Delegates kill plan to bar governors from taking top job in UM system

March 13, 2002|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

In a vote that largely followed party lines, the Maryland House of Delegates rejected a proposal yesterday that would have barred Gov. Parris N. Glendening or future governors from becoming university system chancellor for up to two years after leaving office.

The prohibition had been introduced by Del. Robert L. Flanagan, a Howard County Republican who said it would be unethical for a governor to be named chancellor if at least two-thirds of the Board of Regents - which hires a system chief - were his or her appointees.

A bill sponsored by Flanagan and 26 other Republicans was rejected last week by a House committee. Yesterday, Flanagan offered the proposal as an amendment to a different bill.

The amendment failed, 37-89. "It's a legitimate issue. I'm sorry I had to vote on it," said Del. Dana Lee Dembrow, of Montgomery County and one of five Democrats voting for the amendment. "If you worry too much about retribution, you end up doing the wrong thing."

Glendening expressed interest in becoming chancellor, a $345,000-a-year job, in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education last year. A dispute grew over the propriety of a governor being hired by regents he appointed. Glendening later issued a statement that said he would not seek the post, though some observers believe the regents might recruit him after he leaves office next year.

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