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Dr. Bounds to retire as Chesapeake College president when contract ends in June 2008

Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007


WYE MILLS -- Dr. Stuart M. Bounds, who has served nearly a decade as Chesapeake College's president and 23 years as an administrator at the College, announced Friday that he will retire when his current contract ends in June 2008.

"I will be 64 at the end of my contract and at this point in my life I know that this is the right time for a transition of leadership at the College," Dr. Bounds said in a statement released by the college. "The timing will allow the Board of Trustees to conduct a comprehensive presidential search, and give me an opportunity to evaluate this next phase of my life."

Dr. Bounds informed the board of his decision Thursday night during the closed session of the board's regular monthly meeting. Thomas Groce, the chair of Chesapeake College's Board of Trustees, said the board accepted Dr. Bounds' decision "with great regret, but also with a tremendous amount of gratitude for Dr. Bounds' visionary leadership during a most critical time in the college's history."

Rich Bulman, vice chair of the college's Board of Trustees, said the board will begin immediately to develop the search process it will use to select Chesapeake College's fifth president. He said the board's goal is to have the new president selected in time to take office next July 1st.

"Dr. Bounds' leadership has helped build a solid foundation for the college's future," said Bulman. "Chesapeake College is a very sound institution, both academically and fiscally. The college will undoubtedly attract a field of highly qualified presidential candidates impressed with a student-centered institution with great potential for future growth and development."

Dr. Bounds said Chesapeake's next president will "undoubtedly be impressed by the quality of the Board with which he or she will work."

"I have been blessed to work with a board that has shared my passion for the community college movement and has been fully committed to the realization of our vision for Chesapeake College," said Dr. Bounds, who has served in various administrative capacities at the college since 1984. "I've greatly enjoyed working with our board during my tenure as president."

Dr. Bounds' presidency has coincided with dramatic growth at the college in terms of enrollment, facilities, and programs.

Credit enrollment at Chesapeake College has increased 27 percent since Dr. Bounds became president in July 1997, with all five Mid-Shore counties sharing in the enrollment boom. Facilities enhancements have included new construction a state-of-the-art Learning Resource Center and the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center, both located on the college's main campus in Wye Mills and renovation of three of the buildings that were part of the first phase of campus construction 40 years ago.

Much of the college's programmatic expansion during Dr. Bounds' presidency has taken place in the allied health field. During his first year in office, the college entered into an agreement to transition Shore Health System's diploma nursing school into a degree-granting Chesapeake College School of Nursing. That agreement led to shifting the site for virtually all of the college's rapidly growing allied health programs to Memorial Hospital at Easton, where the majority of the clinical work was already being completed.

The Chesapeake College-Shore Health System partnership is just one of many strategic alliances formed during Dr. Bounds' tenure as president.

A Chesapeake College-Villa Julie College partnership has brought a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) program to the Mid-Shore while Chesapeake has used partnerships with Salisbury University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to bring bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs to the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center. Meanwhile, a Physical Therapy Assistant program has been created through a consortium that includes Chesapeake, Anne Arundel Community College and the College of Southern Maryland.

"We've tried to develop partnerships capable of bringing new programs and opportunities to residents of our service region," said Dr. Bounds.

Groce credited much of this growth to Dr. Bounds' emphasis on long-range planning.

"Dr. Bounds made thoughtful, long-range planning an integral part of the college culture," said Groce. "He was instrumental in the push to develop the college's first strategic plan in 1998, and the second strategic plan in 2003. Those plans, along with the 10-year master plan the college put into place in 1998, provided the blueprint for the achievements of the past decade."

"I've always believed sustained institutional success is no accident," said Dr. Bounds. "That type of success only results from a strong vision supported by thorough, detailed planning and coupled with mindful employment of college resources to reach your goals."

The Chesapeake College Foundation has greatly expanded its fundraising efforts during Dr. Bounds' presidency, including raising more than $2 million in private funds to add a mezzanine level to the Todd Performing Arts Center and greatly expanding foundation fund-raising for academic scholarships.

"We have an outstanding foundation board, which has worked energetically to raise much-needed private funds for important college projects," said Dr. Bounds. "I'm really indebted to the foundation for all it has done for our students and our region."

While serving as Chesapeake's president, Dr. Bounds also took on statewide and regional higher education leadership roles. He served two terms as president of the Maryland Community Colleges Chief Executive Officers, regularly chaired accreditation teams on behalf of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and served on numerous commissions and task forces at the state level.

"Dr. Bounds' contributions have extended far beyond Chesapeake College," said Dr. Clay Whitlow, executive director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. "He played a critical role in fostering better coordination and communication among our state community colleges during his tenure as president of the CEOs, and helped achieve a greater voice for our community colleges at the statewide level."

Dr. Bounds holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics and a Master of Arts degree in Government and Public Administration, both awarded by the University of Maryland. He earned a Doctorate of Education from the College of William and Mary.

Dr. Bounds, a Somerset County native who began his higher education career in the Virginia Community College System, joined Chesapeake College in 1984 as academic and administrative vice president. He was later promoted to executive vice president, and became the college's fourth president when he succeeded Dr. John R. Kotula on July 1, 1997.

Among his many community activities, Dr. Bounds serves on the Shore Health System Board of Directors, the Talbot County Economic Development Commission, the Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, and is also active in the Rotary Club of Easton. He is a member of the Leadership Maryland Class of 1997.

Dr. Bounds lives in Easton with his wife, Gail, a former professor of English at Chesapeake College who continues to teach at the college in a part-time capacity. They have two adult children - a son, Randall, and a daughter, Joanna.

Dr. Bounds said he is just beginning to consider what activities he might like to pursue after leaving Chesapeake, but ruled out seeking another college presidency.

"I'm not leaving Chesapeake to obtain another presidency," said Dr. Bounds. "This was the only presidency I ever wanted."


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