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Base Realignment & Closure
Higher Education in Maryland

September 2008


For immediate release: September 24, 2008
Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen
Communications: (410) 260-4511

Work on State Plan for Maryland Higher Education Begins in Earnest

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 24, 2008) – Addressing Maryland Higher Education Commission members, higher education officials from all segments on Maryland’s postsecondary institutions, business leaders, cabinet and State government officials, Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons yesterday said they were facing an “awesome responsibility” as they began work on the 2009 State Plan for Postsecondary Education. The Plan serves as a blueprint for how Maryland intends to address a series of concerns and achievements in its higher education system in the future.

“I don’t use the term awesome very often,” Secretary Lyons told the group of more than 50 attendees which included MHEC Commission members. “But this is a chance to provide a vision for postsecondary education which is awesome. It is huge. “This plan is particularly needed in these difficult economic times because there is an urgency facing our young people as well as those returning to college to enhance their education so that they are properly trained in today’s workforce. This plan sets the course for how we plan the role of higher education for Marylanders during the next four years. Now more than ever, we must do everything we can as One Maryland to enhance higher education in our State.”

A Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education has not been produced since 2004.

“This is not a document that will sit on a shelf gathering dust,” MHEC Chairman Kevin O’Keefe said. “This will truly inform and direct what MHEC staff and Commissioners do and guide us toward an even more outstanding higher education system for Maryland.”

Five sub-groups, which convened after the full meeting, discussed future meeting agendas, responsibilities, and who will participate in individual writing groups. The five sub-groups will review quality and effectiveness, access and affordability, diversity, student-centered learning, and economic vitality and workforce development at Maryland’s two- and four-year public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools.

The State Plan will include Governor O’Malley’s priorities for the current education environment and other issues that have arisen since the 2004 plan including changing demographics, economic development and workforce creation, technology, college and career readiness of high school students, the Governor’s P-20 Leadership Council, and Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

Membership of the work groups includes MHEC Commissioners, representatives from the segments of postsecondary education (the University System of Maryland, the Maryland Independent Colleges and University Association, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Morgan State University, the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, and the Maryland Association of Private Career Schools), the General Assembly, interested State agencies, MHEC’s Faculty, Student and Financial Assistance advisory councils and other representatives as appropriate.

The public will have at least three chances to attend meetings and provide public comment about the full State Plan. These dates include November 19, 2008 and March 25, 2009 before the full Commission and May 15, 2009 before MHEC’s Finance Policy Committee. All full and sub-group working sessions are open to the public. Dates for the public meetings will be available on MHEC’s website: www.mhec.state.md.us and comments can be sent to Assistant Secretary for Planning and Academic Affairs Dr. George W. Reid, general editor of the State Plan for Postsecondary Education at: greid@mhec.state.md.us.

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 326,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.


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