some of these folks basically either couldn’t get a job because they hadn’t done the preparation to get it, or the jobs just weren’t there.”
Prior to being named chairman, Harwood said he was appointed to the board by former governor Martin O’Malley in 2010 and has experience with the college’s audit committee and the College of Southern Maryland Foundation.
Dorothea Smith, the outgoing chairman, said in a telephone interview that Harwood is an excellent fit for the chairman position because of his experience with the CSM Foundation and his having been the vice chair for two years.
“Ted has experience with college development and fundraising, and will reinforce the college’s mission” of providing an affordable post-secondary education and helping students grow as community members, she said. Harwood has embraced life-long service and will encourage a climate for effective change by collaborating with the board and the new college president, Maureen Murphy, Smith said. Murphy will take over as head of the regional community college in July, following Bradley Gottfried’s retirement after 11 years at the helm.
Originally from upstate New York, Harwood said he moved to Hollywood in the late 1990s with his wife and two daughters to work at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. With five years of active duty and 24 years in the reserves,
Harwood said he has a unique perspective to draw on military and civilian employment experience.
Aside from being a vice president of a defense contractor company for 17 years, Harwood said “the jobs I had in the military culminated with being a commanding officer of a carrier group for the reserves. Before I retired I was in the Pentagon” head of budgets for naval platforms, he said.
Gottfried said in a telephone interview Tuesday he didn’t think the community college had ever had a board chairman with military experience and Harwood will “add a very unique perspective … that I think will be very helpful.”
“I’m very fiscally orientated in some areas, however my job [as chairman] is to try to do the strategic
thinking and the president executes whatever he or she needs to make that happen,” Harwood said. “The board as a whole is very diverse. It’s not me driving this train. I have the reins, I can go one way or the other, but I’d like to let the board be the big participant. We do it as a group.”
With nine board members, three each are from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Each campus has a unique perspective on what the college should do for the community, and “the Leonardtown campus has a St. Mary’s flavor, La Plata has a Charles flavor and Prince Frederick has a Calvert flavor,” Harwood said.
The new chairman said the college education experience has changed since he graduated from the academy, and he has stayed in the loop by continuing his education through graduate courses at Georgetown University and Anne Arundel Community College.
“I’ve seen it significantly progress to where workforce development is the big thing,” he said. “I think all colleges should be that way.”
The region’s largest employer is the Navy, Harwood said. On June 23, the college board “worked out an agreement with the supply course portion of the Navy” at Pax River and the University of Maryland University College, he said. “We have a pipeline of people that start from the community college, finish out of the UMUC [and] immediately upon graduation have a job with the Navy on base. As soon as they start, as long as they keep their grades, there will be a guaranteed job.”
Internships will also be offered during summers, Harwood said, noting the college has other similar agreements in engineering and nursing fields.
Most CSM students have a job after graduating or can successfully move on to other colleges and universities, he said. “The pendulum is starting to swing back [and] people are coming out with a job,” he said. The community college can easily adjust to the ebb and flow of the job market and “adjust our curriculum so folks coming out will be as job ready as possible.”
Michael Middleton, a former chairman and outgoing trustee, said in a telephone interview that he served with Harwood on the audit committee and he “is a fast learner. His professional career served him well” for preparing for the complexities of being on a board that serves four campuses.
Middleton said the new chairman has a unique perspective “as to the educational needs [of the Navy’s] workforce and its support services.” He said he is glad Harwood is now “at the helm of the college.”
Education isn’t only for preparing for the workforce, Harwood said.
“A person can’t be well-rounded unless they have an education,” and Harwood said he is learning something new every day. It “allows you to branch out [and] absorb what is around you.”
He said if welding wasn’t necessary tomorrow, someone in the trade could take classes at the community college and “retrain for another field quickly.”
Harwood said in his free time he is on the water and enjoys boating, fishing and crabbing.