William English Kirwan
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|William English Kirwan|
|University System of Maryland|
|Term||2002 – present|
|Ohio State University|
|Term||1998 – 2002|
|University of Maryland, College Park|
|Term||1989 – 1998|
April 14, 1938 |
|Alma mater||University of Kentucky
|Profession||Professor, university administrator, academic|
William English "Brit" Kirwan (born April 14, 1938 in Louisville, Kentucky) is currently the third Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM). Prior to that, Kirwan was the 26th President of the University of Maryland, College Park and the 12th President of Ohio State University. He was also a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland for 34 years.
Kirwan, the son of former University of Kentucky President A. D. Kirwan, received a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity  and a Master's and Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1962 and 1964.
Kirwan started at the University of Maryland, College Park as an assistant professor in the mathematics department, before going on to become a department chair, provost and ultimately university president. He helped lay the framework for the University System of Maryland in 1988 and was named university president in 1989. Financial crises during his tenure led to double-digit tuition increases, reduced class offerings and student protests and also were the reason he cited for his departure in 1998.
At Ohio State, Kirwan focused his attention on improving the academic standings during his tenure. He left Ohio State in 2002 to become chancellor of the University System of Maryland.
Kirwan is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues in higher education and is a sought after speaker on a wide range of topics, including diversity, access and affordability, cost containment, economic impact, gender equity, financial aid, and innovation. He is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and became its chair in May 2000. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; chairs the College Board's Commission on Access, Admissions, and Success in Higher Education; and is a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum. He was also appointed by President George W. Bush to the Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In April 2007, Kirwan was appointed to the editorial board of the newly announced Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, to be published quarterly by the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Kirwan is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, and the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. On February 15, 2007, he became the 16th recipient of the Maryland House of Delegates Speaker's Medallion, which recognizes Maryland citizens who have demonstrated exemplary service to the House and to the State of Maryland.
Kirwan is the winner of the 2010 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. Considered one of the nation's top higher education honors, this award recognizes leadership and commitment to higher education and contributions to the greater good.
In 2009, he received the Carnegie Corporation Leadership Award, which included a $500,000 grant to fund USM academic priorities. The prestigious award recognizes higher education leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in several areas, including undergraduate education (teaching and research) and outreach to communities.
In 2010, Kirwan was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, or NACIQI. The group serves in an advisory capacity to the U.S. Secretary of Education on accreditation issues and certification processes for colleges and universities. He was also in 2010 named chair of the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center Advisory Committee. Kirwan is a past board chair of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and of the American Council on Education.
His nickname, "Brit," was given to him by his parents when he was a child, coming from his middle name. They didn't want William to be shortened to Bill, as was common.
- The Rainbow, vol. 130, no. 2, p. 21,
- Unknown (4 May 2009), Kentucky Delt to give UK commencement speech, Delta Tau Delta, retrieved 18 June 2009
- Biography at the University System of Maryland
- Biography at the University of Maryland
- "Brit" Kirwan biography at The Ohio State University
- Kirwan feature in The Diamondback
- Past Presidents of the Ohio State University
|Chancellor of the University of Maryland, College Park (acting)
John Brooks Slaughter
John Brooks Slaughter (as chancellor)
|President of the University of Maryland, College Park
C. Daniel Mote, Jr.
|Ohio State University President
Edward Harrington Jennings (interim)