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Dr. John B. Slaughter, First Black Chancellor of the University of Maryland, Dies

Dr. John B. Slaughter, former chancellor of the University of Maryland, College Park, has died at the age of 89.Dr. John B. SlaughterDr. John B. Slaughter

Slaughter was a trailblazer, leading the school as its first African American chancellor from 1982 to 1988. In the role, he worked to improve the school’s recruitment and retention of African American students and faculty.

Before he arrived at University of Maryland, Slaughter served in multiple STEM-related roles, including electrical engineer with General Dynamics Corporation; head of information systems technology at the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory; and director of the applied physics laboratory at the University of Washington.

He also would go on to serve as the sixth director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) from December 1980 to October 1982 Slaughter assumed the presidency of Occidental College, becoming the school’s first black president.

He then served as president and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and later taught as a professor of education and engineering at the University of Southern California.

Slaughter held a B.S. in electrical engineering from Kansas State University; an M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles; and a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, San Diego.

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