Labor We Love
UMBC is a major research university, but one of its successes is that it still retains the personal touch of a much smaller institution.
One reason that UMBC has managed to be so welcoming is the university’s dedicated faculty and staff – many of whom go the extra mile to ensure students success, create environments for exceptional teaching and research, or keep the campus looking attractive and inviting.
That UMBC’s faculty and staff enjoy their work is also part of this reputation. The Chronicle of Higher Education confirms that in its 2012 survey of “Great Colleges to Work For.” UMBC was again named to the “Honor Roll” in the Chronicle’s annual survey because its own faculty and staff ranked it highly in seven of the 12 areas canvassed by the newspaper.
“We are a ‘Great College’ because of the people here,” says President Freeman Hrabowski. “This honor yet again affirms what we all know: UMBC is a place that supports people, values collaboration, and fosters trust, respect, and enthusiasm for educating our students.”
UMBC’s faculty and staff said the university was particularly strong when it came to:
- Collaborative governance
- Professional and career development
- Work/life balance
- Confidence in senior leadership
- Supervisor/department chair relationship
- Respect and appreciation
- Tenure clarity and process
"The upper administration understands that working with the faculty is an effective way to move the university forward,” says Tim Topoleski, a professor of mechanical engineering and former president of the Faculty Senate. “Because the faculty are directly involved with UMBC's primary mission, listening to their ideas – everything from increasing campus efficiency to innovative ways to deliver the curriculum – is hugely beneficial to the university."
Staff, too, are encouraged to play a major role in moving UMBC forward. Carrie Sauter, an assistant director in the interdisciplinary studies program and president of the Professional staff Senate, says she’s thrilled to help shape the university she graduated from.
“I feel so lucky to be able to return to the campus that provided so much to me as a student, and to serve in a role that helps students to achieve their goals,” Sauter says.
Terry Aylsworth, executive administrative assistant in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and president of the Non-exempt, Excluded Staff Senate, draws energy from her co-workers and especially the students.
“I have always felt that it was a privilege to work at UMBC, and after 16 years, I still feel the same,” she says. “I have had wonderful, brilliant bosses and smart and generous co-workers. I still get a thrill walking across campus and feeling the energy radiating from the students.”
To read the full survey results, visit The Chronicle.