Got­tfried ush­ered in era of growth for Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land

Com­mu­nity lead­ers re­flect on pres­i­dent’s im­pact on re­gion

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE AN­FEN­SON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

Since he was a child, Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land Pres­i­dent Brad Got­tfried said he’s been haunted by an im­age of him­self in a rock­ing chair, near the end of his days, look­ing back to see what he’d ac­com­plished over his life.

“I asked my­self, would it be a life worth liv­ing? Would it be a life with ful­fill­ment, or would it be a life filled with re­gret?” Got­tfried said. “That im­age is still there — it com­pels you and puts a lot of pres­sure on a per­son.”

To many, how­ever, Got­tfried has al­ready con­trib­uted greatly to South­ern Mary­land and made a last­ing con­tri­bu­tion to ed­u­ca­tion and the com­mu­ni­ties of Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s coun­ties.

Dur­ing his 11 years as leader of CSM, the col­lege has con­tin­ued to grow. En­roll­ment has in­creased from 21,386 stu­dents in 2006-07 to 24,651 in 201516, and each grad­u­at­ing class has been the largest in the school’s his­tory.

Michael Chiara­monte, past pres­i­dent of MedS­tar South­ern Mary­land Hos­pi­tal Cen­ter, said Got­tfried has worked to ex­pand ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion.

“Ex­pand­ing ac­cess is such a big deal, and he did that the tra­di­tional way: through brick and mor­tar,” Chiara­monte said. “He’s also in­creased ac­cess on­line.”

The Leonard­town cam-

pus ex­panded with a Well­ness and Aquat­ics Cen­ter in 2010. “It’s been a great as­set to the Leonard­town area,” said Randy Guy, pres­i­dent of the St. Mary’s County com­mis­sion­ers.

The Prince Fred­er­ick cam­pus ex­panded to open a sec­ond build­ing, the first to meet LEED-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stan­dards.

Tom Hejl, pres­i­dent of the Calvert County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers, said the ex­pan­sion of the Prince Fred­er­ick cam­pus has im­proved the ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple in Calvert County.

“We have a stel­lar com­mu­nity col­lege in our county. That’s a huge plus for our kids and we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it,” Hejl (R) said.

In 2014, the col­lege pur­chased land in Hugh­esville for the build­ing of a new fourth cam­pus, to be cen­trally lo­cated among all three South­ern Mary­land coun­ties. That cam­pus opened its first build­ing, the Cen­ter for Trades and En­ergy Train­ing, this year.

Hav­ing a cen­ter for trades in South­ern Mary­land is a “game changer,” Hejl said.

“The Cen­ter for Trades and En­ergy Train­ing was greatly needed, and I thank Dr. Got­tfried for that,” Hejl said. “The fact that this well-re­spected, very in­tel­li­gent man rec­og­nized that we need a trade school, was a re­ally huge deal.”

“The trades cen­ter in Hugh­esville is a plus-plus,” Guy (R) said.

Got­tfried faced pres­sure to lo­cate the new cam­pus in Wal­dorf or ex­pand the La Plata cam­pus, but pre­vailed in his view of a re­gional cam­pus in Hugh­esville that would serve all of South­ern Mary­land.

“That was re­ally vi­sion­ary on his part,” said Board of Charles County Com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Peter Mur­phy (D). “He was com­mit­ted to make it a re­gional cam­pus, and that lo­ca­tion was very im­por­tant to his vi­sion. Putting it be­tween the three coun­ties was very im­por­tant and re­ally lends it­self to fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity.”

Got­tfried said it was im­por­tant to get past the pol­i­tics of the de­ci­sion and fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing a truly re­gional col­lege.

“Ev­ery county and all the com­mis­sion­ers have sup­ported this idea of a re­gional cam­pus,” Got­tfried said. “To me it was the per­fect spot, so we took the pol­i­tics out of it. It’s some­thing I’m proud of be­cause it was the right thing to do.”

Guy said Got­tfried worked to form lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the St. Mary’s com­mu­nity. “He’s al­ways been very re­spon­sive to us in terms of work­force needs, and he’s worked with lo­cal busi­nesses in de­vel­op­ing course op­tions and pro­grams,” Guy said.

Chiara­monte said Got­tfried has re­ally looked for ways to meet the needs of re­gional em­ploy­ers.

“Dr. Brad Got­tfried is a trans­for­ma­tive leader in South­ern Mary­land and has led the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land through a pro­lific pe­riod of growth and ex­cel­lence,” Chiara­monte said. “He doesn’t just stay within academia, he said, ‘I’ve got to go where my stu­dents are em­ployed.’”

Chiara­monte said Got­tfried ar­ranged for nurs­ing stu­dents to do their practicums at his hos­pi­tal, which ben­e­fited all par­ties.

“By set­ting up these nurse practicums with South­ern Mary­land Hos­pi­tal, we hired about 40 per­cent of them,” Chiara­monte said.

Reach­ing out to the en­ergy in­dus­try led to the de­vel­op­ment of the Cen­ter for Nu­clear En­ergy Train­ing on the Prince Fred­er­ick cam­pus in 2010.

“He’s very bril­liant at con­nect­ing academia to real-life jobs,” Chiara­monte said.

Reuben “Jay” Lilly, owner of Cold­well Banker-Jay Lilly Real Es­tate in Wal­dorf, is in his 10th year on the board of di­rec­tors for the CSM Foun­da­tion, the col­lege’s non­profit fundrais­ing arm. Lilly said Got­tfried has also ex­panded op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents con­tin­u­ing their ed­u­ca­tion and four-year in­sti­tu­tions.

Lilly noted that the col­lege’s ar­tic­u­la­tion agree­ments with other aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, which al­low stu­dents to trans­fer seam­lessly to other col­leges with all of their credit hours in­tact, has in­creased by 60 un­der Got­tfried’s lead­er­ship. Got­tfried has also reached out to form con­nec­tions with schools in South­ern Mary­land.

“We have reg­u­lar meet­ings with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the col­lege,” said Kim­berly Hill, su­per­in­ten­dent of Charles County’s pub­lic schools. “We have de­vel­oped a very pro­duc­tive, pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship. We’re able to talk and brain­storm and think about how we can bridge the gap be­tween K through 12 and col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.”

Hill said Got­tfried has worked to ex­pand ac­cess for stu­dents through ex­pan­sion of dual-en­roll­ment pro­grams and also through Ac­cess CSM,

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE AN­FEN­SON-COMEAU

Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land Pres­i­dent Bradley Got­tfried was the guest speaker at CSM’s 58th spring com­mence­ment May 18.

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