Md. schools announce new hires

Towson, UMBC, Frostburg State among those with high-level appointees


Gearing up for the arrival of students in the fall, Maryland colleges and universities announced this week a flurry of high-level academic and administrative appointments.

The job of managing a new MBA program offered jointly by the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business and Towson University will fall to Ron Desi, a former project manager at Baltimore-area high-technology companies and an instructor in the Loyola College MBA program.

As program director, Desi will straddle both campuses, overseeing admissions, student advising and marketing.

"Because it is a joint program, students have the ability to go to either campus," Desi said. "So one of things I have to do is make sure I'm available to students at the Towson campus and UB campus. It's a dynamic position, but that's very much what I'm used to."

Frostburg State University named Stephen Spahr as vice president for economic development and government affairs, a new position created to help integrate the Allegany County campus with the regional economy.

Currently the deputy inspector general for the New York State Metropolitan Transit Authority, Spahr will be responsible for promoting a 56-acre business park on the Western Maryland campus.

Spahr will also be the chief of staff to new Frostburg President Jonathan Gibraltar, whose first day on the job was Tuesday.

Spahr and Gibraltar previously worked together in New York, where the new president was the head of Farmingdale State University on Long Island, part of the 64-campus State University of New York system. Spahr was vice chairman of Farmingdale's advisory council.

The new dean of engineering and information technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is Warren R. DeVries, an official at the National Science Foundation since 2002.

DeVries is a former chairman of Iowa State University's department of mechanical engineering, and has held appointments at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned his doctorate.

The state is also losing a well-regarded educator. Georgetown University appointed University of Maryland, College Park professor Timothy A. Barbari to the positions of associate provost for research and dean of the graduate school.

Barbari was chairman of the University of Maryland's chemical engineering department from 1999 to 2004. Before moving to College Park, he served as the associate dean for academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins University engineering school and was a professor of chemical engineering.

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