COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ)– A mysterious change in leadership for a Maryland university. The president of University of Maryland University College is removed and school officials won’t say why.

Adam May went looking for answers.

This abrupt departure is causing quite a stir in academia, and an unusual amount of silence.

Susan Aldridge is considered a national leader in online higher education. Since 2006, she’s been president at UMUC headquartered in College Park. The school claims to be world’s fastest growing virtual campus.

“We are now the largest state university in the United States with 94,00 students,” Aldridge said in a video.

Given that success, a statement from the university shocked higher education circles.

A spokesman writes: “President Susan Aldridge will be on leave for an undetermined period of time.”

WJZ asked if it was voluntary and we were told she was “placed on leave” but the school wouldn’t say why.

WJZ also reached out to a number of members on this school’s board. We were repeatedly told, “No comment.” Only one board member spoke briefly with WJZ.  Joseph Bowen Jr. said UMUC would handle the change in leadership without serious consequence.  In a previous story, WJZ misattributed that statement to former UMUC Board Chairman Donald Orkand, who made no comment.

According to open records, Aldridge made around $300,000 a year.

The school has appointed an interim president from within.

WJZ also tried contacting a few professors at UMUC. They also had no comment.

Comments (6)
  1. Faculty Fedup says:

    The UMUC administrators made two far- reaching decisions this past year WITHOUT any faculty or student input for the stateside campus:
    1. They reduced the length of every course to 8 weeks! This is overwhelming students because faculty are teaching twice as much content each week. Faculty were given no reason for the change and were informed by email that it was to happen as of the Fall 2011 semester.
    2. Just a couple of weeks before the Fall semester was to begin, the Dean of the undergraduate school (she is still at UMUC so far) sent an email informing faculty that UMUC will no longer offer proctored final exams. Again, we were given no explanation. Faculty were shocked and are still trying to figure out how to have some semblance of exam integrity given this reckless decision.
    There are many top level administrators at UMUC who should be investigated. I won’t be surprised to see more of them in the unemployment line.
    These comments apply to the stateside programs only.

  2. MannieF says:

    As a true UMd Terp the whole concept of what UMUC is disgusts me

  3. Denise says:


    I am a student of UMUC and previously we had the same coursework as any other university student. We took proctored exams right beside U of MD students and I was proud to say that I was a part of The U of MD family. As of late…I am not happy with the 8 week courses and cramming 12 weeks of work into 8 weeks and online exams have me running for the hills and another university. We are students just like any other and the fact that we disgust you pains me because we put just as much into our studies as any other student. I am transferring to another university that can handle teaching courses the way they should be taught.

  4. Patricia Templeton UMCP Retired says:

    Sure would like ti=o hear more of thu=is. Is it economics?

  5. Sasaki says:

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