Clifford M. Kendall, chair of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents, announced Aug. 17 the appointment of Wallace D. Loh as president of the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Loh is currently executive vice president and provost of The University of Iowa. His appointment as president of UMCP, USM’s flagship institution, is effective Nov. 1, 2010.
“Dr. Loh is the right person to lead our flagship university to its next level of greatness,” said Kendall. “His wealth of experience and achievements in higher education demonstrate his strong commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service and demonstrate his exceptional ability to move institutions forward.”
Loh has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. As executive vice president and provost of The University of Iowa since 2008, Loh has oversight responsibilities for budgets, personnel and planning in the university’s 11 colleges and other academic units. The university enrolls 30,000 students and employs 4,895 faculty members. Its 2011 budget totals $2.8 billion, including $440 million in sponsored research.
Loh also oversees the implementation of the university’s strategic plan that emphasizes focused excellence in research and graduate education, expanded undergraduate enrollment and student success, internationalization and diversity, and partnerships with community colleges. With his oversight, Iowa has increased the number of honor, minority and international students; improved retention; expanded international exchanges; and increased administrative efficiencies and effectiveness.
Before joining The University of Iowa, Loh served as dean and professor of public service and psychology at Seattle University (1999-2008), director of policy and chief policy adviser for the State of Washington’s Office of the Governor (1997-99), vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of faculties at the University of Colorado-Boulder (1995-97), and dean and professor of law at the University of Washington Law School (1990-95).
During his service in Washington state government, Loh assembled and staffed then-Governor Gary Locke’s blue-ribbon “2020 Commission on the Future of Postsecondary Education.” Locke is currently the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The commission’s work led to the implementation of the “Washington Promise Scholarship,” expanding affordable access to higher education to thousands of low- and middle-income students.
“Dr. Loh brings a remarkable intellect, talent, and life experience to the University of Maryland, College Park, the University System of Maryland, and the state,” said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. “His focus on excellence, inclusion, internationalization of higher education, cross-disciplinary research, and community outreach mirrors the priorities of the system and the campus. We feel privileged to welcome him to our community.
“I want to express my deep gratitude to the presidential search committee. Under the outstanding chairmanship of Donald F. Kettl, professor and dean of UMCP’s School of Public Policy, the committee of faculty, staff, students, and university friends, and community representatives identified and screened an outstanding pool of candidates. Dr. Loh rose to the top of this pool because his accomplishments and values align so perfectly with the needs of the university, the system, the state, and the nation.”
Loh was born in Shanghai, China. He immigrated with his family to Lima, Peru, graduated from high school there and immigrated alone to Iowa in 1961, supporting himself through higher education. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, an M.A. in psychology from Cornell University, and a B.A. in psychology from Grinnell College.
Among his distinctions and awards are his election as president of the Association of American Law Schools, the 1993 National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association’s “Trailblazer Award,” and honorary degrees from Grinnell College and Iowa Wesleyan College.
Active in his communities, Loh serves on Iowa Wesleyan College’s Board of Trustees. He also has served on the visiting board of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the education committee of the Seattle Opera.
Loh and his wife Barbara have been married for 25 years. They have a daughter, Andrea, who is in college.
“I am thrilled to join the University System of Maryland to work together with the other presidents-under the leadership of the Regents and Chancellor Kirwan-for the advancement of the state’s public higher education system,” said Loh. “I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the stewardship of the flagship institution at College Park. Its rapid ascension to national eminence is truly remarkable, a testament to the accomplishments and dedication of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters of the university.
“Building on the extraordinary successes of President Dan Mote, I have ‘Great Expectations’ that the university will continue its rise to the highest tier of global excellence, creating better futures for the students we serve and the state of Maryland.”
Sally Mason, president of The University of Iowa, said, “Wallace Loh has been a tremendous asset to The University of Iowa and a valued, forward-looking member of my administrative team for the past two years. He has proven himself to be one of the nation’s top academic leaders, and certainly is well-prepared to assume the presidency of a major university. This is a wonderful opportunity for him, and I’m confident that he will bring great vision and strategic direction to the University of Maryland.”
Loh will succeed C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr., who will step down from the presidency Aug. 31 after leading the university through a 12-year period of steady advancement to become one of the nation’s top public universities. Mote will continue at the university in his academic appointment as Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering in the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
Chancellor Kirwan has appointed Nariman Farvardin, provost of UMCP, to serve as interim president until Loh arrives Nov. 1.
One of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland, College Park, is recognized nationally and internationally as a center of academic and research excellence. UMCP enrolls more than 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students in its 13 colleges and schools and attracted more than $500 million in research funding in fiscal year 2010. Faculty members-full- and part-time-total nearly 4,000 and staff members total more than 5,000. The operating budget totals nearly $1.6 billion.
UMCP continues to earn prestigious national and international rankings. It is No. 1 in awarding undergraduate degrees to African Americans according to Diverse Issues, No. 8 among Kiplinger’s 100 Best Values in Public Colleges, and one of the nation’s top-20 public universities according to U.S. News & World Report.