Announcements Archive


  • New Dean for the School of Public Health [10.4.16]
  • UMD Names Dr. Keith Marzullo as Dean of College of Information Studies [9.1.2016]
  • Update on the Graduate School [7.21.2016] Read the Report
  • Dr. Sonia Hirt Appointed Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation [6.1.2016]
  • Announcing the New Office of Postdoctoral Affairs [5.31.2016]
  • Dear Colleagues:

    It is with great pleasure that we write to announce the creation of a new Office of Postdoctoral Affairs — a joint initiative from the Graduate School, the Office of Faculty Affairs, and the Division of Research.

    As you know, postdoctoral scholars play a vital role in the University of Maryland's research mission, but they are often not as well integrated into the university community as they might be. The newly created Office will provide basic orientation, information, training, mentoring, and services in support of career development. Dr. Sally Simpson, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Senior Faculty Advisor in the Graduate School, and Dr. Mark Arnold, Director in the Provost's Office of Faculty Affairs, will be leading this effort. In addition, a faculty advisory board will be created to provide oversight and advice.

    The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will be housed in the Graduate School (2123 Lee Building) and will be staffed by a coordinator who will implement programming and other initiatives in support of postdoctoral scholars.

    One of the first actions of the Office will be to conduct a survey of postdoctoral scholars and faculty supervisors at UMD to determine priorities for programming and support. The Office will also serve as a resource for faculty and units seeking to recruit postdocs. In the meantime, we would welcome input from the university community including volunteers to serve on the advisory committee.

    Please join us in support of this new effort as we work together to integrate postdoctoral scholars more fully into our university community and make their time with us as successful and productive as possible.

    Sincerely yours,

    Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost

    Patrick O'Shea
    Vice President for Research

    Charles Caramello
    Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School

    John Bertot
    Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs


  • Calling Fearless Faculty for Fearless Ideas RFP [9.23.2015]
  • Michael Kaiser in Conversation: Reshaping the Arts in America [10.28.2014]
  • Office of the Provost
    College of Arts and Humanities
    The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center


    with Sheri Parks, Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming, College of Arts and Humanities Thursday, Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Reception to follow in the Upper Pavilion.

    To reserve free tickets and for more information, visit or call 301.405.ARTS.

  • RFP For New Coursera MOOCs (Proposals due Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014) [10.21.2014]
  • After nearly two years, UMD has become a leader in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with some of the highest enrollments and most profitable courses offered by Coursera. We have developed 16 courses so far ( with specializations in mobile programming and cybersecurity, and a new specialization in entrepreneurship. These MOOCs have provided unprecedented exposure to UMD expertise, with more than 1.2 million registered students.

    These courses are engaging our faculty in creative use of technology, not only to scale up student learning, but also to analyze teaching methods and resulting learning outcomes to improve course materials and pedagogy. These improvements in teaching methods and materials are then often being used by our instructors in our for-credit classes. When the classroom is "flipped", some of the content is learned outside of class with MOOC material, and class time can then be used for more active, engaging and challenging work. The result is that MOOCs are improving our face-to-face classes.

    While most students take the MOOCs for free, they also have the option of paying a small fee for an authenticated certificate. A good chunk of those fees comes back to UMD to run the MOOC program and to support the instructors in developing and running the courses. Finally, we are also finding success in converting students who take our MOOCs to become paying UMD students, especially for our online professional graduate programs.

    We are now offering a Request For Proposals to develop a new set of MOOCs on the Coursera platform. We plan on adding approximately four new courses funded by the Provost’s Office with the goal of expanding the successes described above. Our goal is to start course development in January with new courses to be offered starting summer 2015. All campus faculty are eligible to apply.

    We will also have an open information session on November 6, 2014, 2-3:30pm in CSS 4402 where we will meet people interested in potentially submitting a proposal. We will give an overview of our partnership with Coursera, where the platform is going, and have plenty of time to answer questions. And we'll have fruit and cookies, so come and learn more.

  • First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) Call for Proposals [4.21.2014]
  • Call for Proposals for FIRE Innovation & Research Streams

    Monday, April 21 2014

    We are pleased to announce a call for proposals for the University of Maryland First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE). UMD FIRE will facilitate inquiry-based experiences for first-year students through participation in faculty-led innovation and research streams. Students will engage with faculty and a peer cohort in the development of skill sets in authentic inquiry, critical thinking, innovation and experimental design, problem solving, leadership and scholarly communication. FIRE will complement existing campus initiatives that catalyze undergraduate involvement in research and support institutional curriculum reform and professional development.

    General information about the FIRE program can be found at:

    Additional information and updates regarding this RFP will be posted to this page.

    This program is an adaption of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) developed at the University of Texas at Austin. More information about the UT FRI and its 25+ streams can be found at:

    Complete RFP Documents

    For a full description of the FIRE program and annotation of proposal requirements please refer to the complete RFP document.

    The Complete RFP Document

    The Pre-Proposal Template

    The Full-Proposal Template

    Key Dates

    Late April 2014
    - RFP Released

    Late April 2014 until Friday, May 30, 2014 (5PM)
    - Intent to Submit Notifications

    Dates To Be Determined
    - Information & Question/Answer Sessions
    - Times and Dates will be posted to:

    Friday, May 30, 2014 (5PM)
    - Pre-Proposals Due

    Friday, June 13, 2014
    - Successful Pre-Proposals Announced

    Friday, June 27, 2014 (5PM)
    - Full Proposals Due

    Friday, July 18, 2014
    - Successful Proposals Announced

    Questions should be directed to:

    Dr. Patrick Killion
    Director of First-Year Research Programs
    Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
    (301) 405-0057

  • Fearless Ideas Course Announcement [4.03.2014]
  • Global Partnerships - Faculty Travel Grant Competition [2.07.2014]
  • Global Partnerships - Staff Travel Grants Competition [2.07.2014]
  • Global Classrooms Initiative Call for Proposals [1.07.2014]
  • Dear University of Maryland Faculty:

    I am pleased to announce the launch of the University of Maryland's "Global Classrooms Initiative." Attached, you will find a Call for Proposals. The Global Classrooms Initiative provides financial support to faculty to develop innovative, project-based courses that bring together UMD students and students from partner universities around the world using various digital technologies. These exciting new courses aim to provide our students with international experiences that mirror the kind of work they will encounter throughout their lives: cross cultural, project-based and virtual.

    For more information on the Global Classrooms Initiative, please contact Dr. Raluca Nahorniac in the Office of International Affairs at

    For more details see the call for proposals: Call for Proposals

    For an application see: Application Form

    Thank you,

    Ross Lewin, PhD
    Associate Vice President for International Affairs


  • Search for Director of the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center [12.18.2013]
  • Notification Procedures for Inclement Weather [11.15.2013]
  • To the Campus Community:

    With the winter season rapidly approaching and colder temperatures upon us, I wanted to remind you of our procedures for alerting students, faculty, and staff of closings, delayed openings, or any other schedule changes due to inclement weather.

    Updates regarding UMD's open or closed status, as well as other schedule changes, will be announced through various channels, including:

    • UMD homepage (
    • Twitter (&UofMaryland; @UMDRightNow and @presidentloh)
    • UMD Alerts
    • UMD Snowline (x5-SNOW or 301-405-7669)
    • Local news outlets via the Web, TV and radio

    As always, our first priority is your safety, and we ask you to do your part to keep yourself and others safe during times of inclement weather. A few helpful reminders:

    • If you haven't done so already, you can sign up for UMD Alerts by visiting
    • Program the campus emergency phone number, 301-405-3333 or #3333, into your cell phone. Report any emergencies immediately to University Police
    • Listen for campus Early Warning sirens if you are on campus. Seek instructions from the resources listed above, as well as 1640 AM radio, 88.1 FM radio, or Comcast cable channel 76 (UMTV).
    • Keep your cell phone and other devices charged prior to severe weather.

    For more information on emergency preparedness, please visit the University of Maryland's emergency preparedness website at:


    Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Recommendations from the Commission on Blended and Online Education [10.25.2013]
  • Call for Proposals for Course Redesign [10.17.13]
    DATE:October 16, 2013
    FROM:Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost
    SUBJECT:Request for Proposals to Redesign Courses

    The University requested and received funding from the University System of Maryland in FY14 to support the redesign of courses with a primary goal of improving student learning and success. This memo is a request for proposals for funds to redesign existing undergraduate courses to meet this goal.

    Course redesign should take advantage of known pedagogies to encourage active learning, student-faculty contact, and student cooperation, as well as strategies to give prompt feedback, to create structures that encourage time on task, and to respect the diverse talents and ways of learning.

