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Coppin president to step down at end of school year

Posted at 5:13 AM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 05:13:09-05

BALTIMORE, MD. — Coppin State University's president is stepping down at the end of this school year.

Dr. Maria Thompson has led the University since 2015.

In a letter to students and parents, Thompson says she's resigning in June after overcoming recent health issues.

Thompson says she is healthy and will head back to her native city of Nashville where her mother still lives.

Here is the full announcement on the university's website:

Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni, Benefactors, Partners & Friends, With the beginning of a new year, I wish to share some very wonderful personal news that also has significant professional implications for my tenure as president of our great institution – Coppin State University. As you are aware, over the past year, I successfully battled a serious health challenge that required taking some additional recovery time at the start of this academic year. My doctors have been delighted with my progress over these many months and have recently given me a clean bill of health. During the Christmas holidays, my joy was multiplied with the decision to marry my long-time companion – Dr. Joseph Perry. We have determined that the time is right to begin a new chapter as we make a new life together in my native city of Nashville (where my mother also continues to reside), sometime after the conclusion of the current academic year. Consequently, I have informed Chancellor Robert Caret and the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland that I will conclude my tenure as president of Coppin State University, at the end of June 2019. Since becoming president in 2015, I have been constantly grateful for the ongoing and close collaboration of the faculty and staff which has contributed greatly to all that we have accomplished to enhance the educational experience for our multi-generational student population. Never has what Coppin offers been more needed, not only here in Baltimore and the State of Maryland, but for our nation, as one of the most historically important HBCUs with an unqualified commitment to academic excellence, community impact, and service. In the spirit of our namesake - Fanny Jackson Coppin - our students come from many walks of life and work to improve their personal prospects through higher education so that they, in turn, can improve the prospects of others. Without question, we have much yet to accomplish and I want to assure all that I will be working diligently for the remainder of my tenure to advance our strategic priorities to recruit an increasing number of new students for the next academic year – freshman, transfer, and graduate students – while also working to retain more of our current students who require a robust advisory capability given what, for many, is a non-traditional approach to higher education. I also look forward to continuing to work with our valued external partners – our city and state government officials, our colleague universities and community colleges, and our business leaders who are vital to our educational mission and extra-curricular student experiences. Naturally, Chancellor Caret will communicate, further, the process for identifying my successor, in due course. In the meantime, I look forward to the many months ahead working with you, learning from you and supporting your ambitions and success. The new year has already proven to be an exciting and deeply fulfilling one for me in these early days of 2019. I wish for each of you much personal and professional fulfillment as well, as together we strive to make the remainder of the 2018/2019 academic year a truly memorable and successful one for all here at our beloved Coppin State University. Happy New Year! Dr. Maria Thompson