University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Mission Statement

Institutional Identity

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), established in 1966, is an historically-diverse, highly-selective, public research university. The graduate schools of UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), combined in 1985, comprise the University of Maryland Graduate School Baltimore (UMGSB) as one of the University System of Maryland's (USM) two principal centers for research and doctoral level training.

As an honors university, UMBC aspires to be one of the finest of the new American research universities that effectively blend high-quality teaching, advanced research, and social responsibility. UMBC is a research institution with a profound commitment to liberal education and its relevance to contemporary life. A strong liberal arts and sciences core provides the foundation for the undergraduate educational experience. UMBC offers a complement of disciplinary and interdisciplinary masters and doctoral programs with an emphasis on selected areas of the sciences, engineering, information technology, human services, and public policy. These programs are closely linked to undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and engineering. The University has developed particular strength in interdisciplinary instruction and research by building bridges among the cultures of the sciences, engineering, humanities, visual and performing arts, and the social sciences.

At the core of UMBC is a steadfast commitment to engage leading research faculty in the liberal arts and sciences education of its undergraduates--guiding students in critical thinking, creative problem solving, experiential learning and development of conceptual skills. UMBC actively promotes interaction between students and faculty, undergraduate participation in research projects, and service to the community. Members of UMBC's faculty are selected and promoted on the basis of their scholarly and creative productivity, successful teaching, and service to the profession and the public. They are at the forefront of their fields, nationally and internationally, and apply their knowledge and scholarship in advancing institutional partnerships with government, non-profit organizations, and industry.

UMBC cooperates with other educational segments in Maryland and collaborates with other USM institutions to provide access for citizens to high-quality educational services and to meet the educational, economic, and cultural needs of Maryland. The University is sensitive to the needs of non-traditional, evening, international, and part-time students. The needs of these students are addressed increasingly through flexible programs and through programs, certificates, and courses delivered asynchronously off campus. Also, as UMBC's reputation for excellence grows, so do the numbers of students from beyond the region and State who seek admission.

UMBC is committed to diversity at all levels and seeks to create a campus community rich in intellectual, cultural, and ethnic diversity. The University is committed to the success of each of its students and seeks to attract well-qualified students through special scholarship initiatives in the humanities, arts, and public affairs and through the nationally recognized Meyerhoff Scholarship Program for talented high school graduates in science and engineering. UMBC expects to continue to attract private and public funding to facilitate the success of minority students in the sciences and engineering. Its emphasis on quality, high achievement, and the integration of research, teaching and learning, and civic engagement is designed to prepare all students for success in graduate and professional education as well as success in the workplace.

UMBC will achieve national recognition as the best public research university of its size and will maintain its Doctoral/ResearchĖExtensive Carnegie classification. UMBC has emerged as a major center for intellectual activity in the Baltimore metropolitan region and as significant contributor to the economic and social development of the region and State. As a prototype of the new American research university in an era of increasing globalization, UMBC actively connects its intellectual and research capacity to significant social, economic, and technological challenges in a search for understanding, applications, and solutions.

To meet the needs of Maryland, as identified in the State Plan for Higher Education, UMBC is strategically developing an optimal array of undergraduate and graduate-level programs. UMBC intends to expand existing areas of strength at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including credit and non-credit offerings in information systems and computer science at the graduate level, and to build on internal research strengths unique to the campus to develop offerings in emerging fields, such as bioscience and environmental science. The University will also continue to enhance its academic program and strengths in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and engineering, and will expand the capacity of its programs to help address K-16 issues.

UMBC will consider different delivery modes for its programs, especially at the graduate level, so as to maximize the number of citizens who have access to its programs. This will include program delivery at Shady Grove and other centers when resources permit; web-based courses and programs; expanded access to library resources; partnerships with other institutions permitting them to use UMBC-developed courseware; and continuing education initiatives offering non-credit and credit courses. Recognizing that we are part of an international community, UMBC will continue to strengthen and support programs and activities that promote cross-cultural understanding and global perspectives.

Institutional Capabilities

UMBC seeks to enhance the quality of undergraduate education and to retain increasing numbers of academically talented students in Maryland. The University also seeks to serve the greater Baltimore region and the State by continuing to strengthen and selectively expand its programmatic base, especially at the graduate level. UMBC seeks to transfer benefits of faculty research to the public and industry through its research park, technology center, and technology transfer program. UMBC will continue to expand its research funding, diversify its funding sources, and involve private enterprise in sponsored programs across disciplines.

In keeping with the State Plan for Higher Education and the University System of Maryland Strategic Plan, UMBC is increasing the number of students pursuing degrees in the sciences, engineering, and information technology fields, and is meeting Marylandís other identified workforce needs. UMBC will continue to contribute to Maryland's economic future through academic programs, workforce training, and applied research in biotechnology, health care, engineering, public policy, education, telecommunications, and information technology. UMBC's continued collaboration with UMB to address research and technological needs within the region and State also remains a priority.

