Longtime legislator Mike Busch visits campus to talk about TU priorities during upcoming 2017 General Assembly session
The start of Maryland’s 2017 legislative session is still a month away, but one of the General Assembly’s most respected leaders paid a visit to campus on Wednesday. Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch met with Towson University President Kim Schatzel, and later with Athletic Director Tim Leonard and TU's women's basketball team, as part of a “Baltimore County Day.”
Busch met with Schatzel for nearly an hour Wednesday morning in her Administration Building office.
“We had a great conversation,” said Schatzel, who had previously met with the Speaker in Annapolis during the 2016 legislative session. “We revisited the whole positioning of Towson. We discussed the fact that we’re the largest university in greater Baltimore, the largest provider of health professions graduates, plus IT, cyber security, and the workforce engine that we are. He is a real friend of the university.”
Schatzel also took advantage of the meeting to lobby for ensuring that the $187 million for a new science facility stays fully funded within the governor’s capital budget program and to advocate for a new $149 million health professions building. Over the past 20 years, more than 71 percent of Towson University’s undergraduate enrollment growth has occurred within the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Health Professions.
“The Speaker was incredibly complimentary of the university, of our students, graduates, faculty and staff,” Schatzel continued. “He really believes that TU matters to Maryland. He kept telling me that. He understands that our reality outstrips our reputation. He was super impressed.”
Busch has served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 1987 and as House Speaker since 2003. The 69-year-old Baltimore, Maryland, native earned his undergraduate degree in education from Philadelphia’s Temple University in 1970. His wife, Cindy, is a proud alumna of another TU.
“I love Towson University, and not just because my wife graduated from here,” Busch joked during his Wednesday visit to campus. “I have a great fondness for this university and for your new president. There are a lot of great things happening at Towson, and I’m going to be as supportive of the university as I can be in Annapolis.”
The 2017 legislative session will kick off on Wednesday, January 11. TU’s annual “Tiger Pride Day,” when nearly 200 students travel by bus from campus to the state capital to advocate for the university, will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
“I told Speaker Busch to be sure to put Tiger Pride Day on his calendar,” Schatzel said. “It’s going to be a great event!”
This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.