BIOGRAPHY
WILLIAM E. KIRWAN
President, University of Maryland, College Park

   After 25 years of service as a professor and administrator at the University of Maryland, College Park and following a national search, Dr. William English Kirwan was appointed president of the university on February 1, 1989. He served as acting president of the university from August 1, 1988, until the time of his appointment as president.

   Dr. Kirwan joined the university in 1964 as an assistant professor of mathematics. He rose through the faculty ranks as associate professor (1968-1972), professor (1972-present), and chair of the Department of Mathematics (1977-1981).

   In 1981, he was appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs, College Park's chief academic post. As vice chancellor, Dr. Kirwan raised admission standards, increased the number of merit scholarships and graduate fellowships, and established an academic planning process.

   During his tenure as president of the university, Dr. Kirwan has played a pivotal role in all of the university's most significant initiatives, including: an increased emphasis on undergraduate education; selective enhancement of academic programs; recr uitment and retention of distinguished faculty; achievement of diversity goals for underrepresented minorities; and the successful completion of the university's first capital campaign.

   Dr. Kirwan is known for his ability to see beyond the institution's day-to-day problems, and for his talent as a consensus builder among the large and diverse campus community. Under his leadership, the university undertook a major restructuring of its a cademic organization, going from a divisional system to a more traditional system of colleges and schools. Subsequently, when the state's economic decline forced a reduction of this university's budget, he oversaw a streamlining of the university's acade mic offerings through the elimination of a college, seven departments, and 32 degree programs.

   Dr. Kirwan is a member of various honorary and professional societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, the American Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical Association of America. He is the co-editor of the book Advances in Complex Analysis, and the author of many published articles on mathematical research. He served as an editor of the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society from 1977 to 1985. He chaired the Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000 Committee, a task force created by the National Research Council (NRC) to improve mathematics education at the nation's colleges and universities during the next decade, and he was a charter member of NRC's Committee on Undergraduate Science Education.

   Dr. Kirwan is a member of numerous boards, including the Presidents Council of the Ford Foundation, the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (the Fulbright Program), the World Trade Center Institute, the Baltimore Council of Foreign Affairs, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the Suburban Maryland High Tech Council. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and to the Presidents Commission of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He also is past chair of the NASULGC's Commission on Oceans and Atmosphere.

   Among other volunteer activities in the community, Dr. Kirwan chairs the Prince George's County Board of Education's Citizens Advisory Committee, and chaired the County's 1996 United Way Campaign. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

   Because of his contributions to higher education, he was named Officer in the Order of Leopold II by the Belgium Government and elected to the University of Kentucky's Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He recently received the World Trade Center Institutešs prestigious Governor's Award as the State's International Leader of the Year.

   Noted for his enormous energy and long work days, Dr. Kirwan regularly finds time to teach an undergraduate class. Whenever possible, he schedules time to enjoy classical music concerts and tries to find an hour or two each week to escape to a convenient tennis court where he is known as a very competitive tennis player.

   Dr. Kirwan is married to Patricia Harper of Lexington, Kentucky. They have two children: a son, William E. Kirwan III, a Washington architect who earned his baccalaureate and master's degrees from the university, and a daughter, Ann Elizabeth, who also graduated from the university with a degree in journalism.

Updated - February 17, 1997


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