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Personal Profile of Dr. William E. E. Kirwan


On August 1, 2002, William English Kirwan became the third chancellor of the University System of Maryland.

A widely respected academic leader, Dr. Kirwan served as president of Ohio State University for four years, and as president of the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 years. Prior to his presidency, he was a member of the University of Maryland faculty for 34 years.

Dr. Kirwan received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and his master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1962 and 1964. He is a member of several honorary and professional societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, the American Mathematical Society, and the Mathematical Association of America. A prolific scholar, he is co-editor of the book Advances in Complex Analysis and has published many articles on mathematical research.

A national leader in higher education, Dr. Kirwan serves as Chair of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Voluntary System of Accountability Project, a joint effort of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). He also serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Dr. Kirwan is a past Chair of NASULGC’s Board of Directors and of the American Council on Education’s Board.

Dr. Kirwan was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a member of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century and chaired the National Research Council’s Commission on the Mathematical Sciences in the Year 2000, which produced the report, Moving Beyond Myths: Revitalizing Undergraduate Mathematics, National Academy Press (1991). He was appointed by President Bush to the Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The recipient of many honors, Dr. Kirwan has been elected to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni at both the University of Kentucky and Rutgers University. He also was selected to receive the Rutgers University award for Career Achievement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of that university’s graduate school. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Dr. Kirwan received the Maryland Senate’s First Citizen of Maryland Award in 1998.

Dr. Kirwan is married to Patricia Harper Kirwan, also a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a classmate since seventh grade. They have two children, both University of Maryland alumni: William E. Kirwan III and Ann Kirwan Horton; and three grandchildren, Daly Elizabeth, Kyle, and Andrew.

Current/Future Committee Membership
Name Office Start Date End Date
No Memberships

Past Committee Membership
Name Office Start Date End Date
Board of Trustees Mar 06, 2004 Mar 01, 2008
Corporate Partners Committee Apr 04, 2004 Mar 01, 2008
Education Committee Apr 04, 2004 Mar 01, 2008