Kirwan Says U Of Maryland University College Academically Sound When President Resigned

Ann McClure's picture

University of Maryland University College was academically sound on the day President Susan Aldridge resigned, according to the chancellor of the state university system.

That assurance, conveyed by Chancellor William E. Kirwan in an interview last week, is the closest Maryland higher-education officials have come to answering questions about the sudden departure last month by the leader of the nation's largest online-focused public university.

Aldridge's decision to step down has drawn notice across the national higher-education community because neither she nor the university system has offered an explanation. In a statement March 21, her only public comment, Aldridge said that "this is a good time to step down." She had been on leave for a month. University officials have declined to say whether the leave was voluntary.

Her exit set off a chorus of dissent among current and former employees, who alleged that Aldridge prioritized enrollment and revenue above academics and that she and her administrators oversaw a toxic work environment.

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