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Report to the Board of Regents

Chancellor William E. Kirwan

Friday, October 27, 2006

  

Thank you Mr. Chairman. 

 First let me express appreciation once again to Charlene Nunley for leading our discussion on the Spellings' Commission Report. I also want to mention that Charlene and I joined Jerry Weast, superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools, a week ago to sign an agreement between the USM, Montgomery College, and Montgomery County Public Schools that will give high school seniors more opportunities for early exposure to college courses and college life.  Through this program, Montgomery College and USM institutions will be offering regular college courses to qualified high school seniors in their local schools.  This will enable students to experience the rigors of college level work and earn college credits while they are still in high school.  To our knowledge this is the first agreement of this kind between a K-12 school system, a community college and a university system.

 And, of course, I want to thank Stanley Battle for hosting today's meeting and for that impressive update on Coppin State University.  CSU is clearly making great strides and, Stanley, your leadership plays an invaluable role in these advances.  I note that last month, in honor of National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich held a reception at the Governor's Mansion where CSU, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Bowie State University were among the honorees.  Congratulations to you all on this much-deserved recognition.

 I'll begin my report with some impressive recognition that has come to members of our community.

 This December in San Antonio, Joe Bryce, Associate Vice Chancellor for Government Relations, will receive the 2006 Edwin Crawford Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.  The Crawford award recognizes one individual in the nation who has made an extraordinary contribution in state relations on behalf of their institution or system.

 TU President Robert Caret was just elected as president of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) at its annual meeting.  Bob will serve a two-year term as president of this organization that fosters and supports the growth of urban and metropolitan universities.

 UMES President Thelma Thompson was just named by Career Communication, Inc as one the 100 Most Important Blacks in Technology for her work in bringing technology to the campus and into the university's curriculum.

 The USM can boast of TWO prestigious "genius grants" from the MacArthur Foundation:

Kenneth Catania, a comparative neurobiologist who received his undergraduate degree in zoology from Maryland in 1989 AND Victoria Hale, a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have both been selected as McArthur Fellows.

 Dr. Natalie Hopson, chair of the Psychology Department at SU, has been named the 2006 Psychology Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Psychological Association. 

 And one last award certainly warrants mention . . . . UMCP has a connection to another Nobel Prize winner. NASA researcher John C. Mather, who is also a University of Maryland adjunct physics professor, won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for measurements of cosmic background radiation that provided a clear look at the birth of the universe.

 All these achievements and honors-and many others I simply lack the time to cite-demonstrate the exceptional talent and leadership we have within the USM.

 Several notable events have taken place since the last BOR meeting.

 In two grand celebrations, the UM and UMBC officially launched their capital campaigns.  College Park's is $1 billion and UMBC's is $100 million.  Both of these goals are more than double the totals raised by these campuses in the last USM campaign, which ended in 2002.  These campaigns are announced in the year UM celebrates its 150th anniversary and UMBC its 40th.

 This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Institute of Human Virology, a remarkable enterprise with its combination of world class research, worldwide prevention AND patient care programs.  IHV's 10th Anniversary Annual International Meeting will take place at the Baltimore Hyatt Regency in mid-November.

 Another important anniversary celebration will take place next year.  In fact, bicentennial plans are already underway at our founding institution, the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Regent Frank Kelly is chair of the group planning the festivities.  Not only will downtown Baltimore be awash with bicentennial signs for the next couple months, major additions to the campus are underway.  The long awaited, state-of-the-art dental school was opened this week and construction is under way on the new $49 million Campus Center, which will serve the entire west Baltimore community, not just the students on campus.  And UMMS is about to begin construction on a $300M ambulatory care facility across from Davidge Hall.

 Another timely example of the USM's commitment to community can be seen at the University of Baltimore, where the Schaefer Center for Public Policy and the School of Public Affairs are leading a large-scale training program for state election judges in preparation for Maryland's upcoming election. 

 In one last example of partnership, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Lab has partnered with Dorchester County Public Schools to bring EVERY seventh grade student (all 450 of them) from throughout the county to the Horn Point Lab to learn firsthand about science and the local environment.

 And speaking of new facilities, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute's new $60 million CARB II facility was dedicated last month.  This center will play a vital role in Maryland's efforts to establish world wide leadership in the biosciences and their commercial applications.

 I also want to give the board an update on several important items.

 I have very good news to report on Fall 2006 enrollment.  Enrollment is up across the system by about 5%.  All three of our designated growth institutions-UMUC, TU and Salisbury University-have met or exceeded their enrollment goals.  In addition, systemwide, the USM has exceeded the enrollment commitment we made to the legislature and the state.  Although some campuses did not meet their enrollment targets, others exceeded theirs.  Overall our strategy of prospective funding for enrollment growth, supported by the Governor and General Assembly, has been a great success.  We will provide the Board with a complete campus by campus enrollment report within the next week or so.