    The specific techniques chosen will vary depending on the discipline, course size, and other factors. A number of strategies are possible, such as:

    • Changing from a traditional lecture format to a blended format. The blended format could use various components, including videos, adaptive on-line tutorials, open-source textbooks, etc.
    • Replacing existing lecture and/or discussion sections with active learning settings such as collaborative activities or a learning laboratory.
    • Changing the course structure by replacing a single course with multiple courses or tracks designed to match the preparation and meet the needs of particular sub-groups of students, or by creating smaller modules that could be self-paced and mastery-based.

    More detail about redesign models can be found in the linked document, "Six Models for Course Redesign.pdf". Examples of 120 course redesigns with cost analysis across numerous disciplines can be found here:

    Following strategies that are known to be effective will increase the likelihood of actual course improvements. Nevertheless, you should plan on assessing your redesign. Possible benefits that you can target and can consider measuring include:

    • Reduced number of Withdrawals and grades of D or F
    • Improved student learning (i.e., course skills; learning outcomes achieved)
    • Improved student satisfaction
    • Improved faculty satisfaction
    • Better support for diverse student backgrounds
    • Decreased cost (possibly over time after initial development efforts)

    Proposal Types
    We are accepting two types of proposals - "small" proposals for up to $10K and "medium" proposals for up to $20K. The difference in funding corresponds to how the course redesign outcomes will be assessed. In both cases, proposers are expected to reconsider various elements of the course as described above.

    The "small" proposals are expected to provide a modest effort at assessing any of the above listed course benefits. Assessment techniques could be performed through surveys, comparison with previous offerings, measurement of demographic and outcomes data, etc.

    The "medium" proposals are expected to go beyond simple assessment techniques by providing more compelling comparative analysis. The basic expectation for this approach is to compare the difference between two or more sections of the same course during a single semester where some of the sections are the transformed version, and some of the sections are offered in the original style. While this approach clearly still has numerous uncontrolled differences, it will get closer at understanding the effectiveness of the transformed course. Note that depending on your study strategy, you may have to get IRB approval, and you should factor that into your planning (e.g., plans to publish results of the transformation).

    In all cases, recipients are required to join a Faculty Learning Community that meets approximately once per month in Spring 2014 and Fall 2015 as well a 1 day retreat in early summer. In addition, the campus will provide the services of instructional designer to work with you in developing your course.

    Proposal Selection Criteria

    • Innovation and Impact: Will the proposed learning strategies be effective in educating and engaging students? Will the course structure be innovative, original, and creative? Will students' learning be enhanced significantly? Are other unique elements addressed?
    • Goals and Outcomes: What instructional or community building goals are being addressed?
    • Plan and Feasibility: How will factors such as scale, content, resources, pedagogy, course type, audience, and implementation be addressed?
    • Transferability: How will the proposed learning strategies serve as a model for other sections of the same course and for other courses? How can the proposed course be modified or scaled up to impact other departments or colleges?
    • Assessment: How will the effectiveness of the proposed course be assessed in both a formative and summative manner? Will comparison across multiple offerings be possible?
    • Budget: Are the budget items, and the level of funding requested appropriate?
    • Personnel: Does the lead instructor/team have enough academic, pedagogic, and technical expertise to lead the implementation of the proposal?

    Proposal Details
    The work must begin in Spring 2014 with a pilot to be offered no later than Spring 2015. Assuming that the pilot is successful, the redesigned course should be offered at least two subsequent times starting Fall 2016. The funds will be dispersed as follows: 50% at the time the proposals are accepted, 25% when the pilot is offered, 25% when the course is offered a second time.

    All Faculty are invited to submit Pre-Proposals that must be no longer than 3 pages and should include:

    • Course number
    • Current enrollment
    • Current structure and syllabus
    • Current set of instructors that typically teach the course
    • Description of any specific problems with the course that you are currently aware of
    • How you propose to change the course along with what elements of the course you think it will improve and why
    • Your plans for assessing the success of the redesign effort
    • Budget: Funds may be budgeted for instructor buy-outs, graduate assistants, technology upgrades, and other expenses related to course redesign.

    Selected pre-proposals will be invited to submit Full Proposals that must be no longer than 6 pages. These should include all the information in the pre-proposals with a more detailed description of the following along with responses to any questions about your pre-proposal:

    • The course redesign description
    • Any technology you plan on using and how it will be integrated into the course
    • Assessment plan and anticipated outcomes
    • An implementation plan with a timeline to support the proposed pilot with clear benchmarks
    • Personnel information detailing each proposer's prior academic, pedagogical, and relevant technical experience
    • Justification and description of budget

    Letters of endorsement from the department chair and dean are also required for full proposals. The letters must provide evidence of how the department will support the implementation of the proposal if funded.

    Key Dates:
    RFP released: October 16
    Pre-proposals due December 6
    Successful pre-proposals announced by December 18
    Full invited proposals due February 12
    Successful proposals announced by February 26

    Pre-proposals and proposals submitted through the Center for Teaching Excellence's website at:

    If you have questions, please contact:

    Prof. Ben Bederson
    Special Advisor to the Provost on Technology and Educational Transformation
    (301) 405-2764

  • Call for Proposals for Fearless Ideas Innovation and Entrepreneurship Courses [10.01.13]
  • Call for Proposals for Fearless Ideas Innovation and Entrepreneurship Courses

    The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AIE) seeks proposals for new or revised experiential "Fearless Ideas" courses related to innovation and entrepreneurship that will provide students with the skills and mindset to develop and/or launch their fearless ideas. Fearless Ideas courses should include collaborative, multi-disciplinary project teams, discovery-based learning techniques, or innovative teaching methodologies and/or should focus on the development of innovative thinking or entrepreneurship skills tailored to specific fields of study. Candidate "Fearless Ideas" courses may be new courses or existing courses that have been adapted for this Request for Pre-Proposals (RFP) and should target launch in the 2014-2015 academic year.

    AIE will form a Fearless Ideas course approval committee that will include representatives from throughout campus. This committee will select and fund a diverse portfolio of ten (10) courses that include:

    • A wide range of academic disciplines
    • A mix of lower level (100/200) and upper level (300/400) courses (graduate level courses will also be considered)
    • A mix of courses including those that may satisfy requirements for specific majors, minors, and general education requirements

    Course Goals:
    The goal of Fearless Idea courses is to develop innovators who will have the skills and mindset to embrace, explore, and analyze real-world problems and attempt a variety of innovative solutions to the world's toughest challenges. Fearless Idea courses ideally accomplish the following:

    • Provide students with ongoing opportunities to reach innovative solutions by quickly, relentlessly, and iteratively hypothesizing, experimenting, and learning from both successful and failed experiments
    • Challenge students to take risks, seek non-obvious solutions, and think outside the box
    • Foster collaborative teams with diverse majors, skills, experiences, cultures, and viewpoints
    • Incorporate discovery-based/experiential learning into the curriculum

    Where possible, AIE encourages Fearless Idea courses that satisfy general education requirements, particularly Scholarship in Practice and I-Series. Adaptation of existing general education courses, particularly Scholarship in Practice and I-Series courses, is also encouraged.

    Types of Courses
    AIE seeks a diverse mix of ten (10) courses in response to this RFP. Courses may be reinventions of existing courses (with same course numbers where possible) or entirely new course offerings. Priority will be given to undergraduate-level courses; however, graduate course submissions are also welcome. Where possible, courses should also fulfill general education requirements or requirements for a major or minor.

    Examples of course content to be considered include:

    • Innovation/Design Thinking
    • Innovation tailored to a specific field of study
    • Lean Start-up Methodology
    • Entrepreneurship tailored to a specific field of study, for example - the arts, agriculture or non-profits

    Faculty participants whose Fearless Idea course proposals are selected will be expected to teach the course three (3) different semesters and will receive $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 each semester, respectively, in recognition of their contributions to improving undergraduate/graduate learning. Faculty have the option of using these funds for salary or professional activities related to teaching and learning.

    In addition, faculty will be named Distinguished Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows. These faculty will form a learning community and participate in regular meetings throughout the semester during which the Fearless Ideas course is first offered.

    RFP ReleasedOctober 1, 2013
    Pre-proposals Due:November 11, 2013
    Approved Pre-Proposals Announced:November 18, 2013
    Proposals DueJanuary 15, 2014
    Courses SelectedJanuary 31, 2014

    Further details are in these additional documents:

    1. Full Request for Pre-Proposals for "Fearless Ideas" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Courses
    2. RFP Summary Slides for Fearless Ideas Courses

    If you have questions, please contact either:

    Kim WallaceDean Chang
    Director of Program ManagementAssociate Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Academy for Innovation and EntrepreneurshipAcademy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Call for Proposals for next round of Coursera Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) [05.06.13]
  • Call for Proposals for next round of Coursera Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

    UMD is in the midst of offering an exciting first round of five freely available online courses through Coursera ( These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), with about 175,000 registered students within UMD courses, provide great visibility to all of us. In doing so, they help faculty develop new materials which can benefit their on-campus students, they provide the basis for a new line of educational thinking and research, and they increase the pool of potential matriculated students.

