Starting a New Semester Together

Dear UMBC Community, Welcome to the first day of the spring semester! As classes get under way, I wanted to share a brief video message with the campus community. I am excited and inspired to partner with you this semester on both near-term action and long-term strategic planning.  Sincerely, President Valerie Sheares Ashby

Remembering Ed Orser (1941 – 2024)

“How do you ground the American experience in something you can get your hands around?” asks Orser. “I always thought it was helpful to bring things down to a certain scale. Maybe because that’s as much as I could try to get my mind around, but also it is because in some ways, that’s where we live our lives.” – W. Ed Orser, quoted in Locale Hero, UMBC Review, by Richard Byrne It is with great sadness that we share the news that W. Edward (Ed) Orser passed away on Monday, January 8, 2024. Ed was a beloved professor and researcher in… Continue Reading Remembering Ed Orser (1941 – 2024)

Leadership Announcement

Dear UMBC Community,   It is my great pleasure to share the wonderful news that Manfred H. M. van Dulmen has accepted our invitation to join UMBC as provost and senior vice president. Manfred, who will begin in the role in July, currently serves as senior associate provost and dean of the Graduate College at Kent State University in Ohio, where he has spent the bulk of his career. I could not be more thrilled about this appointment, and I am deeply grateful to the members of the search committee and all who participated in this critically important search.   … Continue Reading Leadership Announcement

Happy New Year!

Dear UMBC Community,   I wish you all a happy and healthy start to the new year. My hope for us in the year ahead is that we strive always to support and lift up one another and value the diverse perspectives that our community comprises.  I hope, as well, that as we work together on a vision for UMBC’s future, we remain grounded in and inspired by the core values that have long defined us: inclusive excellence, collaboration, innovation, and impact. UMBC, higher education, and the wider world are better for those values and for your dedication and contributions… Continue Reading Happy New Year!

End-of-Semester Thanks and Updates

Dear UMBC Community,    With winter Commencements fast approaching, I wanted to share some updates with you before the break and express my sincere thanks to the entire UMBC community. This has been a demanding semester for everyone, I am sure, and I hope that as we head to the end of the year, you will find the time and opportunity for rest and reflection in the coming days.    I am pleased to share with you that we sought and have received incredibly helpful input from UMBC’s shared governance leaders toward creating the best possible process for strategic planning.… Continue Reading End-of-Semester Thanks and Updates

December 22 Administrative Leave Day

Dear Colleagues,  As we celebrated our annual service awards last week, one of the messages we hope you heard is that “You Matter.” It is important to us that you know you are valued and we appreciate you. To that end, we will observe Friday, December 22, as an Administrative Leave day. This will extend our winter break, with the campus reopening on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. Timesheets for eligible Regular and Contingent II employees will be automatically coded with the administrative leave code (ADM).  Please check with your supervisor to see if you are required to maintain essential services… Continue Reading December 22 Administrative Leave Day

The Home Stretch!

Dear Students,   You are almost there! The fall semester is demanding, I know. As we finish up classes and head into finals, I want to offer a word of encouragement and support to you and to wish you well for the remainder of the semester. Please remember to take care of yourself as you work to meet your deadlines and perform well on your end-of-semester exams, papers, and projects. A well-deserved break is just ahead!   Thank you for all you do every day to enrich our intellectual community and campus life at UMBC.   Sincerely,   President Valerie… Continue Reading The Home Stretch!

BGE Installation of Electrical Feeder Complete

Dear UMBC Community, We are delighted to share with you the news that Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) has completed installation of a new electrical feeder to our campus. This third feeder comes from a different substation than the campus’s other feeders, providing much-needed redundancy for our power supply, greatly improving reliability and reducing the likelihood of campus power outages.  This milestone concludes a years-long effort to improve the reliability of our electrical system. Going back at least to 2019, the university has engaged BGE leadership in this effort, as our community endured numerous power outages and waited for relief.… Continue Reading BGE Installation of Electrical Feeder Complete

A Continued Focus on Safety, Care, and Support

Dear UMBC Community,   As we look ahead to the remainder of the semester, we know that the usual busyness of this season and the last few weeks of classes and final exams may feel especially challenging in the context of world events, most especially the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Many among our UMBC community continue to feel direct and indirect impacts of the conflict, as well as of the resulting rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia toward Israelis and Palestinians that we are seeing throughout society.    Here on our campus, the month of December brings not… Continue Reading A Continued Focus on Safety, Care, and Support

Free Speech, Respect, and Civil Discourse

Dear UMBC Community, As the crisis in Israel and Gaza deepens, reports of antisemitism and Islamophobia are on the rise, including on college campuses in the U.S. These incidents are deeply troubling, and we know that they add to the anxiety and concern that our own community members are feeling.  College campuses have long been epicenters of activism, including protest against military action and government policy here and abroad. In recent years, campuses also have become targets in American culture wars, in part because of the very values we espouse as institutions of higher learning. Among those core values are… Continue Reading Free Speech, Respect, and Civil Discourse

Caring for Our Community

Dear UMBC Community,   We cannot know how long the war between Israel and Hamas will last, but we know that with each passing day, our own community feels deeply the pain and anguish of what is happening and sympathy and compassion for the people of that region and all that they have lost and will yet lose. And we know that many within our community are increasingly concerned about antisemitism and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hatred everywhere, including here at home. That concern, most especially the need to ensure the safety of our community, is why I write to you… Continue Reading Caring for Our Community

Care and Support for a Fellow USM Institution

Dear UMBC Community,   For the second time in less than a week, a local university community has seen its celebrations marred by gun violence. This time the incident occurred at Bowie State University, one of our fellow University System of Maryland institutions. While the two people injured in the shooting Saturday are not Bowie State students, the campus community is nevertheless feeling the impact of this incident. I have extended a message of care to Bowie State President Aminta H. Breaux, and I know that the entire Bowie State family is in our thoughts.    As we advised last… Continue Reading Care and Support for a Fellow USM Institution

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