Darryll J. Pines is the newest President of the University of Maryland, the state’s flagship institution with more than 40,000 students. Pines, who previously served as a professor and dean of the university’s Engineering School for over 20 years, is only the second African American to become President since the institution was founded 164 years ago.
Pines will take over the position on July 1 to replace Wallace Loh, who led the university in the last ten years but was forced to resign after several scandals allegedly caused by negligence. The school board chose Pines as he was equipped with the necessary experience, and he was very well familiar with the school community.
“I can’t think of a better person to build on the excellence at the university and take it to even higher levels,” Regents chair Linda Gooden said in a statement. “I know I speak for the entire board when I say we’ve found precisely the right person for this important job — College Park will indeed be in good hands.”
Pines, who is 55-years old, has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He started working as an assistant professor in College Park in 1995, before becoming a dean in 2009.
Among his accomplishments during his tenure as a dean for the A. James Clark School of Engineering was increasing the one-year undergraduate retention rate to 91% and its five-year graduation rate to 75%. He also helped the university secure the largest donation in its history, amounting to $219 million from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to provide more scholarships and build more facilities.
Now, Pines will be overseeing a campus of more than 40,000 students, 10,000 faculty and staff, and a $2.1 billion operating budget. He is expected to address the recent problems that involved the university and regain the trust of the students on the campus.
“I am well acquainted with and have long admired the outstanding faculty, the executive leadership, and the passionate and civically engaged alumni and students who make Maryland such a special place,” said Pines. “I’m excited by this new challenge and can’t wait to listen, learn, and lead this incredible university.”