Calvin W. Burnett, a resident of Westminster and former president of Coppin State College for 32 years, was sworn in yesterday as Maryland's secretary of higher education.
He had been serving as acting secretary since Jan. 1, and last month was appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. as secretary and chief executive officer of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
The swearing-in, which took place at the Carroll County Courthouse, included the installation of Michael J. Kiphart of Sykesville as assistant secretary for planning and academic affairs for the commission.
A native of Davenport, Iowa, Burnett, 72, graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in biology and political science and later earned a doctorate in social psychology.
His previous positions have included faculty member and administrator at Catholic University of America and Southern Illinois University, research social psychologist at St. Louis Hospital and director of research at the Health and Welfare Council of St. Louis.
At Coppin, he changed the mission of the school from training teachers to a more diverse and expansive academic one.
He has won numerous awards for his work over the years, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from St. Louis University, Who's Who recognition in multiple categories, Outstanding Educator of America, as well as community service awards.
As secretary of higher education, Burnett will be a member of Ehrlich's cabinet and the governor's principal adviser on post-secondary education issues. He will oversee an agency budget of more than $300 million and a staff of almost 70.
The Higher Education Commission is responsible for approving academic programs, administering the state's financial assistance programs and regulating more than 140 private career schools.
Kiphart has been with the commission since 2000 as a reviewer of institution and academic programs and transfer and nursing issues.
As assistant secretary for planning and academic affairs, he will coordinate and direct academic policies and procedures for the state's 56 colleges and universities, 125 private career schools and 18 out-of-state colleges that are approved to operate in Maryland.
Previously, Kiphart was vice president of the Maryland Independent College and University Association and, before that, associate provost for Academic Services at St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Kiphart has his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from Colorado State University.