Task force expects higher education report on time

December 03, 1998|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

Members of a task force examining the governance of higher education in Maryland say they have yet to begin discussing their recommendations, but the group's chairman, Adm. Charles R. Larson, is confident it will issue its report on time.

"We're right on schedule," said Larson, retired head of the Naval Academy, as the task force ended another lengthy hearing in Annapolis yesterday.

With only seven of the group's 23 members present after more than four hours of testimony, Larson decided to continue the presentation by higher education secretary Patricia S. Florestano at the task force's next meeting on Dec. 15, when it will also hear from University System Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg.

They will join Morgan State president Earl S. Richardson -- whose campus is one of two outside the University System -- and several others at the last session of testimony before the task force begins deciding on recommendations.

"I think there will be some substantive discussion [on recommendations] at that next meeting," Larson said. The recommendations are supposed to be decided upon at a Dec. 22 meeting with the report due the first week of January, before the General Assembly convenes its 1999 session.

The task force was appointed last summer to study the governance of the state's public higher education institutions by the University System of Maryland -- which oversees 11 public institutions, all but Morgan State and St. Mary's -- and the Maryland Higher Education Commission, run by Florestano.

The system has drawn fire from campuses that seek greater autonomy in their budgeting and freedom from regulations.

"We are at the stage where we have collected all the information TTC and identified the problems, but we have yet to set forward a set of solutions," said Sen. Robert R. Neall, an Anne Arundel Republican and a task force member.

Pub Date: 12/03/98

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