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Higher Education in Maryland

June 2008 Press Release



For immediate release: June 1, 2008                                                          Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
                                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 260-4511


MHEC May Report to Governor O'Malley


May 1-2, 2008: MHEC’s Director of Policy Research Dr. Michael J. Keller, Information Specialist Robyn Brayton, Director of Communications Christopher Falkenhagen and Anthony Reiner worked together to substantially revamp the MHEC website’s higher education accomplishments, reflecting the many positive actions taken by the O’Malley/Brown administration to support higher education.

May 1-15: MHEC’s Office of Student Financial Assistance made new awards for the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Program to 61 veterans for the 2008-2009 academic year.

May 5, 2008: MHEC began planning a Student Loan Forum to be held on June 16, 2008 at Anne Arundel Community College to discuss recent issues in the student loan industry, the impact on students and steps Maryland can take to ensure resources are available for students to pay for higher education.

May 6, 2008: Secretary Lyons met with Dr. Allen Mori who is working on a College Student Outcome Assessment.

May 6, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman participated in the webinar for the purpose of discussing scheduling and utilization reporting issues with community colleges.

May 7, 2008: Secretary Lyons presided over MHEC’s Employee Recognition Lunch. Certificates from the Governor for years of service were presented to each recipient as well as an autographed photograph of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown which were very popular.

May 7-9 2008: Secretary Lyons and Chief of Staff Dr. Kathleen Walton interviewed for MHEC’s BRAC coordinator.

May 8, 2008: Secretary Lyons, Assistant Secretary Andrea Mansfield and Communications Director Christopher Falkenhagen attended “Capital for a Day” in Hagerstown. Despite an appointment he could not get out of in the afternoon, Secretary Lyons attended the cabinet meeting and Governor’s remarks at the University of Maryland-Hagerstown center. Andrea and Christopher sat down to discuss higher education concerns that the University of Maryland-Hagerstown had as well as their many accomplishments. From there, Andrea and Christopher visited a Private Career School (PCS) then met with the president of Hagerstown Community College and several of its Board of Trustees members resulting in an excellent back and forth discussion about Hagerstown’s many successes. Andrea and Christopher were then treated to a tour of Hagerstown Community College’s campus with Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. Secretary Lyons deemed the day a great success as did Andrea and Christopher.

May 8, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman represented Governor O’Malley and Secretary Lyons at the Grand Opening of the Student Services Wing at Baltimore City Community College, Liberty Campus. He talked with the BCCC president, chairman of the Board of Trustees, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Vice President of Business and Finance.

May 9, 2008: Director of Communication Christopher Falkenhagen attended a meeting of State agency Public Information Officers (PIOs) with Deputy Communications Directors Christine Hansen and Shaun Adamec to discuss how the State’s PIOs can better combine with the agency’s message with the Governor’s “One Maryland” theme. Christopher serves dual roles as Communications Director and Public Information Officers, but was told he does not need to come to further PIO meetings.

May 9, 2008: The Maryland Community College Space Utilization Workgroup met to finalize Volume I of its workgroup report. The report provides recommendations to improve the utilization of space through better data collection efforts and the sharing of best practices for schedule space and tracking and reporting room utilization.

May 13, 2008: Assistant Secretary Andrea Mansfield, Chief of Staff Dr. Kathleen O'D Walton, Grants Director Paula Fitzwater, Communications Director Christopher Falkenhagen and Dr. Pamela Clay of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), attended a bill signing ceremony for HB 704: Higher Education Investment Fund – Expenditures – Base Realignment Closure, one of MHEC’s top 2008 legislative priorities in the Maryland General Assembly Session.

May 13, 2008: Communications Director Christopher Falkenhagen attended the second meeting of State agency Directors of Communication (DOCs). Feedback was requested of all DOCs about how they felt “Capital for a Day” went and how it can be improved. DOCs were told to actively work to get their agency’s message out through the press be it letters to the editor, op-eds, appearances on the radio or television. Governor’s congratulations and thank you letters were also discussed. It is the responsibility of each department DOC to write a congratulations or thank you letter each week to a group of people who receive scholarships or grants from MHEC or who help MHEC in various volunteer capacities.

May 13-14: MHEC and Gold Bridge Partners, Inc., the vendor developing OSFA’s new State student financial aid system, held successful forums for financial aid directors, students and legislative staff to discuss prototypes of screens and capability for the new system.