    As one approach in our consideration of a wide range of efforts to improve our courses and to use technology in doing so, we are planning on adding another set of about five courses through Coursera.

    We will use a two-step, fast-paced process which will enable these courses to be offered during the Fall 2013 semester. All campus faculty are eligible to apply. We encourage a wide variety of faculty to propose course offerings.

    There are a number of reasons for our campus to pursue MOOCs. To help explain our reasoning, here are some of them:

    • Creating a MOOC can help improve faculty's teaching on campus because they have deeply engaged in the material in a new way, and they can re-use the material in their campus classes. They will also be exposed to students from a wider variety of cultures and contexts, helping them to consider how they think about the material in the more focused context of a classroom. Teaching thousands (or tens of thousands) of students provides data about how students are learning the materials at a scale not otherwise attainable, and thus offers opportunity for analytical study and research about teaching effectiveness.
    • Teaching a MOOC is likely to encourage conversations and thinking about teaching among your colleagues on campus. We have already seen this, and hope that MOOC instructors will use this as an opportunity to engage their colleagues in broader discussions about teaching and learning.
    • Doing so provides visibility to UMD which gives us a number of opportunities to recruit new students to campus. In addition to implicitly representing the breadth and excellence of UMD, we can also directly reach out to students, encouraging them to attend UMD.
    • We are directly educating Maryland students. Approximately 4% of the students participating in our current MOOCs are located in Maryland.

    While this RFP is directed to MOOCs using Coursera, we are also investigating alternative platforms, and there may be further options for delivering MOOCs in the future

    Finally, as you consider if you would like to propose the creation of a MOOC, there are a number of additional resources available to you including:

    1. A summary of quality expectations [link]
    2. The agreement that a faculty member will have to sign [link]
    3. Summary of responsibilities of each party [link]
    4. Information about copyright in publicly visible courses [link]
    5. Experiences from UMD's first MOOC [link]
    6. Library portal on Open Educational Resources:
    7. Access to the Coursera authoring system so you can see what the actual web-based process of constructing a course is like. If you would like access to a "test" course as an instructor, please email

    Here is the full Call For Proposals [link].

    Professor Ben Bederson
    Computer Science
    Special Advisor to the Provost on Technology and Educational Transformation

  • Ben Bederson Appointed Special Advisor to the Provost on Technology and Educational Transformation [04.12.13]
  • We are very pleased to announce that Professor Benjamin B. Bederson has agreed to serve from now until August 2014 as Special Advisor to the Provost on Technology and Educational Transformation. Ben will lead our efforts, in coordination with the Vice President for Information Technology, during the next year to determine our path forward for the broad set of activities that fall under "online and blended learning."

    Due to current rapidly changing opportunities and initiatives involving technology in learning and teaching, many universities are creating specific offices to develop effective strategies for moving into this new area. Starting from the excellent work done over the past year by the Provost's Commission in Blended and Online Education, Ben will be working with faculty and staff in academic units across campus to create a blueprint for UMD, based on recommendations that will emerge from the BOE commission. This blueprint will include not only where we should be focused in blended and online instruction, but also how we can best position our resources to provide more support for faculty in their use of technology to improve student learning, retention, and graduation.

    Dr. Bederson is a Professor of Computer Science and prior director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) and iSchool. An ACM Distinguished Scientist, his research is on technology-enhanced education, interaction strategies, crowd sourcing, mobile device interfaces, and digital libraries.


    Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost

    Brian D. Voss
    Vice President for Information Technology

  • Global Semester in Washington, D. C. program [04.04.13]

    A collaboration of the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of International Affairs
    The Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of International Affairs are happy to announce the launch of the new Global Semester in Washington, D.C. program for FY2013-14. Applications are now available for students. Please share this news with directors, professors, and advisors. This innovative internship program combines a fall seminar taught by expert practitioners with a spring internship in the Washington, D.C. area. The program is open to talented undergraduate students from all majors and will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and experience to become leaders in an increasingly globalized society. Classes bring students in contact with professionals who share their knowledge, expertise, and perspectives. The spring internship placements are with international organizations, agencies, embassies, and more.
    The Fall Seminars and Instructors:
    UNIV389F: Science Diplomacy: Foreign Policy and Science, Technology, and Innovation
    Team-taught by Jonathan Margolis, Ph.D., Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health; and Griffin M. Thompson, Ph.D., Senior Climate Change Program Manager; both with the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, U.S. Department of State.
    Science Diplomacy requires enhanced linkages between our scientific and technological communities and our foreign policy makers to help ensure that our policies are technically sound, programmatically viable and politically feasible. This seminar will examine the growing nexus between foreign policy and science, technology, & innovation with specific sectoral assessments to include climate change and energy, public health, space and innovation, and economic development.
    UNIV389D: Foreign Policy and Security in the Developing World
    Team-taught by Rhoda Margesson, Ph.D., Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division; and Bruce Vaughn, Ph.D., Acting Section Research Manager and Specialist in Asian Affairs; both with the Congressional Research Service.
    This seminar will examine foreign policy and international security issues primarily from the perspective of the practitioner in the context of the developing world. Areas of policy focus may include geopolitical dynamics, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, immigration and refugee issues, diplomacy related to emerging trade and political architectures, human rights, environmental and human security policy, foreign aid, economic development, democracy promotion and good governance initiatives. Go to the website for more details:

  • Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship [01.28.13]
  • I am pleased to announce the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland will launch in Fall 2013. Created to develop a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across all colleges and curriculum, the Academy will include classes, workshops, and a host of outside-the-classroom experiences.

    The Academy will play an integral role in encouraging students all across campus, regardless of their course of study, to explore their innovative ideas and will empower them to put their knowledge into action.

    I am also delighted to inform you that Dr. Dean Chang has agreed to lead this signature initiative as associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship for the University. Charged with coalescing and expanding entrepreneurial activities on campus, Dean is the perfect candidate to lead the Academy and ignite students' entrepreneurial spirit. Dean has extensive experience working with students on venture creation and incubation and is a strong advocate of preparing students to compete in the 21st century by weaving technology, business, and entrepreneurship together.

    Leading up to the launch, the Academy will select faculty liaisons with representatives from each of the 15 deans; student liaisons with representatives from various schools and undergraduate and graduate programs; and a board of visitors.

    The University of Maryland prides itself on being a pioneer in educating the next generation of entrepreneurs, and we look forward to the incredible ideas and creations that emerge as a result of the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

    Please join me in congratulating Dr. Dean Chang on his new role and thanking him for his ongoing service in making the University a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.


    Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost


  • Steve Fetter Appointed Associate Provost for Academic Affairs [12.03.12]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Steve Fetter as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, effective January 1, 2013.

    Steve has been a professor in the School of Public Policy at UMD since 1988 and served as Dean from 2005 to 2009. He took leave from the University from March 2009 to August 2012 to serve as Assistant Director At-Large in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

    Steve is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a recipient of the APS Joseph A. Burton Forum Award for contributions to the public understanding of issues involving physics and society. He has been President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and a member of the Director of National Intelligence's Intelligence Science Board, the Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Energy Institute and the Arms Control Association, and the Board of Editors of Science and Global Security. He served as Vice Chairman of the Federation of American Scientists and received its Hans Bethe 'Science in the Public Service' award. He has served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, including the Committee on International Security and Arms Control. In 1993-94 he served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy and received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. He has worked in the State Department as an American Institute of Physics fellow and as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow. He has been a visiting fellow at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs, MIT's Plasma Fusion Center, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He also served as Associate Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute and has been a consultant to several U.S. government agencies.

    Steve received an S.B. in physics from MIT in 1981 and a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985.

    I know Steve will be a highly effective member of the Provost's senior staff, and I look forward very much to working with him. Please join me in welcoming Steve to his new role at this great University.


    Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Cynthia Hale Appointed New Associate Vice President for Personnel and Budget [10.23.12]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Cynthia R. Hale as the new Associate Vice President for Personnel and Budget in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, effective November 19, 2012.

    From her long and distinguished record of service to the University of Maryland, many of you will already know Cindi as a highly regarded, competent, and dedicated member of the UMD staff. Since 2008, she has served as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, where she was instrumental in helping Dean Caramello with the implementation of strategic program initiatives and enhancements to Graduate School operations. From 1983 to1993 she served as Director of Administrative Services for the Department of Computer Science, and in 1993 she moved to the college of Behavioral and Social Sciences as Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration. In 2005 she began her role as the Director of the Office of International and Executive Programs for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (2005-2012), which manages the University of Maryland's degree programs in China and Vietnam as well as multiple training programs for Chinese officials and Maryland state agencies.

