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Questions or comments? Please contact Sandra Dzija in the Office of Institutional Advancement at dzija@umbc.edu or (410) 455-2210. 
 
Freeman Hrabowski on Knowing Success Is Never Final

Power Surge: Art Johnson

“We are all writing the next chapter in UMBC’s future—students, faculty, and staff,” notes Provost Arthur Johnson. “What is exciting is that we are all still creating UMBC.” The strategic planning process that has taken shape during the past four years under the guidance of the provost and a team of campus leaders has created opportunities to “dream big” about a university that is a magnet for researchers and scholars eager to share their passions with students, where students are actively engaged in learning experiences in and outside the classroom.

Although some of the planning team’s most ambitious recommendations will take years of patient stewardship—and additional resources—to achieve, pieces already are falling in place. First Year Seminars, a new program that gives first-year students the chance to explore ideas in depth in a seminar setting with outstanding professors, debuted in fall 2002. New academic advisor positions were created in several large departments to provide students with more personal attention. A new Student Involvement Council focuses on events and programs that have helped invigorate campus life on evenings and weekends.

The process also has brought a renewed commitment to securing our status as a top-tier research institution, with an increased emphasis on graduate education and research and a commitment to hiring additional faculty. The Graduate School is targeted for growth, and enrollments have increased 53 percent in just the past four years. A new program, Graduate Horizons, was developed to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the Graduate School, and bringing graduate students more fully into the life of the community has gained a new emphasis. In addition, continuing support for technology resources and systems that make work easier for faculty and staff also emerged as a strategic priority.

The communication established in the planning process among the task force members and University administrators influenced nearly $11 million in operating budget investments during the past two years, from new faculty hires to student-life initiatives. “We have the challenge of pursuing diverse goals—growing as a research university while maintaining an authentic and continuous commitment to undergraduate education,” Johnson says. “This is ambitious and difficult work, but we know who we are and what we want to be.”



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