Letter from the President
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The hot weather is here and I hope that you'll be able to spend some time on the Eastern Shore of Maryland this summer, as the USM Foundation Board did on June 13 and 14. The Foundation Board kicked off its June meeting with a wonderful dinner with
Salisbury University's Foundation Board
under a neon-pink sunset on Thursday evening. We were all impressed by the brand new and state-of-the-art
Guerrieri Academic Commons Assembly Hall
where dinner was served and where our meeting was held the following day. Please see the section below titled
"USM Foundation Board Meeting Recap"
for more information about the meeting.
Chancellor Bob Caret
announced that he is stepping down from his position on June 30, 2020. Bob started his career at Towson University in 1974 as a faculty member in the Chemistry Department and held positions at the university as dean, executive vice president, provost, and president. He returned to the System in 2015 as chancellor and under his tenure, increased enrollment from 164,000 to 176,000 students. As chancellor, Bob has been instrumental in building the USM's role as an economic engine and catalyst for the state. In addition, Bob has overseen the USM's efforts to provide affordable, high-quality education and as a result, nearly 50 percent of USM undergraduate students graduate without debt.
Read more here.
We recently said goodbye to Coppin State University President Maria Thompson, whose last day in office was in mid-June. In January 2019, President Thompson announced that she would step down from her position to return to Nashville, TN. President Thompson joined the university in 2015 as its first female president. In February, she was featured in CASE's
magazine in an article titled, "Changing Herstory," which highlighted the work of women presidents at HBCUs. While in office, President Thompson was committed to Coppin's academic excellence, community impact, and service. In May, it was announced that former Bowie State University
President Mickey Burnim
will serve as interim president of Coppin State University.
Lastly, our colleague
Pamela Purcell will retire this fall after serving 21 years with the USM and the USM Foundation. Pam has served the Foundation as CFO and General Counsel and had a huge role in professionalizing the Foundation Board and re-engineering our business operations at the Foundation. She became the go-to colleague for all things legal and has helped to develop countless solutions to sticky problems. Without Pam, we would not be the service leader we are today. Pam is planning on moving to Uzès, France--a country she fell in love with after a visit in 2010. We will miss her dearly and look forward to celebrating her in the months to come.
Have a wonderful summer and as always, please contact me at
or 301-445-1941 with any questions or comments.
Leonard R. Raley
USM Foundation Board Meeting Recap
On June 14, the USM Foundation Board met at Salisbury University's
Guerrieri Academic Commons
building, which opened in 2016. Board Chair Bonne Stein welcomed the
Salisbury University's Foundation Board
and thanked those who attended the previous night's dinner. Bonnie touched on Chancellor Bob Caret's decision to step down in 2020 and talked about his legacy, especially his commitment to Baltimore city and entrepreneurship.
Next, President of SU,
welcomed the Board and stressed the importance of foundation work. He noted that SU was launching
"We Are SU"
--a $75 million campaign and the largest in the school's history--that night. Chuck welcomed
, Dean of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business and
, Director of Entrepreneurial Activities at the Perdue School of Business. Weer and Burke spoke about SU's entrepreneurship competitions and introduced two students who started their own ventures after winning the Bernstein Achievement Award for Excellence.
Cameron Kane spoke about Valkyrie Software Solutions
, an accessibility software company and
Cody Revel spoke about Athlete Academy
, which specializes in athletic development for children, teens, and adults.
Chancellor Bob Caret
told the Board that a seven percent operating budget increase for the USM was approved by the state, which helps keep tuition costs down, especially for Maryland residents who only received a two percent increase for in-state tuition. Additionally, Bob spoke about the
USM Maryland Momentum Fund
, which was created in 2016 by the Board of Regents to fund start-ups that stem from USM students, faculty, or incubators.
Foundation Board members
Larry Boggs, Bonnie Stein, and
Mitch Neitzey gave the Investment Committee Report, Governance Committee Report, and Audit Committee Report, respectively. The Investment Committee report was positive, despite volatility of the markets. Larry Boggs reported that the Investment Team is beating benchmarks across virtually all sectors, and was among the few institutions nationwide producing positive returns at the end of 2018. Bonnie Stein asked the Board to help identify diverse candidates to the Board, which can add up to nine new members at its annual meeting. Mitch Neitzey was pleased to report that all was quiet on the Audit Committee front, although the committee continues to focus on the important issue of cybersecurity.
closed the meeting by introducing the USM Foundation's new visual identity.
Click here to read more information
. Leonard also delivered a tribute to colleague
, who is retiring in the fall.
Kirwan Center Update: An Interview with MJ Bishop
The Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation
was established by the USM Board of Regents in 2013 to support System institutions' efforts to increase educational access, affordability, and achievement. The Center explores developments in learning sciences and new technologies in order to help USM institutions launch, evaluate, scale, and sustain academic innovation. The USM Foundation spoke to MJ Bishop, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director, about the Center's recent achievements.
: Generally, what projects are in the works at the Kirwan Center?
: Currently, we are scaling our statewide
Maryland Open Source Textbook
(M.O.S.T) initiative, which is reducing students' textbook costs through the adoption of open educational resources (OER). We're working across the state with our USM institutions as well as the community colleges and independent institutions. Our State-wide summit on May 28th was an opportunity for us all to come together and think about how postsecondary institutions can support each other in this work to improve teaching, learning, and research by understanding the extent to which OER can improve cost savings and student achievement. One of our other major initiatives is
Badging Essential Skills for Transitions
(B.E.S.T.), which is helping students develop the career-ready skills that employers are seeking.
: Who are your major funding partners?
