Welcome to USMBriefs
the first issue of USMBriefs. We've created this e-newsletter
to share how the 13-institution University System of Maryland is
enhancing quality, access, and affordability for students and the
State of Maryland. We plan to distribute it about four times a year.
Please send us your views and questions about what you read in
Moderate Tuition Increases
The USM Board
of Regents has approved a $3.3-billion FY 2006 operating budget for
the system. The budget includes an average 5.8 percent increase in
undergraduate tuition for in-state students at most USM
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. included $800 million in
his state budget to support the system's FY 2006 budget. His action
enabled the regents to begin moderating tuition increases after two
years of double-digit hikes.
USM Board Chair Clifford Kendall
and Chancellor William Kirwan said the general-fund allocation
signals the beginning of the state's reinvestment in higher
education. State support for the system reached a high of $864
million in FY 2002. State funds supporting the current (FY 2005)
budget totals $757 million.
The governor also has announced a
$140-million capital budget to support critical USM
Kendall and Kirwan expressed their appreciation to
Gov. Ehrlich and the General Assembly for their shared goal of
maintaining a strong and competitive public higher education
enrollment capacity, reducing operational costs, and funding quality
are the objectives of the USM Effectiveness and Efficiency (E&E)
Program, launched under the leadership of the USM Board of
Since FY 2002, USM has faced difficult fiscal and
enrollment demand challenges, including a 12.5 percent decrease in
state funds. E&E is changing the way the university system
operates to meet these challenges successfully. One E&E strategy
is to leverage the buying power of the system's institutions even
more to cut costs. This collaborative approach is enabling the
system to save $7 million over 10 years in its contract with
To increase enrollment capacity, the
system is taking several steps. For example, the regents are
reviewing three policies to enable undergraduates to accelerate
their time to degree and thereby save money. In addition, USM is
concentrating future enrollment growth at its lower-cost
institutions. Enrollment demand is projected to jump 30 percent
during the next decade. Fall 2004 enrollment for USM was
More in Contracts and Grants
and staff at USM institutions attracted $945 million in external
contracts and grants in FY 2004, supporting research and other
projects. This is a nearly six percent increase over the FY 2003
total of $894 million.
As one of the most dynamic and vital
sectors of Maryland's economy, academic research supports thousands
of jobs statewide. USM's success in competing for external support
has a tremendous impact on the state's economy, while advancing
knowledge and practice in a wide range of areas.
Center Broadens Access
the doors to its new regional higher education center in downtown
Hagerstown in January. Three USM institutions--Frostburg State
University; University of Maryland University College; and
University of Maryland, Baltimore, are offering programs there.
Programs are available in business, education, and nursing. Other
USM institutions are expected to offer more programs at the center
in the near future.
USM at Hagerstown builds on the success
of the system's first regional center, the Universities at Shady
Grove, at which system institutions have been offering programs for
several years. Seven USM institutions are serving 2,200 students at
the Montgomery County location.
C. David Warner III,
executive director of the Hagerstown center, says some 500 students
are expected to enroll at Hagerstown for fall 2005.
Wins Grant to Enhance K-16 Education
Science Foundation has awarded USM a $500,000 grant to study the
impact of NSF initiatives designed to strengthen the teaching of
science, technology, engineering, and math to undergraduates. The
study also will focus on the initiatives' effectiveness in preparing
future educators to teach these subjects.
USM, in partnership
with community colleges and public school systems, has competed
successfully for other major awards related to teacher education.
During the last few years, the system received the following: a
$7.5-million NSF grant to provide professional development for
Montgomery County teachers; a $6-million grant from the U.S.
Department of Education (DOE) to address the teacher shortage in
Baltimore City; and a $4.2-million DOE grant to improve teacher
preparation, recruitment, and retention in Prince George's
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