    Cindi is an exemplary campus citizen. During her career at the University, Cindi has given generously of her time and talent, serving on the Senate and the Senate Executive Committee and as the Founding Chair of the Council of University System Staff (CUSS). She was the academic affairs representative to the initial collective bargaining committee and Corporate Secretary for the University Research International Corporation and was also a long time member of the Equity Council, the Chair of the President's Commission on Women's Issues, a member of the Athletic Council, a member of APAC. She is currently the Chair of the President's Task Force on Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures. In 1997, Cindi received the President's Distinguished Service Award.

    I know Cindi will be a highly effective member of the Provost's office senior staff, and look forward very much to working with her. Please join me in welcoming Cindi Hale to her new role at this great University.


    Mary Ann Rankin
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • The University of Maryland Discontinues its Participation in the Academic Common Market [8.23.2012]


  • New Chief Diversity Officer Appointed [10.3.11]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden as Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, effective January 1, 2012. Dr. Shorter-Gooden will report to the Provost and will work closely with the President.

    Dr. Loh and I recognize in Dr. Shorter-Gooden a diversity professional who works well across all identity groups and academic disciplines. She is particularly accomplished in the area of diversity curricular goals and innovation. She will be charged with carrying out the University's diversity strategic plan and, as the University's first CDO, she will serve as chief equity officer and primary spokesperson on diversity issues.

    Dr. Shorter-Gooden currently serves as Associate Provost for International-Multicultural Initiatives at Alliant International University, located on six California and three international campuses. She was the first chief diversity officer at Alliant where she was charged with overseeing the implementation of the university's multicultural/ international plan, which includes competencies for students, faculty, staff, and administrators. She is credited with developing a policy and plan to increase the diversity of Alliant's faculty; establishing a policy on religious observance that is affirming of the diverse beliefs in the university community; establishing annual themed diversity programming; overseeing a successful Latino/a achievement and retention initiative; and helping to internationalize Alliant's campuses.

    Dr. Shorter-Gooden earned her BA with high honors at Princeton where she was part of the first class of women graduates. She earned her PhD and MA at the University of Maryland, College Park, both degrees in clinical/community psychology. She is a licensed psychologist in the State of California and a Fellow in Division 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women) as well as Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues) of the American Psychological Association.

    Dr. Shorter-Gooden has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and as many invited conference presentations. She is the co-author of "Shifting: The double lives of Black women in America" (2003 HarperCollins), which won the American Book Award. She is a member of the editorial boards of two journals: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology and Consulting Psychology Journal.

    In accepting our invitation to join the University, Dr. Shorter said, "I am impressed with the significant work that the University has been engaged in and excited about your plans to fully realize a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environment."

    President Loh and I are confident that Dr. Shorter-Gooden will be an invaluable member of the University community who will serve with distinction. Please join us in extending to her a very warm UMD welcome.


    Ann G. Wylie
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Blended Learning Initiative [07.1.11]
  • An Innovative Learning Opportunity for Students at the University of Maryland
    July 1, 2011

    The University of Maryland has launched a new initiative to develop innovative learning opportunities for students. It involves the complete redesign and implementation of ten challenging undergraduate courses from across the campus into blended learning formats. A blended learning course involves a combination of face-to-face and online interactions, built on a rich collaboration environment that includes a variety of information sources such as multimedia data, social technologies (such as blogs, Wikis, Twitter), simulations, and visualization for individual and collaborative learning and for team projects. With funding from the office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, this initiative ushers in a new paradigm of undergraduate education of the highest quality, at the same time providing a model for enhanced student-faculty interaction and more efficient use of institutional resources. The faculty leading these efforts will constitute a corps of Blended Learning Faculty Fellows, who will serve as the initial resource and catalyst for technology-based innovations on campus. They will be supported over the next twelve months by a team from the Office of Information Technology and the Center for Teaching Excellence in addition to the long-term commitment by the departments and colleges to continue to enhance these courses. This new initiative complements the University's new plan for General Education and other recently announced undergraduate initiatives, which together will transform undergraduate education on campus and establish the University of Maryland as a national leader in educational innovation.

    Brief descriptions of the ten undergraduate courses to be redesigned by the end of Fall 2011 are provided below.

    ARCH 170: Introduction to the Built Environment, led by Drs. Luis Diego Quiros Pacheco and David Cronrath (Dean of Architecture)
    Introduction to the Built Environment, a General Education course in the Humanities, explores the conceptual, perceptual, behavioral, and technical aspects of the environment through methods of analysis and problem-solving. This project integrates an interactive multi-media online text, online weekly evaluations, online student performance assessments and virtual live and recorded lecture discussions and problem-solving examples. Taken together, this new format will enable a reduction of in-class time, increased flexibility for students and faculty, and prepared lecture material to be content specific, integrating questions raised by students. The revised course uses three major e-learning tools: Wimba Classroom to conduct "live" discussion groups and record the interactions for other students to watch; a hyper-linked text planned to be delivered through ELMS; and weekly online evaluations through the use of blogs, wikis, and other online tools.

    BMGT 340: Business Finance, led by Dr. Susan White
    This is the introductory finance course required of all business majors. Blended learning approaches will provide students with the tools to develop a solid grasp of the fundamental concepts and learn the necessary skills for data collection, analysis, evaluation and synthesis. Instead of practicing finance concepts in weekly discussions, students will apply finance theory to companies that they are assigned to work with using Camtasia videos on ITunesU, power point animations illustrating key finance concept, Wimba sessions, social networking assignments, Panopto and voice-over power point recordings, all of which will replace several classes. This strategy will make it feasible for faculty to devote more time to interact directly with students on their individualized projects.

    BSCI 410: Molecular Genetics, led by Drs. B. Booth Quimby, Caren Chang, Zhongchi Liu, Steve Mount and Leslie Pick
    This is a conceptually challenging advanced genetics course emphasizing the molecular basis of gene structure and function in the context of modern approaches to genetics; it is one of the cornerstone courses for biological science majors. Numerous concepts in genetics are not conveyed well by a lecture or a textbook and can be effectively taught through the use of online simulations, models, visualizations and database tools. Therefore, molecular genetics is ideally suited to a blended learning approach. Furthermore, there is already an enormous range of online resources available. Perhaps most important is the fact that the field itself is increasingly based upon integration of shared genomics databases and analysis tools made available by the research community. With the ongoing and ever-expanding revolution in genomics, students must be well-prepared to make the best use of this online environment. The re-designed BSCI 410 course will integrate self-paced online learning, face-to-face lectures and cooperative problem solving/discussion to upgrade the course to a fully blended learning experience.

    COMM 382: Essentials of Intercultural Communication, led by Dr. Meina Liu
    This course, one of a suite of courses approved for the University's new Cultural Competence category for General Education, is designed to expand students' understanding of the role of culture in shaping the ways in which we communicate with and relate to others. In a blended learning format, students will watch a weekly lecture online, take an online quiz, complete homework assignments, and attend a 75-minute face-to-face meeting led by the instructor and two graduate TAs. The face-to-face time with the instructor and the TAs will be dedicated to reviews of lecture materials, group discussions, role-play exercises, or other in-class activities that are relevant to the online lectures, so as to integrate theoretical and experiential knowledge in ways that are meaningful to the students' personal and professional lives.  Revised 11/11.

    ECON 200: Principles of Microeconomics, led by Drs. Marianne Hayek, Cindy Clement and Robert Schwab
    This course introduces students to economics and provides a framework for evaluating and analyzing a broad range of policy issues such as trade restrictions, environmental protection, provision of public services, taxes, minimum wage laws, and inequality. It is usually taught by lectures to 400 students; nearly 3,000 students take ECON 200 each year. In Spring 2012, the Department of Economics will offer a section of ECON 200 that will employ a blended learning approach, combining a variety of online information sources and web-based teaching tools with face-to-face instruction. The online instructional materials will include economic experiments, articles, blogs, film clips and news reports that motivate students to directly engage with microeconomic concepts applied to real-world issues. It will also provide improved methods for students to ask questions and practice using basic concepts, terms and definitions. Classroom instruction will emphasize active learning, student participation in simulations, collaborative exercises, and problem-solving activities.

    ENGL 393: Technical Writing, and ENGL 101: Academic Writing, led by Lea Chartock and Dr. Linda Macri
    The English Department's Writing Programs serve over 9,000 undergraduates annually, satisfying the Fundamental Studies writing requirements for General Education. Several sections of English 101, Academic Writing, and English 393, Technical Writing, a key Professional Writing Program course, will be transformed into a blended learning format. In the blended approach, many typical activities of the writing classroom, including peer workshops and discussions of model texts, will move online, a change that will increase opportunities for students to write and receive feedback while maximizing the benefits of face-to-face class time for guided practice and revision. These blended learning writing courses will enhance student learning by creating environments that are available when students need them, thus shaping the course experience to each student's own learning style and pace.

