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Hogan names new higher-ed chief after acting secretary resigns

Gov. Larry Hogan's higher-education chief has stepped aside after 11 months on the job without confirmation from the Maryland Senate.

Hogan said Wednesday that acting Higher Education Secretary Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera will take an advisory job at the Department of the Environment instead.

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Hunter-Cevera's nomination ran into trouble this year after a key Senate committee reviewed complaints about her tenure at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

The Senate Executive Nomination Committee twice delayed a vote on her appointment, and the General Assembly session adjourned without a vote. Hunter-Cevera was the only person in Hogan's 23-member Cabinet who was not confirmed.

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On Wednesday, Hogan announced he wanted his current appointments secretary, James D. Fielder Jr., to take the higher-education job.

Hogan said in a statement that Fielder was recommended by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Hunter-Cevera will become a science adviser to Environment Secretary Ben Grumblesa job that does not require Senate confirmation.

Hogan spokeswoman Erin Montgomery said the governor could have asked again for the Senate to confirm Hunter-Cevera had she not chosen to resign.

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The administration did not announce a candidate for the appointments secretary job. That post does not require consent from the legislature.

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