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Towson University hires former Howard County exec to analyze business partnerships, spaces for expansion

Towson University hires former Howard County exec to analyze business partnerships, spaces for expansion
As Towson University celebrates its 150th anniversary, its leaders see the former teachers college as a university on the rise -- adding programs and growing its student population. But the university's growth is causing challenges on campus as well as in the surrounding suburban Baltimore County neighborhoods. Campus leaders are working out where to house and teach its students, and how to manage tensions with residential neighbors. (Lloyd Fox)

Towson University has hired former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to help the university strengthen its relationship with the community and businesses and to consider locations for expansion.

University officials announced Tuesday that they hired Ulman's economic and development consulting firm, Margrave Strategies, for $90,000 to perform the four-month analysis. Ulman will work as "chief strategist" for Towson.

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The first steps will include a scan of business and development trends in Towson as well as places to expand. The effort was announced two weeks after the inauguration of Kim Schatzel as the university's 14th president. The 60-year-old former businesswoman and marketing professor arrived at Towson in January. She has announced goals of building greater partnerships with Towson businesses.

"Towson University is committed to taking on an even greater leadership role as an anchor institution and further strengthening its connections and positive impact with community and business partners," Schatzel said in a statement Tuesday.

The university is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. With about 23,000 students, it produces more health professionals than any other university in Maryland. It's also Baltimore County's third-largest employer.

"It is an honor to work alongside President Schatzel and help Towson University serve as a greater catalyst for job creation and placemaking in Towson," Ulman said in the statement.

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