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Higher Education in Maryland

April 2008 Press Release




For immediate release: April 18, 2008


Maryland Higher Ed Secretary observes

first-year accomplishments



At the April 16 meeting of the full Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), James E. Lyons, Sr., commemorated his first year as Higher Education Secretary. He said the experience has been “an awesome responsibility.”

The former president of Bowie State University told Commission members in the public meeting that “I feel very good about my first year. Time does fly. There is a learning curve, but it has not been as sharp if I had not had previous knowledge of the state and its higher education challenges.”

Secretary Lyons pointed out that while Maryland’s college and university presidents “may disagree” with MHEC “from time to time, I believe we have a very good relationship. I am very pleased how the segments [community colleges, public and independent two- and four-year colleges and universities and private career schools] work together. It has been very pleasant.”

The meeting was held on the first anniversary of the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech which Secretary Lyons noted. “In helping to keep campuses safe, we did a review of campuses’ emergency response. Fortunately, most do have emergency initiatives. We will continue to address this very important issue.”

Secretary Lyons also noted that he was very pleased serving on Governor O’Malley’s cabinet, citing his outstanding leadership. “It feels great and is very rewarding to work with a Governor who has postsecondary education so high on his agenda,” said Secretary Lyons.

As far as challenges, facing higher education, Secretary Lyons mentioned workforce issues, college readiness and preparedness and access as well as concern about the stability of the student loan industry amongst parents.

Commission chairman Kevin O’Keefe praised Secretary Lyons on his first year of service. “Thank you for your advocacy of higher education and what you have brought to the governor’s office,” said Chairman O’Keefe. “Your leadership bodes well for higher education in the state.”

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.

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