By By Dena Tackett, Jamie Vinson and Jennifer Rogers

Tuesday’s forums introduced Joanne Glasser from Towson University to campus. Glasser wasted no time making the forums a little more intimate, snatching the microphone from its stand and telling the audience, “I don’t like standing behind the podium.” And when the questions began, she said, “There are no topics or questions I shy away from.”

Glasser also has a less traditional background, with a list of legal experience in county and city offices. But she’s held her post at Towson University for almost nine years, and also feels qualified to handle concerns.

“I do bring a very different background with me,” she told her audience Tuesday. “I bring a passion with me, and a dedication for students.”

Glasser admitted that she’d done a bit of research on her own, visiting Richmond and Eastern’s campus for 2 and one-half days earlier without the search committee knowing. She said that her visit allowed her to find out if moving here would be a “good fit.”

Glasser said she visited merchants and restaurants to help her determine the quality of life and the community’s relationship with Eastern. She also brought her 15-year-old daughter, whom Glasser said would be excited to move and even wanted to come back for her mother’s official visit.

“I don’t have any reservations,” Glasser said. “I really don’t. I think the fit would be good.” She added that going from a larger university like Towsend, with over 17,000 students, to a smaller university would be easier. She said that she had worked to make Towsend feel like a smaller place.

But despite the difference in size, Glasser told the audience that she was attracted to Eastern by “uncanny” similarities with Towsend, like similar college structure.

Glasser said her decision-making process emphasized informed decisions.

“I believe in the absence of information, people make uninformed and stupid decisions,” she said. But she added that one aspect of decision-making was harder than all others for her: personnel decisions.

Glasser said she always handled personnel decisions privately. “That’s the best way to maintain the integrity of the individual,” she said.