ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Parris N. Glendening has nominated a new chairman and two new members for the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Board member Edward Clarke Jr., a retired Baltimore lawyer, was chosen for the chairmanship, replacing outgoing Chairman Walter Sondheim Jr.
“This is a crucial time for higher education in Maryland,” Glendening said in announcing the appointments this week. “I am especially pleased that Ed Clarke has agreed to lead the commission as it addresses issues of funding, career technology and higher education’s role in economic development.”
Glendening nominated Hagerstown businesswoman Kathleen Perini to replace Quentin R. Lawson, who is resigning to become state secretary of personnel. And the governor tapped Terra N. Smith, a Morgan State pre-law student, to become the commission’s first voting student member.
Clarke is a former partner in the law firm of Piper & Marbury. He served on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s College from 1983 to 1994, and as chairman from 1988 to 1994. He lives in Reistertown.
Perini and her husband, Dominick, own Perini Construction Inc. in Hagerstown. She is the chairwoman of the Board of Regents at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Frostburg State University Board of Visitors.
Smith lives in Upper Marlboro, and plans to graduate from Morgan State in 1996. She tutors and mentors at the university, and has held internships at two state government agencies.
In an interview Friday, Clarke said he believed the commission’s mission was to coordinate public higher education across the state, “to meet the needs of college students, regardless of age and education.”
Like the governor, he believes the panel should have an advisory, rather than a governing, role. But he cautioned that in its coordinating role, it has to keep the University of Maryland System and other colleges from offering programs that are duplicative or not in demand.
“I’m not in a position to recreate the world,” Clarke said. “But you can be of some influence in the direction of education in a world filled with financial pressures.” All three nominations must be confirmed by the Maryland Senate. -30-