Gov. Parris N. Glendening named a path-breaking state jurist to the Morgan State University Board of Regents to replace the board's chairman, who resigned under pressure after being accused of sexual harassment, the governor's office announced last night.
Mr. Glendening chose Harry A. Cole, the first black Marylander to be elected to the state senate and the first appointed to the state Court of Appeals, to fill the unexpired term of Baltimore attorney Joseph C. Reid. Mr. Reid resigned from the board on Sept. 18, in the wake of allegations that he had sexually harassed the university's top attorney.
Appointments to the board of the historically black public university in North Baltimore are made by the governor; Mr. Reid's replacement as chairman will be voted on later this week.
Mr. Glendening, a former college professor, has made bolstering the state's four historically black campuses an integral part of his vision for higher education in Maryland.
Mr. Cole, who graduated from what was then Morgan State College in 1943, earned his law degree from the University of Maryland law school in 1949 and an honorary doctorate of laws from Morgan State University in 1975. He is retired from the Court of Appeals.
"Harry Cole is an outstanding individual," Mr. Glendening said in a statement released by a spokeswoman. "In addition to his impressive background in the legal profession, he has been a tireless volunteer in his community."
In private conversations with associates, Mr. Reid has denied acting improperly but has not made public comment. His resignation came four days after he was summoned to Annapolis by Major F. Riddick, Mr. Glendening's chief of staff. The conversation concluded with Mr. Reid's decision to step down. University counsel Julie Goodwin had made the allegations of harassment in a letter to Morgan President Earl S. Richardson.
Several regents interviewed said they were unaware of the allegations against Mr. Reid -- or even that he had stepped down -- until it was reported by The Sun.