Chancellor Emeritus, University System of Maryland
William E. “Brit” Kirwan is chancellor emeritus of the University System of Maryland (USM). He is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues facing higher education. He served as chancellor of USM for 13 years (2002-2015), president of the Ohio State University for four years (1998-2002) and president of the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 years (1988-1998). Prior to his presidency, he was a member of the University of Maryland mathematics faculty for 24 years.
Currently, Dr. Kirwan chairs the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, an organization comprised of the presidents of the 17 professional organizations for mathematicians. He is executive director of a national education reform effort, Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics. Dr. Kirwan is past chair of, among other boards, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the American Council for Higher Education, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the American Association of Colleges & Universities, the Business Higher Education Forum and the National Research Council Board on Higher Education and Workforce.
Among Dr. Kirwan’s many honors is the 2010 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. In 2009, he received the Carnegie Corporation Leadership Award, which included a $500,000 grant to fund USM academic priorities. Dr. Kirwan was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002.
He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and his master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1962 and 1964 respectively.