Frank Turner, a former longtime Howard County delegate, has been appointed to the Howard Community College board of trustees.
Turner, a Columbia resident, will serve a six-year term on the board of trustees for HCC. His term will end in 2024.
“I spent 40 years in higher education so I thought it was a pretty natural fit for me,” Turner said. “I enjoyed my time as a faculty member, I enjoyed working with the students and enjoyed watching them progress and move forward, so I thought I would do something locally.”
Turner taught at Morgan State University’s School of Business and Management for four decades. He retired as a professor emeritus and was chairman of Department of Business Administration for five years.
Elected in 1994, Turner was the first African-American to represent Howard County in the General Assembly. A Democrat, Turner served in the General Assembly for more than two decades and retired in 2019. He represented District 13, which includes Savage, North Laurel and portions of Columbia.
As a delegate, Turner was chair of the Howard County delegation, vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee for six years, house chair of the Joint Committee on Gaming Oversight, and the vice chair of the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.
He developed legislation that established the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship, which provides tuition for students enrolling in a community college within two years of receiving their high school diploma, according to an HCC release.
Passed during the 2018 legislative session, $15 million was put into the scholarship, Turner said.
Kevin Doyle, chairman of the HCC board of trustees, said in a statement, Turner’s “leadership of the Maryland Community College Promise bill last year was a testament to his commitment to higher education.
“Frank Turner will be a tremendous asset to Howard Community College, just as he has been for the residents of Maryland and Howard County,” Doyle said. “The board of trustees is honored to work with him to support the faculty, staff and students of the college.”
Turner said he has some ideas about expanding cybersecurity offerings at HCC as “there is a tremendous need.”
He would also like to see HCC continue its course of being a diverse college.
Turner was recognized by HCC in November “for his legacy of service to the people of Maryland.” He also received the Distinguished Public Service Award from Gov. Larry Hogan and the Legislative Service Award from the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.
Turner said he is looking forward to continue serving and making a contribution to the county in “a different kind of way.”
One doesn’t “always have to be in public office to still serve,” Turner said.