By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief
Former Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will join the Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute at Towson University and serve as its first senior fellow.
Beginning in 2021, the Leadership Institute was the brainchild of Grasmick, who previously served as the state’s superintendent of public schools and got her undergraduate degree from Towson. The goal of the Institute is to provide leadership training and development to those within the public and private sectors, its website states.
Rutherford served two terms alongside Republican and Maryland’s former Gov. Larry Hogan. Their term ended in January. He said he joined the initiative intending to use his previous work within government and law to help teach leadership skills.
“I think there are some lessons learned that I might be able to share with them in terms of leadership and ethical leadership in particular,” he said in an interview. “And so, I found it adventurous. Towson has a very good reputation generally as a higher education facility, and so it wasn’t a difficult decision.”
Before he was lieutenant governor, he served as the secretary of the Office of General Services from 2003 to 2006 under former gov. Bob Ehrlich. After his tenure as lieutenant governor, the Baltimore Business Journal reported that Rutherford joined a law firm in Columbia, Md.
One particular aspect Rutherford said he’d focus on is ethical leadership, as it’s critical in maintaining a successful organization.
“You shouldn’t be ethical just because,” he said. “You should be good, and you should be nice to people, and you should be transparent, and you should be able to conduct business in a way that doesn’t offend. That doesn’t offend our collective sort of feeling and foundation of morals.”
Grasmick said she’s known Rutherford for many years, and his experience in law brings a fresh perspective to the Institute.
“He has a skill set as an attorney, as a person who’s interacted with a myriad of different people during his many positions, both at the federal level and at the state level,” she said. “And that, for us, was very rich.”
Echoing Grasmick, Erin Moran, the Institute’s executive director, said they’re “thrilled” to have Rutherford join as a senior fellow as his experience will offer new perspectives.
“We know his strategic input will advance our mission of uplifting our region through investment in developing competent and ethically driven leaders,” she said in the press release.
The Institute is running out of the University’s business offices located at 401 Washington Ave. in Uptown, Towson. Grasmick said they’ve provided training to about 60 companies since launching.
She also said Rutherford is not receiving public funding for his role as the Institute is self-funded.