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MICUA Announces New Leadership

Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA)

October 8, 2019


The Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) announces the appointment of Sara Fidler as the next President of MICUA, replacing retiring President Tina Bjarekull who led the organization for 17 years. As the President of MICUA, Fidler also serves as the Managing Director of the Independent College Fund of Maryland, a foundation that raises scholarship funds for students attending MICUA member institutions.

Fidler brings a strong understanding of higher education policy and Maryland laws and regulations. Since 2001, Fidler has held the position of Committee Counsel to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs (EHEA) Committee of the Maryland General Assembly. She also served as a Principal Policy Analyst for the Maryland Department of Legislative Services and Co-leader of the Education Workgroup. Previously, Fidler worked for the Office of the Maryland Attorney General and the Maryland State Department of Education.

“This is bittersweet news for me and other members of the Committee,” said Senator Paul G. Pinsky, Chair of the Senate EHEA Committee. “Sara is an accomplished professional who values education, has devoted 18 years to public service, and truly understands higher education. She will lead MICUA with integrity and vision.”

Fidler is a graduate of Duke University, earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2001. She is a member of the Duke Board of Baltimore and Chairs of the Duke Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee.

Dr. Andrea Chapdelaine, President of Hood College and Chair of the MICUA Board of Trustees, described Fidler as “exceptionally well-spoken, thoughtful, and engaged. The presidents of the MICUA member institutions look forward to working with her on a very worthy mission.”

Chapdelaine commended Bjarekull who retires in December, “She has made an indelible impact on the Association, its member institutions, and most importantly, our students. She leaves the organization stronger and more united in its mission.”

During her tenure, Bjarekull used facts to effectively communicate the value of independent higher education and worked well with elected officials to build good public policy. Bjarekull forged new partnerships with public and private entities in Maryland and beyond. Under her leadership, MICUA established the Guaranteed Access Partnership Program to enable debt-free college at MICUA institutions for economically disadvantaged Maryland students. She facilitated the successful merger of MICUA and the Independent College Fund of Maryland, thereby reducing overhead costs for both organizations and expanding scholarships and internship experiences for Maryland youth. Bjarekull established consortium programs and negotiated joint purchasing agreements to advance campus efficiencies and improve institutional effectiveness. Through her business acumen and smart fiscal management, MICUA accumulated enough reserves to purchase a building in Annapolis to house its operations. Throughout her professional career, Bjarekull served on numerous State and national boards and commissions and held many leadership positions.


MICUA members: Capitol Technology University, Goucher College, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, St. John’s College, Stevenson University, Washington Adventist University, and Washington College.

The Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) is a member-driven organization devoted to serving the interests of independent higher education and supporting the work of campus leaders throughout the State. Established in 1971, the Association provides services to meet the needs of independent higher education and fosters cooperative efforts among its member institutions and all segments of higher education. As the voice of independent higher education in Maryland, MICUA seeks to inform the broader public about its member institutions and the vital importance of independent colleges and universities to the future of our State and nation.