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Warner named campus director

February 13, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

A Washington County native who has worked at Hagerstown Community College for 21 years has been named executive director of the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center, officials announced Thursday.

"I'm really excited," said C. David Warner III, who will leave his job as director of instruction at HCC to take on his new responsibilities beginning March 17.

Warner, 47, said he had to leave the county to get his bachelor's and master's degrees so he's excited about working to give local residents an opportunity to earn both of those degrees in the county.

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The center is scheduled to open in January 2005 with, at a minimum, courses being offered by Frostburg State University, said Warner.

Warner lives in Maugansville with his wife, Debbie, and their three children.

The former Baldwin House complex in downtown Hagerstown is being renovated to house the education center. The building is expected to open in November, Warner said. Until then, his office will be in FSU's Hagerstown Center off Public Square.

Warner said the university system recently named JoEllen Barnhart the Hagerstown Education Center's associate director. Barnhart has served as the assistant director for FSU's Hagerstown Center.

"I think I'm good at working with people and I think I'm good with helping plans become real," Warner said.

As executive director of the center, Warner will oversee the staff and budgets, according to an FSU news release. Frostburg State University is the managing institution for the education center.

Gov. Robert Ehrlich's proposed state budget includes $1 million for startup costs at the center.

"Everybody feels confident the money will make it through the session," Warner said.

Warner is charged with "building a quality academic center, developing marketing strategies, directing strategic planning and balancing the needs of students, employers and participating institutions," the news release states.

"I know a lot of folks are counting on it being successful," Warner said.

"I want to develop the center at the right speed. That's what's going to be hard to manage. I don't want to go so fast it falters or so slow it doesn't fill the needs," Warner said.

Last year, Warner's boss, HCC President Guy Altieri, proposed some changes in how the center should be run. Altieri said he believed the center should be opened to out-of-state public and private higher education institutions.

University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan rejected Altieri's proposal.

Warner said Altieri's idea was a good one, but the center will focus in the beginning on offering courses and programs through the university system's various institutions.

The goal is to lure students along the Interstate 70 corridor from Frederick County to Allegany County to go to the education center, he said.

If there's a need in the future to consider offering programs from out-of-state institutions to meet students' needs, then university officials could talk about working with out-of-state schools, Warner said.

Warner said he wants to develop paths to show high school students what courses they need to take to go from high school to HCC or Frederick Community College, then to the Hagerstown Education Center to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees.

Warner said he will earn $82,000 a year in his new post.

He said he was told there were 30 applicants for the job and five people were interviewed.

Before becoming HCC's director of instruction in May 2003, Warner was chairman of the school's humanities division for almost three years. The 1975 North Hagerstown High School graduate has taught music at HCC since 1983.

Warner has a doctorate in community college education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master's in music from Towson University and a bachelor's in secondary music education from Shepherd College. He also attended Berklee College of Music in Boston for a year.

He said he plays bass for a rock band called The Holders, which he helped form 15 years ago.

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