    GEOL 120: Environmental Geology, led by Dr. Saswata Hier-Majumder
    This General Education Natural Science course focuses on the fundamental principles of environmental geology; the causes, effects, and settings of natural disasters; the natural resources and pollution; and scientific visualization of environmental models. The Blended Learning approach is implemented through the use of online multi-media content, multi-mode interaction and collaboration technologies, and information sharing through social networks. The combination of face-to-face and online interaction is implemented by: a) reducing in-class lectures by posting over half of the lectures as You Tube videos; (b) using clickers so that students can contribute more effectively to in-class discussions and quizzes; (c) using scientific simulation data to visualize environmental processes using open source software; (d) distributing and sharing information on environmental issues and natural disasters via social networks; (e) providing online quizzes and midterm exams; and (f) enabling students to participate in peer-reviewed, collaborative term projects and presentations instead of a traditional final exam.

    JOUR 150: Introduction to Mass Communication, led by Dr. Ron Yaros
    This course is an overview of mass media. It engages the students in issues related to today's communication channels including ethics, libel and privacy, as well as the importance of the news profession in a democratic society. The course will be transformed into a new "blended" format that utilizes and tests multiple technologies for enhanced student engagement and learning. State-of-the-art web tools, social media, mobile devices plus a custom app for the iPhone, iPad and Android will all be deeply integrated into the course. These tools will help students to interact with each other and with course content during face-to-face meetings and also virtually between classes.

    KNES 370: Motor Development, led by Dr. Marcio Oliveira
    This core Kinesiology course leads students toward an understanding of the development processes that underlie movement coordination and control throughout the human lifespan. The blended learning format will encompass a range of instructional styles made possible by the rich array of online tools and systems that will enable the development of strategies to meet different students learning needs. In this course, online material will be blended with face-to-face presentations to create a virtual multisensory environment in which students will be able to choose and explore different learning strategies and assessment tools. This will include the potential to learn through reading, listening, watching, interacting, playing learning games, practicing skills, reviewing, re-constructing, and even creating new course content.

    SPAN 301: Advanced Grammar and Composition, led by Dr. Roberta Lavine and colleagues
    Writing skills are among the most difficult to acquire -- and to teach -- in another language. Taught entirely in Spanish, Advanced Grammar and Composition I, is one of two gateway courses for all students who wish to take upper-level Spanish classes. The new blended format will enhance student acquisition of second-language skills by rationalizing the use of time and resources, maximizing the potential for individualized learning, and expanding the range and real-world connection of skills acquired and texts produced. This format will also allow a strong focus on collaborative writing and teamwork skills, as well as providing individual help and guidance for all students.

  • Call for Proposals of I-Series Courses [06.28.11]
  • Dear Faculty:

    The Office of Undergraduate Studies welcomes proposals for new I-Series courses for the University's General Education program for FY13 (Fall 2012, Spring 2013). I-Series course proposals may be submitted at any time. Course proposals submitted by October 1 will be reviewed and approvals announced by November 1. Course proposals submitted by March 1 will be reviewed and approvals announced by April 1. Proposals are to be entered in the online system and signed-off by the department and college. As always, departments and colleges determine when these courses will be scheduled for teaching.

    In the fall of 2009, the University's Task Force on General Education initiated the I-Series courses, designed to be the signature courses for the new General Education curriculum and to provide faculty an opportunity to develop innovative courses for undergraduates that are issue-driven explorations into a variety of intellectual endeavors. The faculty responded enthusiastically to the challenge. Beginning Fall 2012 (FY13) entering freshmen will be under the new General Education program, and by that time the I-Series offerings will be in full swing. As the centerpiece of the University's new General Education program, I-Series courses will become the intellectual and pedagogical marker for which the University of Maryland is known: broad and searching analytical thinking about significant issues. In branding the University's General Education curriculum, the signature courses begin the process of defining what is unique about education at the University of Maryland. Through these courses, students will be challenged from their first moments on campus to master the intellectual tools needed to wrestle with matters of weight and consequence.

    We welcome your participation in this endeavor.

    For more details see the current call for proposals:

    To view the I-Series courses to date, see:

    To submit your course online, see:

    If you have questions, please direct them to Doug Roberts, Associate Dean for General Education (, or to me (

    We look forward to receiving your proposals.



    Donna B. Hamilton
    Associate Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Studies University of Maryland
    2110 Marie Mount Hall
    College Park, MD 20742
    Tel. 301-405-9354
    Fax 301-314-9896

  • New Policy on Student Medical Absences [06.02.11]
  • To Members of the University of Maryland Faculty:

    I am writing to bring to your attention a new policy covering absences from class due to the illness of a student. It is University policy to excuse class absences that result from a student's own illness. In May, the University Senate passed and President Loh signed a new policy for granting excused absences, which can be found at: .

    Under the policy, the University will accept as an excused absence a self-signed note from a student who has missed a single lecture, recitation, or laboratory, attesting to the date of the illness. The note must also contain an acknowledgement by the student that the information is true and correct and that providing false information is prohibited under Code of Student Conduct. The student is also obligated to make a reasonable attempt to inform the instructor of his/her illness in advance.

    The policy also requires that each instructor establish a written policy for non-consecutive, medically necessitated absences from more than a single lecture, recitation, or laboratory. This policy should be included on the syllabus and provided to students at the beginning of the semester. In establishing a policy for the class, instructors are encouraged to review the University's Assessment and Attendance policy located at .

    Instructors must also clearly identify on the syllabus any activity that qualifies as a "Major Scheduled Grading Event" since the requirement for accepting a self-signed note does not apply to these events.

    A student who experiences a prolonged absence or an illness preventing attendance at a major Scheduled Grading Event is required to provide written documentation of the illness from the Health Center or an outside health care provider, verifying the dates of treatment and the time period during which the student was unable to meet academic responsibilities.

    These changes in policy will be in place beginning in the Fall Semester 2011.

    Ann Wylie
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • New Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences [05.18.11]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Jayanth Banavar as Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, effective August 15, 2011.

    Professor Banavar currently serves as Distinguished Professor and The George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head of Physics at The Pennsylvania State University. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) (1972) and an M.Sc. (1974) in physics from Bangalore University. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pittsburgh (1978). During his tenure as Head, the department enjoyed a significant increase in the NRC rankings, and he has fostered collaborations with the life sciences through several joint appointments. He held research positions at Schlumberger-Doll (1988-91), Bell Laboratories (1981-83), and the University of Chicago (1978-81). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Dr. Banavar's knowledge and creativity extend from the physical to the life sciences, and his publications in the highest impact journals have brought him international visibility and eminence. The breadth and quality of his work uniquely qualify him to lead the new college.

    Dr. Banavar's research interests include: metabolic scaling in living organisms, river networks, patterns underlying gene expression profiles, continuum deductions from molecular hydrodynamics, biodiversity and ecology, the geometry and physics of proteins, the physics of porous media, and the nature of ordering of spin glasses. He has more than 250 publications in refereed journals, 11 book chapters, co-edited a book, and holds three patents.

    Dean Halperin has graciously agreed to serve an additional six weeks until Dr. Banavar begins.

    I am most grateful to members of the search committee, chaired by Dean Darryll Pines, for their expeditious and diligent work, which was made even more difficult by the truly outstanding caliber of candidates for this position. With the appointment of a new dean and the support of the highly capable CMNS community, President Loh and I are extremely optimistic about the future of the College.

    Ann Wylie
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Prof. Jonathan Wilkenfeld to Head International Programs [04.14.11]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jonathan Wilkenfeld as Interim Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for International Programs, effective July 1, 2011. In this capacity, Dr. Wilkenfeld will work with both the Provost and the President in the strategic planning and direction of the University's international programs. It is expected that he will serve at least one year, with the appointment extended as required until the search for this position is completed.

    Dr. Wilkenfeld holds the rank of Professor in the Dept. of Government and Politics and is currently Director of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland. He has been an Affiliate Faculty member in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) since 1995. Dr. Wilkenfeld joined the Maryland faculty in 1969. He also served on the faculty of the Dept. of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1975-1979. He has served the University of Maryland with distinction in various positions, including Chair of the Department of Government Politics (1990-2002), member of the campus Academic Planning Advisory Committee (2000-2003), and member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and Chair of its Major Initiative Committee on International Programs (2007-2008).

