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Higher Education in Maryland

June 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: June 15, 2009                                                     Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                           Communications: (410) 260-4511



MHEC Working with Governor's Office, state agencies on Smart, Green and Growing, BRAC, and Census 2010 Initiatives

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 15, 2009) The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) has been working in concert with Governor O’Malley and other state agencies and departments on three of the Governor’s key initiatives: Smart, Green and Growing, BRAC, and Census 2010. MHEC staff have been attending inter-agency meetings and convening in-house workgroups to come up with strategies to spread the word about these important projects. Links to websites with further information about these programs can be found on MHEC’s Interagency Initiatives page on the MHEC website at www.mhec.state.md.us/higherEd/InteragencyInitiatives.asp.

Early this year, Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) added the Maryland Higher Education Commission to its Smart, Green and Growing website along with several other State agencies. The Smart, Green and Growing website, www.green.maryland.gov, is a major initiative by Governor O’Malley to promote Maryland’s commitment to “a cleaner, greener, more environmentally sustainable place to live,” said Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr.

The site features a message from Secretary Lyons praising Governor O’Malley’s “bold and unwavering commitment to ensuring that Maryland’s precious open space, waterways and all natural resources remain as pristine as possible while addressing the growing concern of climate change through his Smart, Green and Growing initiative.”

It also links to Maryland’s public and independent two- and four-year colleges and universities as well as private career schools that have submitted green initiatives they have implemented on their campuses and locations throughout the State.

“This has been a great interagency collaboration between Governor O’Malley’s office, DNR, MHEC and our postsecondary institutions,” Secretary Lyons said. “I’m pleased MHEC has a vital link on this educational website.”

Secretary Lyons is also a member of the Governor’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Subcabinet, chaired by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and the highest-ranking elected official in the nation to have served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The BRAC Subcabinet was established by statute in 2007 and is charged with coordinating planning for the influx of workers to Maryland’s military bases in the areas of workforce readiness, business development, education, health care facilities and services, community infrastructure and growth, environmental stewardship, workforce housing, and transportation.

“In every respect, Maryland is prepared to undertake the responsibility of being a national leader in the on-going support of the patriotic men and women, the warfighters, who keep our country safe,” Lt. Governor Brown has said. “I want to express my profound gratitude and sincere desire to work with our citizens to ensure a successful BRAC process for [those moving to Maryland because of BRAC].”

Maryland anticipates the statewide creation of 60,000 jobs and the arrival of 28,000 new households before 2015 because of BRAC. For its part, MHEC has launched the BRAC Graduate Degree Inquiry Referral system www.mhec.state.md.us/utilities/BRAC/index.asp) on its website, so personnel who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree can search for the higher education institution with the program that fits their needs. Additionally, military, civilian and defense contractors and their families who move to Maryland and enroll in a post-secondary institution will be considered Maryland residents when applying for one of the many financial assistance programs administered by MHEC. For further information on other ways MHEC is involved in BRAC-related plans can be found at www.mhec.state.md.us/higherEd/BRAC/BRACpage.asp.

Finally, MHEC staff has formed an MHEC Census 2010 workgroup to develop strategies for getting the word out on how important it is for all residents of Maryland to fill out their census forms. Workgroup members plan to reach out to critical demographic groups with whom they have regular contact in their professional and personal lives. These groups include the Hispanic community, youth, church groups, community activists, Maryland’s higher education institutions among others. An inaccurate census headcount can have severe implications when it comes to federal revenues flowing into Maryland coffers. The link to the Governor’s 2010 Census Outreach is: http://www.mdp.state.md.us/msdc/Census2010.htm.

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 336,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.



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