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Duncan to Leave University of Maryland Post

Former Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan has resigned his post at the University of Maryland at College Park.

In a statement late today, Duncan said he was proud of his tenure and did not "come to the decision lightly," but he did not give a reason for his departure. He will join a government advisory firm CivicUS next month as a co-founder and senior vice president for research and business development.

Duncan's departure, announced in an e-mail this afternoon by university President C. D. Mote, Jr., was the subject of much anticipation, following his apology last month for news reports in which he said he was forced to back out of a political forum at the direction of Gov. Martin O'Malley's office.

The statement issued jointly last month by the university system and College Park campus said, "Duncan recognizes now that he misinterpreted informal advice from a friend and colleague as an official directive. Duncan has apologized to {university lobbyist} P.J. Hogan for the misunderstanding and takes full responsibility for the misunderstanding and the resulting confusion."

Duncan, who challenged O'Malley for the Democratic nomination in 2006, has served as the university's chief administrative and finance officer for the last 17 months.

Mote's message praised Duncan for his ability to "navigate county and city relationships" as he led the redevelopment of the University's East Campus. But the email does not give a reason for Duncan's departure set for Nov. 7 or say what he will do next.

Duncan was not immediately available for comment.

Here is the full text of Mote's announcement:

"Today, I accepted the resignation of Douglas M. Duncan, Vice President
for Administrative Affairs, effective November 7, 2008.

As vice president, Doug served as the University's chief administrative
and finance officer. He oversaw seven departments, including university
human resources, comptroller, public safety, facilities management,
environmental safety, business services and procurement and supply.

The resignation ends a 17-month tenure that also saw Doug effectively
navigate county and city relationships on behalf of the University and
lead the redevelopment of the University's East Campus, an initiative
designed to attract high-quality mixed-use development to the Route 1
corridor, increase housing for graduate students, promote connections
and partnerships with the City of College Park, and provide a
dramatically enhanced campus setting to support its mission to attract
the best students and exceptional faculty and staff to the University.

We will miss Doug's ability to navigate the complexities of local,
county and state development issues. His command of the issues, his
leadership in moving our development projects forward, and his ability
to engage our communities will not be easily replaced. But we wish him
the very best with his future opportunities."

By Ann Marimow  |  October 15, 2008; 1:41 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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This smacks of a political hit job. Poor Duncan, he had the audacity to engage the political process while O'Malley is in charge. This type of thing will look bad for the current Gov. Just ask Erlich.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Doug was always a good friend to CASA De Maryland. Perhaps they have a job for him.

Posted by: Jorge | October 15, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Doug Duncan has been an outstanding representative for the university, patient, tactful, and as forthcoming as anybody in his position can be. He's handled community relations on the East Campus project as skillfully as anybody could want. His resignation is a loss for the school and the community. This display of O'Malley's nasty streak isn't his first. He never made clear what his objective issues were with Nancy Grasmick, our State School Supt., so to outside observers like me his motive in trying to dump her after what appears to be a highly successful period in office was petty revenge for some clash they had when he was mayor of Baltimore. Now this. What a jerk. It reflects badly on him and Maryland Democrats. Maryland is pretty much a one-party state today, but the arrogance in power that O'Malley is demonstrating will bring the Maryland Democrats to a bad end. I hope he has a decent primary challenger, cause I can't vote for him again.

Posted by: CP local resident | October 15, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

That sucks. I'm sure this is political. I live in MoCo and am a student at Maryland, and Doug Duncan really did a good job in having projects move forward. Silver Spring is no longer an extension of NE DC, has a lot of amenmities, and (unfortunately) is a very expensive place to live. At UMD, with nearly all the juniors and all of the seniors currently living off campus, development is definitely a must for future students.

With Duncan gone, the univ. no longer has the clout of an experienced ex-county executive who was in charge of a wealthy county with nearly a million residents. It will definitely be hard to find a replacement...

Posted by: senior terp | October 15, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

As CP resident notes, Duncan did an excellent job of juggling the different interests of East Campus stakeholders. More importantly, he understood that for UMD to compete with top universities, connections to the community and county needed to be forged and sustained. UMD needs to invest in the county, not create an island. Duncan got it; Mote does not.

Posted by: another College Park resident | October 15, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I can't say I'm torn up about this. Duncan sometimes seemed more interested in helping the East Campus developers than the existing community. Beds for student housing have gone down from original targets. There was never a good solution for the traffic that will be generated. And he moved to drop a fraternity into an all-sorority neighborhood (the "graham cracker") so the fraternity's existing property could be added to East Campus. I wish Mr. Duncan well as he returns to Montgomery County.

Posted by: Yet Another College Parker | October 15, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I find it humorous that there are some people crying foul in defense of Doug. I can guarantee you that had the tables been turned and Duncan had defeated O'Malley that Doug would NEVER NEVER NEVER have given O'Malley a $280,000 a year job. NEVER!!! Then imagine if O'Malley had done what Duncan did and bit the hand that fed him, Duncan would have had him drawn and quartered in a public square. I think O'Malley put up with far more than most in his position would have. All I have to say about Duncan is boohoo! Duncan is a sad and bitter man who simply doesn't get why he lost.

Posted by: scrabble1 | October 15, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

You're wrong. Doug Duncan isn't a nasty, mean spirited person like Martin O'Malley is. Doug is actually, again unlike O'Malley, a person with the true heart of a public servant not a political ladder climber like Martin. This is shameful. Montgomery County cannot continue to support Mr. O'Malley as he taxes us more, gives us less, and slaps us in the face and kicks us in the rear. Time to say: NO'Malley, no more. Doug, run again in two years. Martin pulled dirty tricks to get you out of the governor's race. He can't do that to you anymore.

Posted by: to scrabble 1 | October 15, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

This is just another example in a long line of examples of how dirty Martin O'Malley is. Just ask Tom Smith.

Posted by: Martin O'Malley is the worst governor ever | October 16, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I have nothing but admiration for Doug Duncan and am very sorry about this loss -- as a resident of the area surrounding UM and as a Marylander in general. Is it too late to get him back? O'Malley and Mote should be on their news begging Duncan to help them finish the all-important East Campus project if they don't want a lot of area residents to vote against O'Malley in the next primary. It seems to me that O'Malley is putting petty political gripes ahead of one of the expressed interests of a major portion of his voting constituency. Stupid in so many ways.

Posted by: John15 | October 16, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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