    His research in political science focuses on international relations, the origins and resolution of international conflicts and crises, and the use of simulation models to study the causes of conflicts and their resolution. He has been the Co-director of the International Crisis Behavior Project since 1977. He is a co-founder of the International Communications and Negotiation Simulations Project (ICONS) at the University in 1981, an Internet-based distributed foreign policy simulation project that has reached students in hundreds of universities and high schools around the world for the past 30 years. He is a Co-Principal Investigator, Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University since 2005. His research has been supported by external grants throughout his career, including continuous support in the period since 1995 by the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, and more recently the Department of Homeland Security.

    Dr. Wilkenfeld received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association's Foreign Policy Section in 2004, and the Distinguished Scholar Teacher Award from the University in 2009.

    I am confident that Dr. Wilkenfeld will be an invaluable member of my senior staff and will continue to serve the University with distinction in his new role as Interim Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for International Programs.

    Ann Wylie
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Panel Discussion: Japan's Nuclear Crisis [03.28.11]
  • Request for Proposals to Develop Innovative Blended Learning Courses [02.11.11]
  • Blended Learning Committee Report [02.07.11]
  • University's Rise in Latest Kiplinger's Rankings [01.05.11]

University's Rise in Latest Kiplinger's Ranking

Dear Members of the Campus Community:

Last year, I shared with you the news of the University's rise in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's list of 100 "Best Values in Public Colleges." This ranking is a based on a score that combines excellent academic quality (which accounts for about two-thirds of the score) with economic value. Once again, I am pleased to report that the University has continued its rise in this ranking. The University of Maryland ranked 5th on the just-released 2011 list, up from 8th in 2010, 9th in 2009, and 28th in 2008. We have moved from the 28th place to 5th in three years!

Among the highlights of Maryland's achievement:

  • Maryland jumped from 8th to 5th on the list for resident students, and from 11th to 6th for non-resident students. What is particularly impressive is our rise in the non-resident ranking as our non-resident tuition has been increasing steadily. It is clearly the improvement in the academic quality of our programs that propels the overall standing upward.
  • Once again, among our designated peers, our value to both resident and non-resident students exceeded that of UC Berkeley, UCLA, Illinois, and Michigan. Only the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was ranked higher.

This accomplishment is a tribute to the dedication, hard work, and support of the entire UM community. We can be proud of our success in providing an exceptional education experience that is both accessible and affordable.

This advancement reflects our progress relative to a number of important goals outlined in the University's Strategic Plan. If we remain steadfast in implementing the Strategic Plan, I am confident the quality of our programs and hence our reputation and stature will continue to rise.

Nariman Farvardin
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost


  • Global Communities: A New Living-Learning Program [12.22.10]
  • Global Communities: A New Living-Learning Program

    The University has made significant progress this year in enhancing our living-learning programs and creating new educational opportunities for students to learn about the global community. Expanding our programs that address issues of globalization and help prepare our students to be engaged and productive global citizens is one of the central commitments in the Strategic Plan.

    We have sought proposals from the colleges for two types of new programs in global studies: a global minors study program and a living-learning program that would serve incoming students. These requests were contained in an RFP written by the Provost's Committee on Global Studies, chaired by Donna Hamilton, Dean for Undergraduate Studies. The recently created Global Minor Studies Program is the successful outcome of this initiative, providing students opportunities with a wide variety of interests to address issues of globalization.

    At this time, I am pleased to announce the new Global Communities program, a two-year living-learning program for first-year students that provides an introduction to global issues from a social science perspective, demonstrating the social interconnections on a worldwide basis, including financial, cultural, environmental, natural resource, and political realms. Active learning experiences will include student teams engaged in simulation games of political and other types of conflict. Students will have opportunities for experiential learning, examining global issues through internships, service learning, and study abroad.

    The new Global Communities program will be directed by Professor Virginia Haufler. It will serve entering students who are not enrolled in the Honors College or College Park Scholars, helping the University attract talented students with a broad range of academic interests. The program will enroll its first class of students in Fall 2011.

    This new program will replace the existing program by the same name, and will have a significantly larger enrollment than the earlier program. The new program intentionally builds upon and incorporates many of the outstanding features of the earlier program.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Acting President

  • A New Program in the Honors College: Integrated Life Sciences [12.13.10]
  • Following a comprehensive review of our living-learning programs, the University made a commitment to strengthen these programs and made significant initial investments in FY 2010. An Honors College was created, and two new subject-area programs were added: (i) Digital Cultures and Creativity from the College of Arts and Humanities and (ii) Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the James A. Clark School of Engineering. These programs have been popular with students, and the Honors College has made a successful transition toward a curriculum with opportunities for students to choose among programs.

    Students have enjoyed many successes. A three-year project by the Gemstone team, BREATHE, developed a method for treating a harmful algal bloom in the Chesapeake Bay, and subsequently the University received a grant of $800,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for further research.

    We have continued with this commitment in FY 2011, soliciting proposals from the colleges for programs that would expand living-learning programs. Proposals were reviewed by the Provost's Advisory Committee on Living-Learning and Special Programs, chaired by Donna Hamilton, Dean for Undergraduate Studies.

    I am pleased to announce the addition of a new subject-area program, Integrated Life Sciences, from the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, for the Honors College. The Integrated Life Sciences program provides an integrated and rigorous curriculum for the life sciences that incorporates mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and genomics. The program is designed for students interested in different aspects of life sciences, including biological research and biomedical careers. All courses will utilize active-engagement and group-work pedagogies, rather than traditional lectures.

    Students will participate in research experiences with expert mentors, taking advantage of the unrivaled national and private laboratories in the Washington, DC, area; this will include projects in biomedicine (NIH), agriculture (USDA-Beltsville), genomics (J.Craig Venter Institute), microbiology (FDA-College Park), evolutionary biology (Smithsonian Institution), and other topics. The Integrated Life Sciences will enroll students with interests in life sciences from a very diverse set of majors. The program will be directed by Professor Todd Cooke and will include participation by faculty from the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Acting President

  • The New Global Studies Minor Program [12.13.10]
  • Our Strategic Plan charts a course for the University to become the preeminent public institution for students committed to engagement in the global community and to provide an education that gives our students the knowledge and skills to be global citizens and leaders in the global economy. In pursuit of these goals, we are expanding our undergraduate curriculum to address more topics in global studies throughout the University.

    I am pleased to announce the new Global Studies Minor Program, which provides opportunities for students to study how evolving global connections affect the well-being of people throughout the world. Students in the Global Studies Minor Program will develop an understanding and appreciation for how and why interactions across national and ethnic borders are shaped by language, culture, politics, economic development, and conflict.

    The Global Studies Minor Program is interdisciplinary in nature and provides opportunities for students from any discipline or major. The program is comprised of a number of specialization tracks, which address issues from the perspective of different disciplines. Requirements in each track allow students to choose from among a set of approved courses from many disciplines. All students must choose one course from a set of "signature" courses outside of their chosen track, providing all students with exposure to major global issues addressed by another track. All tracks provide an opportunity for an experiential learning component within a student's elective courses, including a study abroad experience. The Global Studies Minor Program will include special activities that involve students across different tracks, such as special speaker forums or participation in major events and experiences in Washington, D.C.

    This program reflects the contributions of a number of colleges, in response to a campuswide solicitation from the Office of Academic Affairs to contribute to the program. Four tracks are included in the inauguration of the program: Global Studies Minor: International Development and Conflict Management (College of Behavioral and Social Sciences);Global Studies Minor: Global Terrorism (College of Behavioral and Social Sciences); Global Studies Minor: Global Poverty (College of Agricultural and Natural Resources); and Global Studies Minor: International Engineering (A. James Clark School of Engineering). The program is designed so that new tracks can be added to meet new student interests.

    The Dean for Undergraduate Studies will have administrative responsibility for the overall program, including budgets. The Global Studies Minor Program will have a coordinating committee, chaired by an associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, which will include the director from each minor as well as student representation.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Acting President

  • A Major NSF Grant to Support Recruitment and Retention of Women Faculty [9.24.10]
  • Today, the National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Maryland an ADVANCE grant titled, "Investing in a Culture of Inclusive Excellence." This grant is a significant milestone in the university's efforts to improve the hiring and retention of women faculty members, and indeed to develop new knowledge that will help all institutions committed to this important cause. I know you share my pride in the leadership role this grant bestows on our university. While the grant focuses on tenure-track women faculty members in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), I fully expect that it will prove highly beneficial to all women faculty members.