UMBC possesses a strong and diverse faculty, in the arts and humanities, engineering, sciences, and social sciences, whose achievements in teaching, basic and applied research, creative endeavors and service have received national and international recognition. Scholarship is central to the University's mission, and UMBC promotes cutting-edge research and creative activity across the disciplines. Particular research priorities are linked to the economic and social needs of the region and State. Supportive partnerships link research and public policy analysis with business and government.

By adapting and creating new technologies for commercial use, UMBC is an interactive partner in Marylandís economy and works with business and industry to increase the research and development capabilities of the region and State. UMBC contributes to the economy of the region and State via a technology center and incubator program to help small high-technology businesses. Its research park, will attract corporations with the potential to complement many of UMBC's academic and research programs. A growing continuing education program provides diverse training opportunities for businesses as well as programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of Marylandís private and public sectors.

UMBC is a national leader in promoting service learning, civic engagement, and community-based service delivery. Its nationally recognized Shriver Center provides opportunities for faculty and students to connect theory to practice through community-based programs addressing critical social needs in the greater Baltimore region. The Shriver Center exemplifies the Universityís commitment to producing socially engaged citizens who graduate with the commitment and experience to serve responsibly in their communities, state, and nation. Moreover, UMBC is committed to fostering an environmental ethic throughout the campus community with an emphasis on stewardship values, resource conservation, and environmental education.

UMBC enriches the lives of citizens of the region and State through its links to K-12 education, its outreach to community organizations, its lectures and artistic exhibitions, and its cultural activities. UMBC has been among the K-16 leaders in Maryland working with public and private universities to produce more teachers for Maryland public schools, especially those identified as high-need, and is committed to continuing that leadership into the future by way of instruction, research, and service activities.

Institutional Objectives and Outcomes

As an honors university in Maryland, UMBC aspires to be one of the nation's best public research universities of its size as it combines the traditions of the liberal arts academy, the creative intensity of the research university, and the social responsibility of the public university. UMBC faculty seek to integrate research, teaching and learning, and civic engagement so that each advances the others for the benefit of the State and society.

In response to the external framework provided by the Maryland State Plan and the USM Strategic Plan and in fulfillment of the campusí aspirations, internal planning priorities, and Managing for Results submission, the University has identified the following institutional objectives and outcomes:

  1. To enhance the quality of undergraduate education: by ensuring that all students have access to an honors university experience that is defined by a strong liberal arts and sciences core, is enriched by research and service learning experiences, incorporates technology across the curriculum, and cultivates a sense of civic responsibility; by strengthening the first-year experience program to assist freshmen and transfer students making the transition to UMBC;  by expanding campus programs and services that support the success of all UMBC students;  by improving the articulation of transfer students;  by demonstrating our commitment to high quality teaching through a vital faculty development program; and by expanding the array of academic program options available to students;

  2. To promote cutting edge research, creative activity, and high quality graduate education: by investing in the Universityís research infrastructure and enhancing the research environment; by strengthening support for a high quality and diverse faculty through increased salaries and start-up packages, improved grants management systems, and enhanced research facilities; by increasing investment in the library so that its holdings, access to online resources, and staffing accommodate the growing research agenda of the campus and scholarly activity of the faculty;  by building and supporting graduate programs that attract high quality students and meet economic development needs; by developing interdisciplinary centers of excellence that build upon the research strengths of our academic departments; and by facilitating discussions among relevant disciplines concerning public policy issues related to the role of technology in contemporary society;

  3. To build on the Universityís historical commitment to diversity and cultivate a sense of campus community: by maintaining a campus climate that promotes equality, diversity, respect and support;  by building on our success in minority achievement and expanding the capacity and reach of current programs that support the advancement of minorities and traditionally underrepresented groups; by increasing the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of UMBCís faculty and staff; by enhancing student life outside the classroom; and by creating a greater sense of institutional pride and identity among students, faculty, and staff;

  4. To collaborate with the private and public sectors to contribute to the growth of Marylandís economy: by increasing efforts to bring promising university technologies to market;  by fully developing bwtech@umbc, the Universityís research and technology park;  by ensuring that UMBCís academic programs are responsive to the needs of the marketplace and Maryland employers;  by expanding partnerships between the campus and the business community; and by continuing to work together with UMB to address research and technological needs within the region and State;

  5. To bring the knowledge resources of the University to bear on the problems and concerns of the communities we serve: by continuing to serve as a national model in promoting service learning and civic engagement; by improving public policy and welfare in the State; by maintaining a leadership role in K-16 efforts and teacher education initiatives; by expanding our outreach efforts and university/community partnerships; and by continuing to foster connections between faculty research and public policy issues;

  6. To ensure that we are a campus known for our excellence in administrative and student services and our responsible use of public resources, just as we are known for our academic excellence: by upgrading our information technology infrastructure;  by ensuring that a UMBC education remains affordable and accessible to Maryland citizens through reasonable tuition and fee increases and adequate levels of financial aid; by addressing staff development needs; by pursuing administrative efficiencies and, as appropriate, the reallocation of resources in support of the campus mission; and by ensuring that our campus infrastructure supports, enhances, and reflects our educational priorities and research agenda.