Engineering school dean Darryll Pines will be UMD’s next president

(File Photo/The Diamondback)

The University System of Maryland announced Wednesday that Darryll Pines would be the University of Maryland’s next president.

Pines, who is currently dean of the engineering school, will assume his new role on July 1, according to a news release from USM Chancellor Jay Perman. The decision comes about a year after a committee to search for university President Wallace Loh’s successor was announced.

The committee planned to hold several forums for community insight and include “representatives from the UMCP faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” during the process, according to a January 2019 statement from the system.

There were three open forums — one in May and two in September.

Loh first announced he would retire from his position in October 2018, amid scandal involving the school’s football program. Then, in January 2019, he said he would stay on an extra year — through June 2020 — to see through ongoing projects, such as the school’s $1.5 billion Fearless Ideas campaign.

Though the Board of Regents had previously given no indication Loh would extend his tenure, he said he had been in talks with the university system for at least three months prior to the announcement he would continue in his role.

“It is an honor to take on the leadership role at the University of Maryland, College Park—clearly one of our nation’s finest Research I universities—and one that I know and love so well,” Pines said in the release. “I’m excited by this new challenge and can’t wait to listen, learn, and lead this incredible university.”

Pines has been at the university since 1995, and has been dean of the engineering school since 2009, according to the release. He worked for the U.S. Defense Department from 2003 to 2006, as part of the DARPA branch, where he worked on aerospace technology, according to the engineering school’s website.

“It’s fitting—and gratifying—that UMD will be led by a member of its own family, by someone who knows so well its people and programs, its considerable strengths and enormous potential,” Perman wrote in the release.

Regents chair Linda Gooden said in USM’s release that the board “found precisely the right person for this important job.”

“College Park will indeed be in good hands,” she said in the statement.

Though Student Government Association president Ireland Lesley said she was surprised by the announcement and “would have liked to see more student input” in the process, she acknowledged that was a “big ask.”

“It’s a high profile search with high profile candidates,” she said. “But I’m hoping that going forward, that’s going to be Dean Pines’ top priority. I’m hoping that’s one of the first things he will do as president, seeing as this process didn’t allow a lot of students to weigh in.”

Under Pines’ leadership, according to the release, the engineering school’s amount of tenured and tenure-track women and underrepresented faculty has more than doubled. The release praised Pines for his role in boosting funding to the school and bolstering its graduation rates.

In 2017, Pines helped the university secure the largest donation in its history, a $219.5 million investment.

Pines’ son, Donovan Pines, played for the university’s men’s soccer team from 2016 to 2018, starting at center back as the team won the 2018 national championship.

Senior staff writers Jillian Atelsek and Arya Hodjat contributed to this report.

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story stated Loh’s tenure was extended through May 2020. It was extended through June 2020. This story has been updated. 

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