Academic Activities

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” – Albert Einstein

Since 2013 Ford Rowan has advised the president of the University of Maryland Global Campus.  President Javier Miyares is a dynamic leader who heads one of the most innovative institutions.  Ford’s advice has included the following:

  • helping revise the university’s business model,
  • enhance shared governance of academic affairs,
  • improve internal communications,
  • initiate changes in corporate culture to improve collaboration,
  • implement educational innovations,
  • nurture cybersecurity leadership,
  • rebrand the institution and change the name from University of Maryland University College to University of Maryland Global Campus, and
  • cooperate with other colleges in the University System of Maryland to address the dangers of COVID-19.

Ford also provided advice on creation of UMUC Ventures Incorporated, a non-profit company wholly owned by UMUC which owns for-profit entities (HelioCampus and AccelerED).  These corporations are designed to monetize innovations, generate revenue to hold down tuition costs, and provide scholarship assistance for adult working students.

He is a member of the board of advisors of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University and has previously served on the board of visitors and governors of St John’s College in Annapolis and Santa Fe.  He also has served on the board of directors of the Santa Fe Institute, which is perhaps the most innovative of all transdisciplinary research entities. Ford also served as chair of the advisory board of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Ford has been an adjunct teacher for three decades.  He taught part-time for 13 years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, for four years at the University of Southern California’s Public Affairs Center in Washington and a dozen years as Professorial Lecturer in Organizational Sciences at George Washington University where he taught conflict resolution and negotiation.  He has been a guest speaker at Harvard Business School, The Sloan School at MIT, Johns Hopkins, Tulane University, the University of Virginia, Gettysburg College, the National Defense University, the Naval War College, Virginia Theological Seminary, and Oxford University.

During the time he practiced law and ran a consulting firm Ford worked with five universities on difficult confidential issues and does not reveal the names of the institutions. 

Ford taught ethics in Aspen Institute seminars from 2006-2013 at the Federal Executive Institute.  This FEI seminar was similar to one pioneered by the Touchstones Discussion Project where Ford is a member of the board. 

Touchstones helps school systems use structured dialogue to activate critical thinking, build cooperation and enliven student leadership.  Touchstones has 30 years’ experience helping students in K-12 schools learn active listening and structured dialogue.  This program works so well it has been used in colleges and executive seminars. Ford has helped facilitate discussions of great literature at the Central Intelligence Agency and a modified version at the National Cathedral (where the program was called Transformational Literature of the Bible).   The Cathedral program lasted for three years and continued for ten years at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis.

Ford has been an active supporter of programs to help young students.  He’s served on the board of the Catholic Community Foundation of the Archdiocese of Baltimore which provides financial help with tuition for students in Catholic schools.  He has supported Episcopal schools, the Bishop Claggett Conference Center (which holds summer camps for children) and the Bishop Sutton Scholars Program for youth in Baltimore. 

Ford is committed to assisting adult working students and has first hand experience balancing work and study.  He worked in a shipyard, on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and as a news reporter while completing his undergraduate degree.  With one exception — a fellowship in urban affairs at the University of Chicago – all of his degrees have been earned while he worked full time.  Here is a list:

  • BA in Political Science, 1968, Tulane University.
  • MA in Government, 1972, American University.
  • Juris Doctor, 1976, Georgetown University Law Center.
  • MS in Applied Behavioral Science, 1993, Johns Hopkins University.
  • Master of Social Science, 1997, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Doctorate in Public Administration, 2004, University of Southern California.
  • MA in Theology, 2005, Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary’s Seminary, and Certificate of Advanced Study in Moral Theology, 2013.
  • MA in Liberal Studies, 2006, St. John’s College, Annapolis.
  • Master of Liberal Arts, 2019, Harvard University.

Ford has also participated in training provided at Harvard University’s  Program on Negotiation.  He has completed 20+ online courses in the Harvard Extension School, with a focus on history of science, religion, philosophy and psychology.  His hobby is night school.  He is addicted to life-long learning and committed to enabling adult students to learn online.