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Interim president named for Coppin State
[November 14, 2012]

Interim president named for Coppin State

Nov 14, 2012 (The Baltimore Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A former leader of a national group of public universities has been named the interim president of Coppin State University, the university system announced Wednesday.

Mortimer H. Neufville, who had served until June as the interim president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, will become the interim president Jan. 23, when the current president, Reginald S. Avery, steps down.

Avery received a vote of no confidence from the faculty last year. He pledged to increase the university's low graduation rate when he arrived in 2008, only to see it continue to fall.

"We are very fortunate that Dr. Neufville has accepted this appointment," University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan said in a statement. "With a history of serving higher education with distinction and effectiveness, he is well positioned to serve Coppin well during this critical transition period." Coppin, which is located in West Baltimore, has struggled to stabilize financially and retain students over recent years. The college draws most of its 3,900 students from city schools and many need to complete remedial course work after enrolling.

Neufville spent 15 years in leadership positions at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, which, like Coppin, is a historically black university. He holds a doctorate and masters in animal science from the University of Florida. He is a former executive vice president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and continues to serve as a consultant for that organization.

"I am very committed to higher education and especially to our institutions that provide access and opportunities to first-generation students. Working together with our various constituents, we can identify key priorities for the future and design appropriate strategies for even more success for Coppin," Neufville said in a statement. ___ (c)2012 The Baltimore Sun Visit The Baltimore Sun at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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