New Initiatives, New Leaders for the USM Fall 2022 Semester
Institutions Open with In-Person Classes and Minor Protocols for COVID, Monkeypox
Baltimore, Md. (Aug. 29, 2022) –The University System of Maryland (USM) will welcome students, faculty, and staff this fall with new leadership and a number of system-wide initiatives that hold promise for future growth and innovation. All USM institutions are open with in-person instruction—though continuing to monitor the latest COVID and monkeypox trends with local, state, and federal health officials. Fall classes begin at institutions across the USM on Monday, Aug. 29.
“This is always an exciting time in the life of our universities. There’s something energizing about our communities coming back together and sharing in the unique experience of college—exchanging ideas, exploring challenges, innovating solutions, and making connections that last a lifetime,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “Fall also means I can get back to our campuses and see all of it first-hand, which is a real joy for me.”
USM Institutions Monitor COVID, Monkeypox Trends
For a second straight fall, the USM welcomes the in-person access that’s central to the higher-education experience. Individual USM institutions will continue to assess current COVID-19 protocols, while monitoring federal and state public health authorities as they transition their disease response from a pandemic to an endemic phase of infection. Current updates regarding fall semester COVID-19 safety protocols can be found here. USM institutions are sharing clear and specific information about the monkeypox virus so that the USM community is informed about important symptoms and the best steps to stay healthy amid this new public health threat. Additional details can be found in Chancellor Perman’s update to the Board of Regents on Aug. 22.
Fall Enrollment Update
Though final data won’t be available before late October, the USM Office of Institutional Research reported that total undergraduate and graduate fall 2022 enrollment is projected to be 162,000 across all 12 system universities and three regional academic centers. Undergraduates will represent about 80 percent of that total. Enrollment is projected to rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic and increase by roughly 10,000 students during the next 10 years.
Annually, USM welcomes 45,000 new undergraduates with space for at least 14,000 traditional “first-time, full-time” students; 11,000 community college transfers; and some 20,000 working-adult students who transfer to the USM (primarily to University of Maryland Global Campus, or UMGC) with credits from other four-year institutions.
Students of color continue to comprise the majority of both graduate and undergraduate students enrolled across the system. System enrollment continues to become more diverse with an estimated 60 percent of undergraduates who identify as non-white, or as non-U.S. citizens. This diversity is intentional—during the past several years, the system has intensified efforts to ensure that a USM education is accessible to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin. The breakdown between female and male students enrolled across the USM continues a trend of recent years, with women making up an estimated 52 percent of total enrollment.
New Systemwide Initiatives
USM Vision 2030 Strategic Plan: The 2022-23 academic year marks the initial implementation of the USM’s new, student-centered “Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence” Strategic Plan, which the Board of Regents approved at its final meeting of fiscal year 2022 in June. This new road map will bring a fundamental shift to how the USM identifies and achieves new priorities in teaching, research, and economic development.
USM SAT/ACT Test-Optional Policy: Also at its June meeting, the Regents approved a new systemwide SAT/ACT-test-optional undergraduate admissions policy reflecting recent national research validating the rigor of a student’s high school coursework, GPA, and extra-curricular activity as the most accurate reflection of a student’s ability to succeed in college. For the 2022-23 academic year, each USM institution has implemented a SAT/ACT-test-optional policy for its next applicant pool. Under the new policy, students with an impressive performance on the SAT or ACT examination are still able to submit that result to strengthen their admissions application.
Langenberg Legacy Program: This fall the USM welcomes the inaugural cohort of the Langenberg Legacy Fellows. Throughout the upcoming academic year at institutions across the USM, Langenberg Fellows will be working on civic engagement projects, with topics including environmental justice, gun violence prevention, and voter issues such as engagement and turnout. Part of the USM’s Civic Education and Civic Engagement priority, the new program honors the memory of the late Donald N. Langenberg, USM chancellor from 1990-2002.
New Leadership at UMBC, Salisbury University
The system welcomes new presidents at two of its universities for the start of the academic year. On August 1, Valerie Sheares Ashby joined UMBC from Duke University, where she served since 2015 as dean of its Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. She succeeds Freeman Hrabowski, who for 30 years led UMBC to national and international acclaim. At Salisbury University, Carolyn “Lyn” Ringer Lepre began her service as new president on July 15 after serving Radford University as interim president. She succeeds Charles Wight, who led the university with distinction since July 2018.
Other USM Enrollment Trends
Out of State Enrollment: The system continues its long and proud tradition of serving students from Maryland, with an estimated 80 percent of undergraduates systemwide coming from in-state. For those students coming from outside Maryland, the latest total enrollment figures (fall 2021) show the states of New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and California continued to be significant feeders for USM institutions. Some students are attending USM institutions from as far as Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington state.
In-State Enrollment: Within Maryland, enrollment is expected to resemble the past two fall semesters, when students from central Maryland counties—Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City—represented most undergraduates attending USM institutions. Some 81,000 students (undergraduate and graduate) came from these jurisdictions. Next come students from western Maryland—Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties—at 6,813 in fall 2021. From Southern Maryland, the counties of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s totaled 5,795. And, finally, the lower Eastern Shore—Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties—had 3,001 students.
Recent Success Stories: USM institutions are reporting recent enrollment success. Bowie State University President Aminta Breaux noted for WTOP an annual enrollment growth of 3 percent since 2017—with admissions applications up by 37 percent since last year. Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) expects to enroll a record-breaking first time, first year class of that exceeds 2,100 students for fall 2022 (compared to 2,051 for fall 2021), the largest first-year class in UMBC’s history. The Graduate School at UMBC also expects a significant increase in enrollment, driven by large increases in Data Science, Health IT, and Engineering Management master's programs. Between an expected record number of new graduate enrollments and strong retention from a successful fall 2021, UMBC projects well over 3,000 total graduate students enrolled for fall 2022. Towson University is also welcoming 2,678 first-time students, the largest number since fall 2019. The freshman class has a local feel, with 89% of first-time students calling Maryland home. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is among the USM institutions reporting improvement in the number of both applications and early commitments for the fall semester. As of the week ending Aug. 26, the total number of registered undergraduate and graduate students at UMES is 2,409—an increase of 24 students from fall 2021. Official and finalized enrollment data on each Maryland county for fall 2021 is here and fall updates from each USM institution can be found here.
The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.
USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu
Contact: Mike Lurie