Towson University president takes leave of absence because of health issues

Towson University President Maravene Loeschke is taking a leave of absence through the end of the year because of "health and personal challenges," she wrote in a letter to the university community Thursday.

She had announced in April that she was diagnosed with cancer of the adrenal gland but expected to make a full recovery. She said at the time that the cancer was found early and that she had surgery and would undergo radiation therapy.

University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan approved the leave, which was effective immediately.

"The members of the USM Board of Regents and I respect President Loeschke's need at this time to focus on the issues that she is facing," Kirwan said in a news release. "She, of course, has our full support and best wishes for a speedy recovery and return to the presidency."

Tim Chandler, who has been Towson's provost and vice president for academic affairs since January 2013, has been named acting president. Vice Provost Maggie Reitz will be acting provost.

Kirwan called Chandler "an effective and committed academic leader" and said, "We are confident that he will help the university maintain its forward momentum over the next few months."

When Loeschke announced the cancer diagnosis she said she felt "great" and had "no symptoms of any kind."

Loeschke, 67, an alumna, former professor and dean at Towson, became president in January 2012.

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