COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland President C.D. “Dan” Mote Jr. said Monday that he will step down after a dozen years in the post. In a campus e-mail, Mote announced that he will retire as president on Aug. 31. When he goes, the 73-year-old will be the university’s fourth-longest serving president.
Mote is credited with boosting graduation rates, expanding campus facilities, and increasing research funding, among other things. Officials said he also oversaw the two largest fundraising campaigns in the school’s history.
“Serving as your president has been an extraordinary personal privilege and the most rewarding experience of my professional life,” Mote said in his letter. “It has been a joy to work with so many talented students, faculty and staff. Your tenacious spirit, unwavering commitment to excellence and dedication to our university and its mission have been an inspiration to me.”
Mote said the university has cultivated an “expectation of greatness.” Even though “there remains a distance yet to travel,” he said the school is on track to become “a truly great university.”
Mote plans to take a one-year leave of absence starting Sept. 1 and then return to his academic position as an engineering professor.
University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan said in a statement that, under Mote’s leadership, the school has emerged as a premier research institution. He said the university and the state “owe Dan an enormous debt of gratitude for the difference he has made and the indelible mark he leaves.”
Before coming to Maryland in 1998, Mote had been a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, for 31 years and served as vice chancellor for many years. He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Berkeley.
Lee Tune, a university spokesman, said Mote is “very highly regarded” by students and faculty. A search committee has not been formed, and no timeline has been set for naming his replacement, Tune said.
“I know they plan to do that quickly,” Tune said. “That process will certainly move forward.”
The public university has more than 26,000 undergraduate students and 10,000 graduate students.