May 14, 2008: Secretary Lyons and Assistant Secretary Dr. George Reid met with Irv Pinder, with the Board of Physicians, Jill Porter and John Papavasiliou with DHMH.

May 14, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman attended planning meetings for new State Plan for Postsecondary Education.

May 14, 2008: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater held technical assistance session to review the current Request for Applications for the federal Improving Teacher Quality State Grant program through which approximately $1 million will be awarded to eligible partnerships to provide teacher and principal professional development in the core subject areas with approximately 25 in attendance at the session.

May 15, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman attended University System of Maryland (USM) Capital Budget Workshop to listen to plans for the FY 2010 Capital Improvement request.

May 15, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended a reception honoring Dr. Reginald S. Avery, President of Coppin State University.

May 16, 2008: Secretary Lyons met with University of Maryland Baltimore’s President Dr. Bogolmony then attended a Pre-Commencement Luncheon and gave brief remarks at UMB’s Commencement.

May 16, 2008: Assistant Secretary Andrea Mansfield attended the Maryland Partnership Breakfast sponsored by the Susquehanna Regional Network to discuss the impact of BRAC on that area of the State and discuss new initiatives to assist individuals who may be relocating to Maryland.

May 16, 2008: Assistant Secretary Andrea Mansfield met with the President of the University of Baltimore to discuss the funding guideline for the institution and a new weighting mechanism for calculating the full funding of the guideline.

May 16, 2008: Director of Government Affairs Gareth Murray represented Governor O’Malley at the unveiling of the Dr. William P. Hytche Boulevard. He made several mentions of how much the Governor, the Lt. Governor and Secretary Lyons respected this great visionary educator and why naming a Boulevard after Dr. Hytche was so significant. The event was very well attended.

May 16, 2008: Secretary Lyons and Assistant Secretary Andrea Mansfield met with Lt. Governor Brown to discuss BRAC-related higher education issues.

May 17, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended Harford Community College’s 50th Annual Commencement and delivered brief remarks.

May 17, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the Commencement Address at Baltimore City Community College resulting in a great reception by the audience. Secretary Lyons noted the many achievements the O’Malley/Brown administration had accomplished for higher education since their inauguration.

May 17, 2008: MHEC established a workgroup of community college representatives and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges to examine and develop recommendations for the administration of the Supplemental Retirement Program. The workgroup held its first meeting on May 30, 2008.

May 19, 2008: MHEC’s Segmental Advisory Council, made up of the University System of Maryland (USM), Maryland Independent College University Association (MICUA), Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), Morgan State University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a representative of Private Career Schools met to discuss the student loan industry and why many banks have or are contemplating getting out of the business altogether. MHEC and the Segments are working hard to get ahead of this issue by educating students about what their alternatives are to finance their college dreams.

May 19, 2008: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater convened the statewide steering committee for the College Access Challenge grant (CACGP), a new Federal program designed to enable States to assist students and their families in learning about, preparing for and financing a postsecondary education. Maryland’s tentative allocation is approximately $615,000 anticipated to be received in September 2008. The steering committee is being asked to identify proposal goals and appropriate objectives and activities to meet the goals to develop and promote outreach activities for middle school students who may be at risk of not enrolling in or completing postsecondary education.

May 19, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman attended meeting of College Savings Plans of Maryland to select manager for Real Estate Investment Trust investments for Prepaid College Trust.

May 19-21: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater developed draft documents for meeting of the Accountability Work Group, which is a subcommittee of the Commission to Develop the Maryland Model for Funding Higher Education. The Accountability Work Group has been charged with developing recommendations for a set of statewide measures to inform the State of achievement of its goals for higher education. The measures will focus on overarching State postsecondary goals for quality and effectiveness, access and affordability, diversity, student-centered learning and economic growth and vitality.

May 20, 2008: Secretary Lyons presided over the P-20 Executive Council meeting at MHEC headquarters.

May 21, 2008: Secretary Lyons presided over a conference call with MHEC Commission members. Villa Julie College had asked the Commission to let them change their name to Villa Julie University. The Commission gave its consent.

May 21, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended the 7th Annual Power of a Dream Gala.

May 22, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman represented Secretary Lyons at the May Board meeting for the College Savings Plans of Maryland to select manager for Real Estate Investment Trust investments for Pre-paid College Trust.

May 22, 2008: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater met with members of other agencies to work on developing recommendations to address the nursing shortage in Maryland. She provided briefing information to the group on the history and funding of NSP II.

