As the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly moves forward, I am pleased to update you on Governor Martin OMalleys proposed FY 2014 budget for the University System of Maryland (USM). As I outline below, it is a very strong and focused budget that aligns completely with state priorities.
In addition, I have good news to share about USMs powerful economic impact on the state. And Ive also included an update on our academic transformation initiatives, the Coppin State University review, and continued recognition of the excellence of USM people and institutions.
WORKING IN FULL SUPPORT OF GOVERNORS BUDGET PROPOSAL
The USM community fully supports Governor OMalleys FY 2014 budget proposal for the university system. The proposal includes $1.2 billion in state funds, a 7.7 percent increase over the FY 2013 state funding level. If approved by the General Assembly, the budget will enhance USM funding in areas vital to the states competitiveness, including STEM and health-care education, technology transfer and commercialization activities, and academic transformation. (Ive included details about our academic transformation work below.)
The budget also enables USM to hold down the tuition increase for in-state undergraduates to a modest 3 percent. Thanks to the governor and the legislature, USMs average tuition for in-state undergraduates, once ranked sixth highest, has improved to 26th nationally. According to the College Board, the cost of attending a USM institution has risen only 2 percent (adjusted for inflation) for in-state students since 2007, the smallest increase in the nation.
All of the USM budgets focus areas clearly support the state priorities of strong economic and workforce development and increasing the percentage of Marylanders with college degrees.
Members of the USM Board of Regents, presidents of our institutions, and I are testifying in support of the governors budget in both the Maryland State Senate and House of Delegates. You will be able to review USM legislative testimony presented throughout the session HERE.
Knowing that an investment in USM is an investment in the state, I ask for your support of our FY 2014 budget as proposed by Governor OMalley.
STUDY REVEALS USMS SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC IMPACT
A new study conducted by the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore underscores the USMs tremendous economic impact. Among the reports findings are the following:
To access the full report and summary, visit HERE.
The state receives between $2.50 and $3.10 in revenue for every $1 invested in USM.
The overall increase in state income and sales taxes generated by USM graduates totals $1.1 billion annually, which is more than the current state appropriation to USM.
USM attracted more than $1.2 billion in the academic research and development last year, supporting 30,098 jobs and generating $3.7 billion in economic activity.
USM had significant impact on the development of 51 companies in FY 2012.
USM provided 74 percent of total bachelors degrees awarded in Maryland.
LEADING IN ACADEMIC TRANSFORMATION
The USM Board of Regents recently approved the establishment of the Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT). Housed in the USM Office of Academic Affairs, CIELT will be the focal point for the systems academic transformation efforts to incorporate new learning and teaching methods, many supported by the innovative use of technology. The center will examine student performance, assess trends, and analyze results from various teaching methods.
USM is the first university system to implement and sustain course redesigna component of academic transformationin a coordinated way. Redesigned courses involve technology-assisted instruction and enhance student support and engagement. To date, we have redesigned or are redesigning more than 50 courses at our institutions based on documented success in higher student success rates, decreased delivery costs, and maintenance of quality. Furthermore, we are working with non-USM institutions statewide to redesign an additional 30 courses.
Also as part of our academic transformation work, USM has partnered with Ithaka S+R to measure the effectiveness of online learning platforms. A $1.4 million grant from the Gates Foundation to Ithaka S+R is supporting the work, which will compare the student learning outcomes from traditionally taught courses with outcomes from hybrid (combination of traditional and online methods) or online-only sections.
Governor OMalley has included $13.8 million in state funding to support USM academic transformation and college completion initiatives in FY 2014.
UMB-UMCP COLLABORATION SHOWING GREAT PROGRESS
The University of Maryland: MPowering the Statea structured collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) launched in March last yearis already yielding impressive results. During its first year, the collaboration:
The governors proposed USM budget includes support needed to move MPowering the State forward.
Established University of Maryland Ventures to boost technology transfer and commercialization activities.
Attracted a $2 million National Institutes of Health grant to continue development of a small robot to aid surgeons in removing brain tumors.
Created the Center for Health-Related Informatics and Bioimaging to focus on improving medicine and patient care through technology.
Began developing curricula for the collaborative University of Maryland School of Public Health.
MOVING COPPIN STATE FORWARD
The USM Board of Regents in December approved the establishment of a special committee to conduct a comprehensive review of Coppin State University. Chaired by Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the committee is charged with developing strategies to enhance the universitys future success.
This important work comes at a time of leadership transition at Coppin. President Reginald Avery resigned his position effective January 22, 2013 after a five-year tenure of working steadfastly to improve the universitys student retention and graduation rates. The Board of Regents and I are grateful for his leadership.
I have appointed Mortimer Neufville to serve as interim president. He served ably as interim president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2011-12 and is a former executive vice president with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
As part of its comprehensive work, the Coppin special review committee is holding public hearings scheduled for February 12 and April 11 on the Coppin campus in Baltimore. (The committee held a hearing for members of the campus community in January.) For information on signing up to speak at the hearings and more details about the review process, please visit HERE.
I had the tremendous honor of attending the White House ceremony at which President Barack Obama awarded the National Medal of Science to UMCP Professor of Physics Jim Gates. The National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. Government on scientists, engineers, and inventors.
Professor Gates is known and greatly respected for his groundbreaking work in supersymmetry and supergravity. He also has a wonderful knack for making physics accessible to all. And I am proud to say that I have known and admired him for many years.
In January, I appointed him as a USM Regents Professor, one of the university systems most prominent faculty recognitions. For more information about this accomplished member of the USM community, visit HERE.
Once again, USM institutions have been singled out for praise in key national publications:
All USM universities have earned national rankings. I encourage you to learn more HERE.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine placed four USM institutions among the "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for 2013 in recognition of their ability to "deliver academic quality and affordability." The USM schools honored are Salisbury University, Towson University, UMBC, and UMCP.
Eight USM institutionsBowie State University; Salisbury; Towson; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore; UMBC; UMCP; and University of Maryland Eastern Shoreranked among the best in specific categories by U.S. News & World Report.
LET ME HEAR FROM YOU
We have just produced a brochure that offers just a sample of the many recent achievements of the people and the institutions comprising the University System of Maryland. Designed as a quick read, USM Quick Points of Excellence will make you even prouder of your state public higher education system.
As always, I appreciate hearing from you. If you would like to offer feedback on this letter or any USM news, please write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.