USMBriefs -- University System of Maryland

University System of Maryland



USM in the News

A model of efficiency (and effectiveness): University System of Maryland proves it's possible
Public Purpose, April/May 2007

Kirwan pushes USM in the right direction
Baltimore Examiner, April 30, 2007

Higher Education's "Accountability" Imperative: How the University System of Maryland Responded
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, March/April 2007








University System of Maryland

This periodic newsletter shares how the University System of Maryland is advancing quality and access to higher education for students and the State of Maryland. Let us hear from you:

June 2007

USM Welcomes Six New Regents

The University System of Maryland (USM) welcomes six new members to the Board of Regents this spring. Barry Gossett, the Hon. C. Thomas McMillen, James L. Shea, Richard E. Scott, Jr., and Thomas G. Slater were nominated by Governor Martin O'Malley and confirmed in March by the Maryland Senate. The Gossett, McMillen, and Shea appointments are effective immediately. Scott, a rising senior at Frostburg State University (FSU), will begin a one-year term as student regent on July 1, 2007. Slater's five-year term on the board will also begin on July 1.

The Hon. Roger L. Richardson, newly appointed secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, serves on the board ex officio.

"I am honored to welcome such accomplished individuals to the board," said Clifford Kendall, board chair. "Their wealth of experience and commitment to public higher education will be invaluable to the University System of Maryland."

General Assembly 2007: Budget Highlights

"It is clear that, at the conclusion of this legislative season, higher education is a priority in the minds of our state leaders," said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "Governor O'Malley and the General Assembly have demonstrated a deep commitment to the mission and value of the state's system of higher education."

USM received a total of $1.02 billion in general funds from the state for FY 2008, accounting for 26 percent of the system's $3.9 billion operating budget. At the conclusion of the General Assembly, Governor O'Malley's requested $85 million increase over the system's FY 2007 general fund allocation was left largely intact and cut by just $2 million, avoiding a $14 million reduction recommended by the legislature's budget staff. The state's allocation allows USM to meet operating costs, pursue several new initiatives, and replace lost revenue from an FY 08 freeze on in-state undergraduate tuition rates.

USM also received a capital budget allocation of $172 million, one of the largest in its history. While this was accomplished with some reductions in the FY 2008 funding for the Coppin State University (CSU) Physical Education Building, the reduction will not cause any major construction delays. Funding for the CSU project will be added to the FY 2009 allocation to keep the project on track.

But the chancellor cautions that the state's looming structural deficit presents budgetary challenges for the system. As of mid-May, the Department of Budget Management (DBM) notified USM and other state agencies of decreases to their approved levels of FY 2008 general fund support due to the state's structural deficit. More information about USM's final budget will become available later.

Text-Messaging for Campus Safety

Campus security and safety are at the forefront of public consciousness after the tragic events at Virginia Tech last month. All of the universities, research institutions, and regional education centers in the system have detailed security and communication plans in place in the event of public health emergencies, natural disasters, or other threats to the safety of students, staff, and faculty.

With cell phones and PDAs becoming increasingly common, several of our universities have added text-messaging alert systems to their campus security plans. Text-messaging is now in place at Bowie State University (BSU); Coppin State University (CSU); Towson University (TU); University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES); and the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Our other institutions expect to have text-messaging alerts systems online by fall 2007.

While emergency notification through e-mails, sirens, and public address systems will remain in place, text-messaging provides another tool for the fast and accurate dissemination of information and instructions in case of a campus emergency.

$1 Billion in Support of Research, Scholarship

A recent study by the American Electronics Association ranked Maryland fifth in the nation for the concentration of hi-tech jobs, sixth for growth in hi-tech jobs, and fourth for venture capital investments in technology. USM is working to sharpen our state's competitive edge in the world of research grants and contracts to keep us on the forefront of the "knowledge economy" and prepare a skilled workforce to fuel our state's economic engine.

In FY 2006, USM's 13 institutions received almost $1 billion in external funding for research. Private, federal, and state grants and contracts totaled $975.9 million, supporting scientific and medical research, academic scholarship, and public service projects conducted by the system's faculty and students.

Although the FY 2006 funding level dipped just one percent below an all-time high of $983.8 million in FY 2005, there were significant increases for several of the system's comprehensive institutions. Bowie State University's total external research funding grew almost 40 percent to $10 million; Frostburg State University's doubled to $3.4 million; and Towson University's grew from $12.7 million in FY 05 to $16.4 million in FY 06.

The system's research-focused universities and centers--the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB); University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI); University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES)--accounted for more than $870 million of the total FY 06 research funding.

USM Graduate Programs Climb in 2008 U.S. News Rankings

With the release of the 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools, the University System of Maryland's graduate and professional schools continue to advance in the national rankings.

The University of Maryland (UM) School of Nursing climbed from 10th to seventh place among all nursing schools in the nation. Among the nation's public medical schools, the UM School of Medicine rose to 16th in research and 20th in primary care instruction.

The UM School of Law--ranked by U.S. News as one of the most diverse law schools in the United States--advanced from 42nd to 36th among the nation's law schools and placed 15th among all public law schools nationally.

The University of Maryland, College Park's (UMCP) Robert H. Smith School of Business climbed to 25th among business schools nationwide and the College of Education to 21st among graduate education programs. UMCP's Clark School of Engineering was also highly ranked: 16th in the nation overall and 11th in aerospace engineering.

Find more information at our USM Institutions in National Rankings web page.

Solutions for Maryland's Future Releases Listening Tour Report

To help raise public awareness about the social and economic impact of higher education, Maryland's higher education community is participating in the national Solutions for Our Future campaign, an initiative of the American Council on Education.

During fall 2006, our statewide campaign--called Solutions for Maryland's Future--conducted a "listening tour" to provide a forum for the business community to address higher education, workforce, and economic development issues with leaders and representatives from the state's public and independent four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The forums were organized in collaboration with the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) and the Governor's Workforce Investment Board (GWIB).

The report linked below presents the findings of the statewide listening tour as well as recommendations and action items developed as a result of the discussions. The Solutions for Maryland's Future steering committee members, including USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan, are responsible for implementing the recommendations.

Click on the link below for a PDF copy of the full report:
Solutions for Maryland's Future Listening Tour Report, March 2007

Jonathan Gibraltar Inaugurated 14th President of Frostburg State

Jonathan Gibralter was formally inaugurated as the 14th president of Frostburg State University (FSU) on Wednesday, April 18, 2007. Gibralter, former president of Farmingdale State University of New York, came aboard as FSU president last August. His inaugural remarks outlined a vision for the FSU that focused on both its unique natural and historical setting in Western Maryland and the necessity to introduce new and diverse perspectives that give students an advantage in today's global economy.

"We need to provide our students with opportunities to fully experience other cultures so they have a framework with which to deal with a multi-national economy," Gibralter said as he announced a new FSU initiative to establish exchange programs with China's Hunan University. "Increased multi-cultural opportunities will encourage students to look beyond their own safe boundaries and be prepared to work in this multinational, global business environment."

Read President Gilbralter's complete inaugural address.

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