Committees and Full Board to Meet Jan. 26 at University College

Agendas Include FY 2006 Budget Request and Policies to Reduce Students' Time to Degree

ADELPHI, Md. (January 20, 2005) The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents will meet in committee and full board sessions Wednesday, January 26, at University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Adelphi. UMUC is at the intersection of University Boulevard and Adelphi Road.

The Committee on Education Policy will convene at 8:30 am in room 1131 of UMUC's Inn and Conference Center (West Building) to review three policies drafted to reduce undergraduate students' time to degree. Implementation of the policies will help students and their families save money as well as help USM meet its increasing enrollment demand. The policies are part of the USM Effectiveness and Efficiency Program, an initiative to increase enrollment capacity, reduce costs, and fund quality. Enhanced student advising services will be a critical part of the policies' implementation.

The proposed policy on the admission of first-time freshmen in the spring semester strongly encourages those students to earn at least 12 credits in the fall semester immediately prior to their spring enrollment. If approved, the policy would become effective for students admitted on or after July 1, 2005.

The proposed policy on alternative means of earning academic degree credit would enable undergraduates, on average, to complete at least 12 required credits outside of the traditional classroom experience, effective beginning with first-time freshmen who enter in fall 2005. Options would include online courses, independent study or research, study abroad, service learning, internships and advanced placement credits.

Education Policy Committee members also will consider a policy that sets 120 as the standard number of credits required for a bachelor's degree, with appropriate exceptions. The policy would be effective July 1, 2005.

The USM Academic Affairs Advisory Council and the presidents of the USM institutions have reviewed and approved each policy as drafted.

Other items on the agenda include proposals for the following academic degree programs: B.A. in Human Services Administration at the University of Baltimore; Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition at University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); and a Master of Professional Studies and a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Professional Studies, also at UMCP.

The Committee on Finance is scheduled to convene at 1 pm in the Chesapeake Room of the Inn and Conference Center (original building). The committee will consider the proposed FY 2006 Schedule of Tuition and Mandatory Fees for USM. The proposal sets a weighted average tuition increase of 5.8 percent for full-time, in-state undergraduates.

In addition, the finance committee will consider a $3.3-billion FY 2006 operating budget request for USM. The budget is based on a state appropriation of $798.2 million, a nearly 5 percent increase over the FY 2005 appropriation.

The full Board of Regents will convene following the finance committee meeting to consider the tuition and fee schedule, and the operating budget request.

Full agendas and background information will be available at Wednesday's meetings. 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: Anne Moultrie