USMBriefs -- University System of Maryland

University System of Maryland

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:


Professor Wins
Nobel Prize in Economics

University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP)economist Thomas C. Schelling has won the 2005 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in game theory analysis. He shares the award with Robert J. Aumann of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Schelling, emeritus distinguished university professor in the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy, joined the university's faculty in 1990. His work on nuclear deterrence helped shape Cold War strategies.

With this award, Schelling becomes the third UMCP Nobel Laureate. William Phillips won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997. Juan Ramon Jimenez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956.

USM Opens its Doors
to Hurricane Victims

The University System of Maryland (USM) has opened its doors to victims of the Gulf Coast region's recent devastation. Nearly 200 students from that region are continuing their higher education at USM institutions this fall. Others are taking online courses offered by University of Maryland University College, and by other USM institutions through the Sloan Semester Program.

Soon after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, the USM Board of Regents passed a resolution to ease tuition hardships for displaced students entering the system's institutions as transfers or visitors. In addition, the media continue to tap experts from the institutions--including Coppin State University; University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; University of Maryland, Baltimore; and University of Maryland, College Park--to shed light on the disaster's aftermath.

Programs Recognized for Excellence
Academic quality and innovation across the university system continue to earn prestigious rankings. The most recent U.S. News & World Report national survey ranks Salisbury University among the top 10 percent of all universities of its kind, and Towson University fifth among public universities-master's in the north.

The magazine's current rankings place University of Maryland, College Park, #18 among public universities nationwide.

University of Maryland, Baltimore, also fared well in the magazine's rankings of graduate and professional schools published earlier this year. Earning its highest ranking ever, the School of Law placed in the top tier at #18 among all public law schools in the country. The School of Pharmacy was ranked #8 for the quality of its doctor of pharmacy education.

Coppin State University received EDUCAUSE's 2005 Award for Innovation in Network Technology. The nonprofit organization recognized Coppin for the technological transformation of its campus.

Increasing Access: A Priority
USM is implementing the recommendations of two major task forces created by USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan to develop strategies for increasing students' access to the system's institutions. With a projected 30-percent increase in enrollment demand by 2014, the system is positioning itself to help meet that demand by providing affordable high-quality programs and expanding capacity.

In response to the Tuition Task Force recommendations, the university system is developing a four-year budget plan that will propose modest and predictable tuition increases. Following the recommendations of the Financial Aid Task Force, USM is working to decrease students' debt loads by increasing need-based aid.

USM institutions have developed several programs to increase access. For example, UMCP's Maryland Pathways program is reducing college debt for low-income students. The program replaces loans with grants in financial aid packages and provides federal work-study jobs.

In addition, the USM Board of Regents has approved a University of Baltimore proposal to admit freshmen and sophomores. Currently, UB admits undergraduates at the junior and senior levels. The Maryland Higher Education Commission will review the proposal this academic year.

USM Faculty Help
Grow Maryland Companies

Faculty members from University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and University of Maryland, College Park are helping Maryland companies develop technology-based products through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program (MIPS). The 15 faculty-led projects are worth $2.8 million, with some $1.8 million funded by the companies and $1 million by MIPS. The companies are located in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties.

Meeting the State's Critical
Teacher Education Needs

Through partnerships, private donations, federal funding, and degree programs, USM institutions are stepping up efforts to help Maryland decrease its teacher shortage. Here are a few examples.

Bowie State University, in partnership with Prince George's County schools, has launched a program to recruit and train more men to teach in urban settings. A federal grant, the university, and the county school system are providing more than a half-million dollars to support the program.

Frostburg State University (FSU) offers a "modified internship" for students seeking their Master of Arts in Teaching. This fast-track program allows MAT candidates, guided by mentors from FSU and the school in which they work, to teach full time while earning their degrees.

The University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute and the Maryland State Department of Education hosted Maryland teachers this summer as part of the Maryland Governor's Academy for Biology. The program helps teachers develop techniques to promote science education excellence.

In fall 2006, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore will welcome Hazel Scholars, students from the Eastern Shore majoring in education. A $3-million gift from Richard F. Hazel will provide full-tuition scholarships for the students, as well as provide other support for teacher education.

And USM, in partnership with community colleges and public schools systems, is providing professional development and programs to improve teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention, thanks to the support of major federal grants.

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University System of Maryland
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