: The Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. We are hoping to gain additional support for B.E.S.T., which is an important initiative in Maryland's workforce development efforts.
: What's on the horizon for the Kirwan Center?
: We've just redone our strategic plan with two fairly significant changes. First, our plan now acknowledges that, increasingly, the Kirwan Center's work extends beyond the USM institutions to include our community college partners, which play a vital role in the overall postsecondary landscape in Maryland. Two thirds of USM students are transfer students and one third transfer from a Maryland community college. Another significant shift in our strategic plan is to find ways to further engage senior leadership at our institutions in conversations about the importance of investing in academic innovation in order to prepare for a better future. I'd like to thank the USM Foundation Board members for their support of the Kirwan Center and am happy to engage in a conversation about the Center if anyone wishes.
To contact MJ Bishop at the Kirwan Center, email
USM News Briefs
Bowie State University
has announced plans for the construction of a new living-learning community with retail space in Prince George's County. BSU hopes to meet the demand for on-campus student housing and provide a home for their Entrepreneurship Academy and Bowie Business Innovation Center. The project will be overseen by Balfour Beatty Construction and Smoot Construction and will be completed by July 2021. The community will increase residential accommodations on campus by 32 percent and will include double rooms and suites, a fitness room, meeting and academic spaces, and group recreation spaces.
University System of Maryland at Hagerstown
(USMH) has launched a hospitality and tourism management program, which prepares students for management positions in hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more. The program will be offered through the
University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Some courses will be held at a new hospitality center in Hagerstown, which is being built in part of the former BB&T Bank across the street from the Hagerstown campus.
In April, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donated $6.9 million to the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Diego in order to replicate
UMBC's Meyerhoff Scholars Program
on the west coast. UMBC's Program has graduated more than 1,100 STEM students in the last three decades and graduates have gone on to become U.S. surgeon generals, professors, and research scientists at Google, Intel, the NIH, NASA, and NSA.
Read more here.
University of Maryland University College
soon to become the University of Maryland Global Campus
, is phasing out its Doctor of Management program and replacing it with Doctor in Business Administration. The new doctorate program will prepare candidates for roles in leadership in for profits, non profits, government, and higher education.
Read more here.
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
will erect a new building for the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions thanks to a $10 million allocation from the 2019 Maryland General Assembly. The project will allow the university to consolidate its pharmacy programs to a single building, rather than the six buildings its classes, laboratories, and offices are spread out among currently. The new building will be three stories tall and will sit across the street from the Engineering and Aviation Science Complex.
Read more here
Leonard Raley Awarded CASE Crystal Apple
In June, USM Foundation President Leonard Raley received a Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Crystal Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes CASE faculty members who have been recognized for outstanding performance at ten or more CASE educational programs. Leonard was also invited to join
the CASE Laureates community. The CASE Laureates community was launched to celebrate volunteers who advance education and transform lives and society. CASE Laureates have led major conferences, chaired advisory groups, served on governing boards, and received teaching awards. Congratulations, Leonard!
USM Foundation New Visual Identity
The USM Foundation unveiled its new visual identity at the Foundation Board meeting at Salisbury University. The Foundation's former visual identity is fifteen years old and was in need of a refresh when the Foundation turned to Maryland-based company Ironmark. Ironmark developed a new logo for the USM Foundation that is bold and modern, while still timeless. The gold color incorporates elements of the Foundation's old logo, and the font treatment of "USM" and the tagline below that reads "serving the University System of Maryland," is a direct nod to the USM's logo. Furthermore, the diamond shape that replaces the dot over the "i" in Foundation is a geometric element found in the Maryland state flag. The Foundation is also working with Ironmark to develop a new website that will be more user-friendly and dynamic. The current website was created in 2013. The USM Foundation will roll out the new visual identity throughout the course of the summer.
In Memoriam: Dr. Catherine R. Gira
Former Frostburg State University
President Catherine Gira
passed away at the end of March at the age of 86. Gira began her career in education at Catonsville High School, where she taught English and later became department chair. In 1965, Gira joined the English department as a faculty member at the University of Baltimore and went on to become the dean of UB's College of Liberal Arts and the first recipient of the Yale Gordon Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence. Gira was named president of FSU in 1991 and became the university's second woman president. At FSU, she is remembered for helping to grow the university's infrastructure and reputation. Gira helped raise minority enrollment, laid the groundwork for the Center of Communications and Information Technology, and oversaw the completion of the Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center. Members of the USM community remember her for her influential leadership and her passion for literature.
Two Funding Commitments for the University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park received a $750,000
donation from Bill Pugh
, an entrepreneur and UMD emeritus professor of computer science. The gift will be used to support a "makerspace" in the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering and other "makerspaces" around campus. According to UMCP, a
makerspace is a designated area for students to invent and create that are supported and equipped by different units on the campus. $500,000 of the gift will staff and operate the Jagdeep Singh Family makerspace in the Iribe Center. This space consists of a large, open collaboration area, laser cutters, a wood shop, 3D printers and more. $250,000 of the gift will be used to support coordination of other campus makerspaces.
In May, Michael R. Bloomberg pledged $2.3 million to UMCP's Center for Global Sustainability to evaluate and analyze current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and reductions. Bloomberg is the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Change Action and he will submit the findings UMCP makes to the United Nations to demonstrate U.S. Progress in meeting carbon reduction commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition,
Bloomberg announced funding to the Robert H. Smith School of Business to cover Bloomberg Terminal subscriptions and upgrades, which allows students access to the Bloomberg Professional software system.
Editor: Micaela Cameron | firstname.lastname@example.org