Confirmation of Hogan’s higher ed nominee in doubt.

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Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera

Gov. Larry Hogan‘s nomination of Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera to be Maryland’s secretary of higher education has run into trouble in the General Assembly.

A key Senate committee has twice postponed votes on Hunter-Cevera’s nomination to review complaints about her leadership years ago of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

The latest delay came after Sen. Jamie Raskin, chairman of the Executive Nominations Committee, said Monday he had received “more information” on Hunter-Cevera that he considered relevant to her qualifications to oversee the state’s system of higher education, including public and private colleges and universities.

Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, declined to release or discuss the information. But former U.S. Sen. Joseph D. Tydings of Maryland said in an interview Tuesday that he had contacted the committee and Hogan’s office to relay his concerns about her management of UMBI over a decade ago. Tydings said complaints about her came to his attention while he served on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2001.

“If they do any sort of research at all,” Tydings said, “I think they’ll find that the governor really should withdraw her name. Her record was not in my judgment one that would recommend her for this job.”

Tydings said he objected to Hunter-Cevera’s use of a consultant at the institute and to her management of efforts to apply and commercialize technology developed by university scientists. As an example, Tydings contended that Hunter-Cevera squelched a promising enterprise formed by a researcher from College Park.

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