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ADELPHI, Md. (WUSA9) -- After more than a decade, the chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) is stepping down.

USM made the announcement about William E. Kirwan in a press release on Tuesday. Officials say Kirwan will remain as chancellor until the board conducts a national search and chooses his successor.

"I am completing my 12th year as chancellor and my 50thyear in higher education, and I have decided that this is the right time to announce my intention to step down," Kirwan was quoted as saying in the press release. "It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to lead the state of Maryland's public higher education system. Thanks to the excellent board members and outstanding USM administrators, faculty, staff and students with whom I have had the privilege to work, we have accomplished a great deal. I am enormously proud of our collective efforts, and I believe the system is poised to continue on its paths of academic excellence, inclusion, and innovation that have become its hallmark."

Kirwan career in higher education spans 50 years. According to USM officials, he has served as "president of two Association of American Universities (AAU) institutions-University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), (1988-98) and The Ohio State University (1998-2002)." He also served as vice president of academic affairs and chair of the Department of Mathematics at UMCP.

READ THE FULL RELEASE HERE: http://www.usmd.edu/newsroom/news/1338

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