    As its title implies, the grant aims to transform our campus environment, at all levels, to become a vibrant source of inclusive excellence. A central premise of the project is that academic environments that act as generative, genuine incubators for professional growth will also retain faculty members and see them more satisfied, committed to their institutions and performing at the highest levels. Through the active participation of all University of Maryland leaders and faculty members, we will work to change the cultures, structures, policies and practices of our environment to be more inclusive in their support of excellence, and to further professional growth in four key areas:

    1. Enhancing faculty learning by providing opportunities for intellectual connection, visibility and recognition in scholarship, funding, policymaking and national discipline-related associations.
    2. Facilitating faculty sense of agency in recruitment into faculty positions, management of work and family balance, the tenure process and promotion to full professor, negotiation of workload and salary, and advancement to leadership positions within their disciplines and on campus.
    3. Catalyzing and engendering faculty relationships and networks by engaging women in peer-to-peer mentoring groups, collaborative grant projects and professional development experiences with senior scholars in their disciplines.
    4. Encouraging the development and achievement of long-term goals and contributions by providing seed money and mentoring for women's promising scientific and entrepreneurial projects.

    More details will follow as the project gets underway.

    I know that you share my great excitement and pride in this award, and join me in congratulating those who worked hard to ensure the proposal's success. They are:

    • Avis Cohen, co-Principal Investigator, Professor of Biology with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research;
    • KerryAnn O'Meara, co-Principal Investigator, Associate Professor of Higher Education; and
    • Darryll Pines, co-Principal Investigator, Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering.

    Further, I am sincerely grateful to all deans for contributing a significant amount of cost-share and human capital in supporting this campus-wide initiative. Together we will achieve the goals of this project and our Strategic Plan, make the campus environment more conducive to the success of all faculty members, and share our knowledge and experiences with leading academic institutions around the world.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Acting President

  • Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Resigns [9.15.10]
  • To the University Community:

    James F. Harris, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, has informed me that he will resign his position on June 30, 2011, marking 14 years on the job. Fortunately, he will remain at the University as a distinguished faculty member in the Department of History.

    Jim came to Maryland in 1967. He became Chair of the History Department in 1993 and Dean of the College in 1997. As Dean, he has worked to raise the visibility and impact of the College by implementing a series of innovative programs in response to social and academic challenges, leaving the College in a much stronger position.

    Some of the College's signature initiatives launched under Jim's tenure as Dean include:

    • A major reorganization and expansion of its language education and research, creating the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and driving the University to national leadership in the field.
    • The creation and growth of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center into a national model for university-based academic and performing arts integration.
    • The creation of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, which provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators, and scholars who are committed to collecting, documenting, and presenting African American art.
    • The development of an integrative approach to Middle Eastern studies, including the creation of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies and the Roshan Center for Persian Studies, the first autonomous, interdisciplinary U.S. center in the field.
    • Collaboration with the Libraries and the Office of Information Technology to create the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, which has become a leading intellectual hub and national center.

    Dean Harris has also shown great vision and effectiveness at the university level, including leadership on the Council of Deans, participation in the institution's strategic planning effort, coordination of the University's 150th anniversary celebration, a significant increase in the number of majors and the talent of the faculty and student body, an increase in sponsored research, and exceeding the College's fundraising goal in support of the University's Great Expectations campaign, a third of which supports student scholarship.

    I have worked closely with Jim for the past ten years, and I have benefitted greatly from his wisdom and collegiality. I will soon appoint a committee to begin a national search for a new dean of the College. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Jim for his outstanding and selfless service to the University of Maryland.

    For a more detailed account of Dean Harris' accomplishments, please visit

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Acting President

  • New Interim Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity Appointed [6.15.10]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lee Thornton as Interim Associate Provost for Equity and Diversity. This part-time appointment will be for the period July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011.

    Dr. Thornton has a distinguished record of service to the University of Maryland. For the past year she served as Acting Associate Dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, during which time she led the unit's self-study for its successful reaccreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). In 2008-09, she served as Interim Dean of the College of Journalism, the first female dean of that College. While in that role, she oversaw the development of the College's strategic plan, and the College became a Carnegie Knight News 21 journalism school, one of only 12 so designated in the nation. As interim dean, she was credited with stabilizing the College in the wake of the unexpected departure of a longtime dean. She chaired Journalism's promotion and tenure process for 12 years and also chaired the campus promotion and tenure appeals committee. Dr. Thornton served multiple terms on campus committees responsible for block grant decision-making, distinguished lecturer decisions, and Banneker Key scholarship selection. In addition, she served on the Research Development Council, the advisory board of American Journalism Review, and the board of Terp Magazine. In 2000 she received a Center for Teaching Excellence award, and in 2005 she was honored by the President and the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars program for faculty mentors.

    Dr. Thornton is highly regarded, not only on campus but also nationally, for her tireless work as an advocate for minorities. She served for four years on the President's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues, which she also chaired. In 2009, she was inducted into ODK for her outstanding leadership and service. She was among those whose exemplary work was recognized at a Faculty of Color event in April 2010. While on the faculty at Howard University (before coming to UM in 1997), Dr. Thornton produced and moderated a Channel 32 program called Pro and Con, which dealt directly with diversity issues and featured HU faculty. In 1991, CNN named her senior producer of Both Sides with Jesse Jackson. That program was CNN's earliest attempt to reach a large minority audience, and it paved the way for many such programs that have followed. In addition, she has lectured widely on women and minorities in the media. A former CBS News correspondent, she was the first African American female regularly assigned to the White House beat by one of the then three broadcast news networks, and she was the first African American host of National Public Radio's popular show, All Things Considered.

    Dr. Thornton holds the Richard Eaton endowed chair, created to help raise the national reputation and visibility of the College in the area of broadcast news. She earned her doctorate in radio-television-film studies at Northwestern University (and was named to their original Council of 100 Outstanding Women). She has concentrated her research efforts on program development for Maryland's UMTV, creating three long-running programs: Front & Center: Journalists on Journalism; Changing Media and the interview program, A Moment With. Those programs have given the University national visibility over the Research Channel and have garnered multiple awards, including the coveted "Telly" and International Communicator (ICA) citations.

    Her professional service is extensive and includes terms on the boards of the Radio TV News Directors Association of Washington, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of Washington, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chapter for the Chesapeake Region. She is a past president of the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served many years as a judge of the White House Correspondents Awards. She currently sits on Northwestern University's National Council of Advisors for the College of Communication.

    I am grateful to Dr. Thornton for agreeing to serve in this important position. Please join me in welcoming her to this new position and in supporting her in the new initiatives she will undertake.

    I am also grateful to Dr. Cordell Black for his distinguished service and for his impassioned efforts to champion equity and diversity for all members of the campus community in this position for the past 19 years.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • Senate Approves New General Education Plan [5.24.10]
  • New I-Series Website [5.19.10]
  • David Cronrath Appointed New Dean of School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation [5.17.10]
  • It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of David Cronrath as Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, effective July 1, 2010.

    Cronrath earned a Bachelor of Architecture (1971) from Pennsylvania State University's College of Art and Architecture and a Master of Architecture (1976) from the University of California at Berkeley, College of Environmental Design. He is currently Professor and Dean of the College of Art and Design at Louisiana State University. He teaches design studios in both the undergraduate and graduate programs and serves on the committee working to develop their 2020 Strategic Plan. Prior to becoming dean, Cronrath served as Professor and Director of the LSU School of Architecture and served on the Steering Committee for LSU's reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities. Before joining the faculty at LSU, Cronrath was the chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has also served on the faculty at Temple University and the University of California-Berkeley.

    Throughout his academic career, Cronrath remained active in both his research and professional activities, as reflected in his record of publications both in academic journals and professional magazines. His area of research is focused on investigations into the relationship between culture and architectural expression.

    Cronrath is a licensed and accomplished architect. He has been the principal architect or a member of the design team for nearly 30 major projects. During his time at Friday Architects and Planners in Philadelphia, the firm won several design awards and national competitions.

    In its annual "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools" rankings issue, DesignIntelligence named Cronrath one of the Most Admired Educators of 2010, a prestigious recognition of educators and education administrators who exemplify excellence in design education leadership. He is the recipient of an award from Tau Sigma Delta (honor society in architecture and allied arts) and a Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects.

    He is an active member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and serves on two national committees that are responsible for the design of the national licensing exam for architects. In addition, he has served as a representative for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture on several accreditation teams that visited architecture programs in the United States, Canada, and the United Emirates.

    I am excited about this appointment and confident that the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation will flourish under his capable leadership. I am grateful to the search committee, chaired by Professor Ali Haghani, for their commendable work which led to the successful appointment of David Cronrath.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • New Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Appointed [4.19.10]
  • I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Juan Uriagereka as Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, effective July 1, 2010.

    Dr. Uriagereka holds the rank of Professor of Linguistics. Since joining the faculty in 1988, he has served the University with distinction in a wide variety of positions at the department, college, and campus levels. He currently serves as chair of the RASA (formerly GRB) committee in the Graduate School. For four years, Dr. Uriagereka was Graduate Director in the Linguistics Department (for which he received a university distinction). He has served on and chaired the APT Committee for the College of Arts and Humanities, and has been responsible for the College's orientation program for new assistant professors.

