John B. Slaughter, who served as chancellor of the university from November 1982 to July 1988, was the first African American in that role. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Kansas State University in 1956, an M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1961, and a Ph.D. in engineering science from the University of California, San Diego in 1971. Slaughter was director of the National Science Foundation prior to becoming chancellor.
During his tenure on campus, Slaughter made major advances in the recruitment and retention of African-American students and faculty. He also acted to stabilize the university during the upheaval surrounding the sudden death of Terrapin basketball star Len Bias in 1986.
Slaughter resigned in 1988 to become the president of Occidental College in Los Angeles. Upon the expansion of the University of Maryland that year, the chancellor’s office was renamed the Office of the President.
Slaughter later worked to increase the number of engineers of color as CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. In 2010, he returned to the University of Southern California as a professor of education and engineering.
The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives.
The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.
The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community.