Senator Barbara Mikulski to Address Board of Regents;

Board to Vote on Change in Funding Formula for Maintenance Projects, Energy Saving Lighting Initiative


ADELPHI, Md. (December 7, 2005) Sen. Barbara Mikulski will meet with members of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents at the board's meeting Friday, December 9. Mikulski will discuss federal funding priorities vital to USM institutions. Mikulski has worked closely with Chancellor William E. Kirwan to identify ways in which the federal government can provide funding beneficial to the system's degree-granting institutions, research centers, and regional education centers. On Friday, Mikulski will highlight those initiatives for which she has secured funding in the past and opportunities for future collaboration.

The meeting will begin at 10 am at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). The location is the 14th floor of the Saratoga Garage & Offices at 220 Arch Street, Baltimore. The building houses 11 floors of parking and three levels of offices; parking is available in the garage.

Following Sen. Mikulski's presentation, the board will proceed with a full agenda, including a proposal to alleviate a backlog of building maintenance projects and another to save money on energy consumption. The board will also vote on new or revised mission statement for the 13 USM institutions and the two USM regional higher education centers.

One item on the agenda concerns a change in the level of operating and capital budget spending directed to "facilities renewal." These funds are intended to addresses deferred maintenance projects at all USM institutions. Currently, there is a $1.7- billion backlog of deferred maintenance work. The board will vote on an appropriate level of money institutions are required to set aside each year from their operating budgets to pay for building repairs and maintenance. The regents will also vote on a proposal to dedicate at least half of the annual capital budget to building renovation and replacement. The proposal is designed to shrink the backlog through dedicated capital expenditure; it would also establish a policy of ongoing, operating budget spending so that deferred maintenance work remains at a manageable level in the future.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to reduce energy consumption and costs by retrofitting lighting fixtures and lamps at all USM institutions. The board will vote on a contract for the system-wide acquisition of state-of-the-art lighting technology designed to save approximately $2 million annually in energy costs. As part of the procurement process, USM will seek the participation of businesses in the Minority Business Enterprise program. This proposal, as well as the proposed change in the facilities renewal fund, are in line with USM's "Effectiveness and Efficiency" initiatives, ongoing actions designed to save money and use system resources in a cost-effective manner.

In other business, the board will vote on adopting the official mission statements of USM's 13 institutions, and for the first time, the mission statements of USM's two regional higher education centers in Hagerstown and Shady Grove. Maryland law requires all public institutions to update their mission statements every five years. The Board of Regents Education Policy Committee reviewed the revised statements during a public session December 1 and recommended adoption of the statements by the full board.

Other items on Friday's agenda include:

  • An update on the status of the proposed School of Public Health, a collaborative effort between UMB and the University of Maryland, College Park;
  • A report on the instructional workload of USM faculty;
  • An update on current actions under way to increase need-based financial aid at all USM institutions;
  • Funding approval for an addition at UMB's School of Pharmacy;
  • Status of systemwide capital improvement projects;
  • USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan's report to the Board of Regents.

Access the full agenda for the board meeting at: /usm/regents/Agendas/index.html

Full agendas and background information will be available at the meeting. Sign language interpreters and/or other appropriate accommodations for eligible individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request. Please call 301.445.2756 (voice) or 301.314.7683 (TTY/ITT) to make special arrangements.


Contact: Liz O'Neill