May 23, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended Governor O’Malley’s Bioscience Workforce Conference. The conference addressed a series of ways the bioscience industry will support the workforce in the 21st Century. Among other issues addressed was the need to conceive of a comprehensive strategy for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives.

May 26: Secretary Lyons delivered the breakfast address at the Maryland Council of Community College Chief Academic Officers’ Annual Conference.

May 27, 2008: Secretary Lyons presented a Governor’s Citation congratulating Mike Keller for 26 years of service to MHEC and Mike’s retirement luncheon. More than 60 staff and former colleagues were present to hear Secretary Lyons read the Governor’s Citation.

May 28, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended MHEC’s Finance Policy Committee Meeting with new chairman Paul L. Saval. Issues discussed included: Student Financial Assistance Program Guideline Revisions, FY 2009 Educational Excellence Awards update; FY 2010 Community College Capital Budget Priorities, FY 2010 Capital Budget Priorities for Four-Year Public Colleges and Universities, Community College Construction Grant Program: State and Local Cost-Sharing Formula, Report on the Innovative Partnerships for Technology Program and Report on the Private Donation Incentive Grant Program.

May 28, 2008: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater met with Assistant Secretary of Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Andy Mosser to discuss BRAC literacy and the development of the Request for Applications for the BRAC Fund.

May 29, 2008: Secretary Lyons spoke at the M4CAO Annual Convention in which he devoted part of his remarks to the O’Malley/Brown administration’s outstanding “One Maryland” commitment to higher education in the State.

May 29, 2008: Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman attended Capital Investment Workgroup Staff meeting for the purpose of discussing and planning items for the workgroup for upcoming meetings of the Bohanan Commission.

May 29, 2008: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater participated in the MHEC EEO audit. She provided information and documentation on MHEC’s policies and practices in dealing with EEO issues.

May 29, 2008: OFSA staff attended a Diversity Workshop. This workshop was sponsored by the DE-DC-MD Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

May 30, 2008: Grants Director Paula Fitzwater conducted another technical assistance session to review the current Request for Applications for the federal Improving Teacher Quality State Grant program through which approximately $1 million will be awarded to eligible partnerships to provide teacher and principal professional development in the core subject areas. The Session was attended by approximately 25 people.

May 30, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended and spoke at the Maryland Business Roundtable Steering Committee Presentation.

May 30, 2008: Assistant Secretary Andrea Mansfield and Director of Finance Policy Geoffrey Newman met with officials at the Department of Budget and Management for the purpose of discussing FY 2009 funding to regional higher education centers.

May 31, 2008: Secretary Lyons attended Baltimore City Community College’s commencement where Lt. Governor Brown was keynote speaker.

MAY 2008 Accomplishments

Career and Workforce Education

Workforce Development/WIA:
• Associate Director of Workforce Development Dean Kendall represented MHEC at three workforce committee meetings.
• Dean joined Secretary Lyons at the GWIB Bioscience Conference at UMB on May 23.
• On May 20, Dean provided an in-depth response to the Maryland World Class Manufacturing Consortium/Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness/Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development researcher (Tonya Vinas) regarding the education outlook for the Manufacturing Sector.
• Dean represented MHEC at the MSDE Career and Technical Education Reading Panel on May 29.
• Education Analyst David Jorgenson is currently reviewing all Community College continuing education courses for regulatory FTE eligibility.
• David is working with MHEC IT staff to make continuing education course applications available online.
• David is working with MHEC IT staff to make MHEC inventory of continuing education courses viewable online to the public.
• The WIA Occupation Training Program Performance Report – FY 2007 (PDF) was completed by Dave in April, 2008 and put online in May.

Private Career Schools:
• Hosted eligible private career schools for an informational meeting offered by MHEC staff to encourage school participation in training veterans under the GI Bill.
• Invited all private career schools currently approved to offer training to veterans under the GI Bill to a training session to be offered by school certifying officials by MHEC staff.
• Three new private career schools offering a nursing assistant, real estate, and cosmetology programs were approved by the Secretary.
• The approvals to operate were revoked for two schools. The closures were orderly and met the minimum requirements of the Commission.
• Meet with a training provider to discuss compliance with a notice of deficiency.
• Meet with two applicants interesting in opening private career schools.
• Meet with two approved schools and visited two schools.
• Records from Closed Institutions of Postsecondary Education:
• Responded to 19 requests for records from closed schools.

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. MHEC awards nearly $110 million in grants and scholarships to approximately 58,000 Maryland students.



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