The 2010 TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence was awarded to William E. (Brit) Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland.
Brit Kirwan has served as chancellor of the University System of Maryland, which comprises 11 universities, since 2002 and previously served as president of the University of Maryland, College Park and The Ohio State University. His ongoing efforts have improved higher education and increased the general public’s appreciation for the role colleges and universities play in advancing society.
Chancellor Kirwan brings a collaborative and cooperative leadership style to higher education welcoming all viewpoints,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, Managing Director and Head of the TIAA-CREF Institute. “This coupled with his forward thinking makes him one of the nation’s most dynamic and effective higher education leaders.”
“Father Hesburgh stands as the symbol of leadership of what a university president can and should do,” said Kirwan. “To have my name in any way associated with him is the greatest professional honor in my life.”
Kirwan’s effective leadership is most evident in the collaborative partnerships he has established between the University System of Maryland and the state’s leaders. It’s a partnership that has achieved excellence both within the university system and for the greater good. His efforts have produced notable results including increased state funding that has promoted enrollment growth, and supported nanotechnology and biotechnology to further enhance the system’s pivotal leadership role in the knowledge economy. Kirwan has a relentless focus on improving access and affordability in higher education and has also been a proponent of strengthening relationships between the system and community colleges, and Maryland is known as a model of collaboration between the two-and four-year sectors. With respect to controlling costs without compromising quality, Kirwan’s Effectiveness and Efficiency initiative has emerged as a national model for higher education. It was launched with a systematic examination and reengineering of all the System’s academic and administrative processes. While an ongoing initiative, it is already a compelling success story.