tenure for new faculty members, which spawned demands among 350 full-time professors for collective bargaining.

Kelly said County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the County Council and the county's House of Delegates delegation have approved the name changes. He said he will meet within two weeks with the county's senators.

Pub Date: 11/18/97

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