Ehrlich names three members to BCCC board

August 26, 2004|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

The governor named three new trustees yesterday to the board of Baltimore City Community College, where the board and campus administrators have been under fire in recent months.

The new trustees are Mary Elizabeth Owens, graduate dean at Coppin State University; Kirsten E. Sandberg, a financial planner at M&T Bank Investment Group; and Garland O. Williamson, head of the Presidents' Roundtable, a group of black business leaders. They will begin serving their six-year terms immediately.

They were nominated by the city General Assembly delegation to fill vacancies and were confirmed yesterday by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. The legislators asked that Williamson be named chairman of the nine-member board, but Ehrlich does not have that authority, state officials said.

BCCC has the lowest transfer and graduation rate of any Maryland community college and has been troubled by other problems, including the discovery that hundreds of students were allowed to take classes last year without paying tuition.

The new trustees said yesterday that they are anxious to begin improving the school, but declined to go into specifics until they have met with other members. "I'm looking forward to it," Sandberg said.

Critics have accused the board of micromanagement. Last year, the board fired two deans and a vice president who had been appointed by President Sylvester E. McKay. The board later adopted a policy barring McKay from hiring high-level administrators. McKay has since resigned.

The new members "will understand how a board of trustees works and will learn from the mistakes of the current board members," said state Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, an East Baltimore Democrat.

Current board members could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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