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.