Mark Halsey, Virginia Tech’s director of finance and administration for distance learning, has been named the new executive director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, the center announced Wednesday.
Halsey was charged with continuing to meet the needs of USMH students in the region by broadening existing programs, developing new ones, and maintaining and expanding relations with area community colleges, according to a university news release.
He was selected from a field of 69 candidates in a national search, the release said.
Halsey, who will assume his duties on May 21, will receive an annual salary of $100,000, USMH campus spokeswoman Erin Harman said.
He succeeds David Warner, who became vice president for academic affairs at Hagerstown Community College in July 2011. Warner had lead USMH since it opened in 2005.
John Stoothoff, a member of the Frostburg State University faculty, has served as interim director since Warner left.
“I am honored to have been chosen to lead the team of talented individuals that comprises the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown,” Halsey said in the release. “Since its inception, USMH has afforded the people of Washington County and the surrounding areas with significant access to higher education.
“I look forward to working with the community colleges in Hagerstown and Frederick as we collaborate to provide educational pathways for students to complete their first two years at HCC or FCC and then go on to earn bachelor’s and possibly master’s degrees through programs offered at USMH,” he said.
“USMH has many excellent choices among professional studies and liberal arts and sciences programs at Hagerstown,” Halsey wrote in an e-mail Thursday. “We want to make sure people interested in our current programs know about them and that we have clear pathways to reach them.
“But we also expect the area’s population and employment to grow in real terms, thus resulting in growth in the demand for a more educated workforce,” Halsey wrote. “Therefore, I’m positive we’ll see new programs being offered at USMH in the future in response to changing needs in the area.”
While online programs continue to grow, Halsey said that he thinks “the greater opportunity will be with blended courses, where a portion of the course is face-to-face” and a portion online.
“I think you will see more such blended courses in the future, not just at USMH, but nationwide,” he said.
Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2007, Halsey was a regional director of distance learning at Old Dominion University. He also was an associate professor of management and department chairman with Eastern University in Pennsylvania.
In addition, he has served as a director with two management consulting firms, and has continued a part-time practice in the areas of nonprofit strategic planning and organizational development.
He has been invited as a visiting professor or consultant to institutions in Lithuania, China, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Guatemala, Bolivia and South Africa, among others, according to the release.
Halsey has an Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia, a bachelor’s degree in management and public administration from James Madison University and has done extensive coursework toward a doctorate in public policy at UMBC.
“Mark’s experiences in higher education administration at Virginia Tech and throughout a 30-year career make him an ideal selection as the next director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown,” William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, said in the release. “I know this critical regional center in Western Maryland will thrive under his leadership.”
In his current position at Virginia Tech, Halsey is responsible for distance learning, including budgeting, purchasing, facilities and contract management.