 Let me turn next to the status of the IHV relocation to the medical school at UMB. 

You will recall that at the May 10, 2006 Board Meeting, I recommended to the Board that reassignment of IHV to UMB take place, with UMBI retaining control of the Medical Research Facility.  This decision was based on recognition that while both IHV and MBC are successful institutions with bright futures, IHV is growing in a direction that is more in line with the clinical research mission of UMB than UMBI. The Board agreed with my recommendation.

      Following the Board's endorsement of my recommendation, I put together 3 workgroups this past summer, each tasked with working a specific set of problems related to the financial, academic, and legal issues involved with the transfer.  Key issues identified for resolution by the workgroups were -

 

  • Financial issues associated with the disposition of the space with the MRF and the equitable distribution of state resources and direct and indirect costs. This included how to reimburse UMBI for use of space by IHV researchers who as a result of this transfer will become UMB faculty.

 

  • Issues associated with the disposition of the intellectual property and commercialization agreements developed by IHV faculty. This included the issue of who holds membership within IHV.

 

  • Finally, issues associated with the reporting structure for IHV faculty and staff and the location of the Institute within the UMB School of Medicine. This included issues related to tenure and the future opportunities to carry out cross-disciplinary and even cross-institutional research.

 

      Each group was charged with developing agreements to be presented to me this fall, with the ultimate goal of completing the transfer by July 1 of 2007.  I am pleased to be able to report that significant progress on each of the issues has been made.

 

  • Dr. Ramsay, Dr. Gallo, and Dean Reece have reached agreement on how the IHV will be incorporated into the School of Medicine, including the reporting line and tenure homes for the IHV primaries. This agreement will, I believe, make IHV the School of Medicine's first designated "institute," and it could serve as a model for cross-disciplinary growth in the future.

 

  • Representatives from UMB, IHV, and UMBI have been able to resolve the legal issues associated with the Institute's commercialization agreements, including the somewhat tricky issue of defining who has membership status with IHV. As the institute expands in the future and more intra-disciplinary and intra-institutional work is done this definition will be a major benefit.

 

  • Finally, with regard to the complex issues of facilities and financing, we have a draft MOU that equitably lays out a plan for the distribution of space and resources.

 

I anticipate that the MOU will be complete by the time of the December board meeting.

Next, I want to mention a recent report issued by the Maryland Higher Education Commission addressing financial aid issues, which had two major conclusions:  First, few Maryland college students (particularly those with the greatest need) are receiving aid packages large enough to cover their financial need.  While loans alleviate the level of unmet need, they are insufficient.  Second, the accumulation of debt has fallen most heavily on student from low-income backgrounds.

I raise this to reinforce our earlier discussion on the Spellings Commission.  While the issue of college affordability is an ongoing challenge, Maryland and the USM have clearly taken the lead in addressing these concerns head-on; through innovative alternatives, our new systemwide debt policy, and a renewed commitment to need-based financial aid.  Nevertheless, it is obvious that we must continue to aggressively address this concern going forward.  This fact is further bolstered by the recent College Board report that-looking at federal assistance-both the total amount of Pell Grants awarded and the average Pell Grant per recipient were lower in 2005-06 than they had been in 2004-05.

I'd also want to give a quick update on the Maryland Course Redesign Initiative.  As you know, Nancy Shapiro and Don Spicer-Associate Vice Chancellors from Academic Affairs and Administrative Affairs-visited all 13 USM institutions and held informational meetings with institutional provosts and faculty members this past summer.  Earlier this month, USM hosted a day-long workshop where Dr. Carol Twigg, Executive Director of the National Center for Academic Transformation, and her colleague conducted an interactive set of exercises designed to launch the course redesign initiative on all the campuses.  This is a major redesign project that will take three years to implement completely. Next month, each institution will identify one pilot course to redesign between now and January in consultation from NCAT and the System office.  Courses will be chosen by each institution, but the redesign is faculty driven.  The System Office will provide opportunities for knowledge sharing across redesign projects, and will facilitate inter-institutional collaboration when common courses or disciplines are chosen.  I stress that this is a System effort-not a collection of individual efforts-which makes it a unique national model. 

Finally, I want to thank those of you who have taken part in our statewide "Listening Tour." We are about halfway through our schedule of meetings between the business community and higher education focused on the state's workforce and economic development needs and higher education's capacity to meet those needs.  I hope those of you who are able will take part in the remaining sessions:

October 30th at Anne Arundel Community College in the morning and the College of Southern Maryland in the afternoon.

October 31st at the College of Notre Dame in the morning and at the HEAT Center in the afternoon.

And our final meeting on November 3rd at FSU in the afternoon.

These dialogues have already proven to be extremely productive, providing higher education with a more comprehensive picture of the state's economic and workforce development needs, and providing business leaders with a better understanding of and appreciation for higher education's role in these areas.

Mr. Chairman . . . . this completes my report.