    Dr. Uriagereka earned his Licenciatura (1983) in Anglo-Germanic Philology from the Universidad de Deustro, Spain, and his Ph.D. (1988) in Linguistics from the University of Connecticut. His research ranges from comparative grammar to the neuro-biological bases of language. He has (co-)directed 20 Ph.D. theses, (co-)authored/edited 8 books and 85 papers/ chapters, and given about 200 talks, including a dozen keynotes. In 1998, he received the Best New Professional Book in Language and Linguistics Award from the American Association of Publishers for Rhyme and Reason. Dr. Uriagereka has received several awards for research, advising, and teaching, and has had numerous visiting professorships at universities on four continents. Participating in many professional groups internationally, he has obtained a dozen research grants, including three from NSF.

    I am confident that Dr. Uriagereka will be an invaluable member of the senior staff in the Provost's office and will continue to serve the University with distinction in his new role as Associate Provost. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Uriagereka to this new position.

    I want take this opportunity to thank Dr. Ellin Scholnick once again for the tremendous amount of time and energy she has selflessly dedicated to the University, not only through her service as Associate Provost but also as an accomplished faculty member and stellar campus citizen for more than 40 years.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • New Report Recognizes Improvement in University Graduation Rates for Under-Represented Minorities [2.26.10]
  • This recent report from The Education Trust focuses on the progress of universities in improving the graduation rates of Under-Represented Minority (URM) students. There are a number of very positive developments, of which we are proud.

    1. Maryland is ranked 14th among the top 25 public universities in the nation for improving graduation rates of minority students in the five-year period between 2002 and 2007. The graduation rate increased during these years by 11.3 percentage points.
    2. Among this select group, Maryland has the fourth highest graduation rate for URM students: 69.4% in 2007.
    3. In this group, Maryland is ranked #1 (tied with UC Santa Barbara) in the graduation rate of all students: 79.9% in 2007.
  • Just Released: Meeting the Challenge of Diversity 1968-1976: The Intensive Educational Development Program and Change at the University of Maryland [2.26.10]
  • Guidelines for Making Up Classes Spring 2010 [02.18.10]
  • To Faculty:

    We have been asked by both the Board of Regents (BOR) and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to inform them of our campus plans to make up the class time lost by the closure of campus February 5-12 as a result of extreme weather. In order to comply, we will be asking all instructors to report via a web-form their primary mechanism for making up lost time for each course.

    We are working with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) to develop a simple web-form to minimize the reporting burden. Details and instructions will be made available during the first week of March, and faculty will be expected to complete the form by Friday, March 12.

    Fortunately, State requirements governing class time per credit hour (attached to the end of this message) offer us substantial flexibility to carry out our educational mission, and a number of options are listed below. Clearly, no single solution will accommodate the wide variety of classroom situations and instruction delivery methods we already use, and in some cases faculty have already taken appropriate measures. We will rely on your good judgment to identify the solution that is best for your course. The make-up plan you select must be approved by your department chair and communicated to your students.

    1. Current Course Delivery Mechanism: Instructors already using some form of electronic delivery may, of course, use the same methods to make up the lost time.

    2. Online Tools: Instructors may also wish to make use of some of the online tools available through OIT. Options range from providing additional content materials in your existing ELMS site, to uploading audio podcasts or video of lectures, to holding online sessions with your students. As examples, during the campus closure, one instructor uploaded relevant files to his ELMS course space and then used the Wimba Live Classroom tool to hold two synchronous review sessions with students. Another instructor recorded audio podcasts and uploaded them for her students into iTunes U. Other faculty continued class discussions online using the Discussion Board tool in ELMS.

      The OIT Learning Technologies group is available to help as you make your plans for any of these options. Additional support for the various tools available can be found at the OIT Emergency Preparedness Resources for UM Faculty website.

      Contact Ellen Borkowski at x5-2922 or for additional information.

    3. Reschedule: For those instructors desiring to reschedule face-to-face meetings with students, classrooms for make-up sessions are available now through April, with the exception of Spring Break week. The best possibilities for rescheduling are Mondays through Thursdays after 5:00 p.m., Fridays after 2:00 p.m., and Saturdays if needed. Instructors should work through their department's scheduling officer to make arrangements; the scheduling group within the Registrar's office is ready to assist and coordinate as needed. Please keep in mind that some students may have prior unavoidable commitments, work obligations, or religious conflicts that may prevent them from attending make-up class periods.

      It would be wise for departmental scheduling officers to check with their dean's office and the various online university calendars to ensure that rescheduled classes do not conflict with major college or campus events.

      While instructors should coordinate their needs through their departmental scheduling officer, questions and concerns may be sent to or you may contact Krista Carter at x4-8249.

    4. Case-by-Case: Rescheduling of laboratory and studio-type classes should be handled on a case-by-case basis within respective departments.

    5. Other: Faculty may opt for another solution that is relevant to their particular course (e.g., additional assignment, paper, reading, etc.).
    Faculty with special circumstances not covered in this memo should consult with their department chair.

    Thank you again for your cooperation and flexibility in these very unusual circumstances to continue to provide our students with the high quality instruction they expect.

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

    Excerpt from Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13B.02.02.16.D

    D. Credit Hours.

    (1) An in-State institution shall award 1 semester hour of credit for:

    (a) A minimum of 15 hours, of 50 minutes each of actual class time, exclusive of registration, study days, and holidays;

    (b) A minimum of 30 hours, of 50 minutes each of supervised laboratory or studio time, exclusive of registration, study days, and holidays;

    (c) A minimum of 45 hours, of 50 minutes each of instructional situations such as practica, internships, and cooperative education placements, when supervision is ensured and learning is documented; or

    (d) Instruction delivered by electronic media based on the equivalent outcomes in student learning in §D(1)(a) of this regulation, and may include a combination of tele-lessons, classroom instruction, student consultation with instructors, and readings, when supervision is ensured and learning is documented.

    (2) One quarter hour of credit is awarded for instruction equivalent to 2/3 of the contact hours required for 1 semester hour of credit.

  • Clark School Gains Three New NAE Members [02.17.10]
  • Dear Clark School Faculty, Staff, Students and Friends:

    It is my sincere pleasure to inform you that three of our own have been inducted this week as members of the National Academy of Engineering.

    The NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates. These are senior professionals in business, academia and government who are among the world's most accomplished engineers. They provide leadership and expertise for numerous academy projects focused on the interconnection of engineering, technology and our quality of life.

    Induction is a great honor to the individuals elected and to the organizations with which they are affiliated. The A. James Clark School-affiliated inductees are:

    John David Anderson Jr., curator of aerodynamics, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. For aerospace engineering and history textbooks and for contributions to hypersonic gas dynamics.

    Ali Mosleh, professor of mechanical engineering, department of mechanical engineering, University of Maryland, College Park. For contributions to the development of Bayesian methods and computational tools in probabilistic risk assessment and reliability engineering.

    Ben Shneiderman, professor of computer science, department of computer science, affiliate of Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park. For research, software development, and scholarly texts concerning human-computer interaction and information visualization.

    Their induction ranks as the greatest number of Clark School-affiliated faculty members ever elected in one year. Considering that only about 70 people are recognized with this honor, we represent nearly 5% of U.S. inductees for 2010.

    Please join me in congratulating John, Ali and Ben for this most prestigious career achievement. Their induction is a testament to the quality of our faculty members and our contributions to the engineering profession. I thank them and all Clark School-affiliated NAE members for bringing great pride and honor to the school and the University of Maryland.

    With Best Regards,
    Darryll Pines
    Dean and Farvardin Professor of Engineering
    Office of the Dean
    Clark School of Engineering
    University of Maryland, College Park

  • University's Rise in Kiplinger's Rankings [01.06.10]
  • Dear Members of the Campus Community:

    It is with great pleasure that I share the news of Maryland's continued rise in stature and reputation, on this occasion reflected in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's list of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges." The University of Maryland ranked 8th on the just released 2010 list. In 2009 we ranked 9th, and in 2008 we were 28th. This accomplishment reflects the dedication and hard work of our entire campus community as well as the Board of Regents' efficiency and effectiveness program and efforts by the Governor and General Assembly to hold down tuition increases. We can be proud of our progress in providing an exceptional education experience that is both accessible and affordable.

    Each year, Kiplinger's ranks the top 100 schools that combine excellent academics (academic quality accountsfor about two-thirds of the score) with economic value. Among the highlights of Maryland's achievement:

    • Maryland jumped from 9th to 8th on the list for resident students, and from 13th to 11th for out-of-state students.

    • Among our designated peers, our value to both resident and non-resident students exceeded that of UC Berkeley, UCLA, Illinois, and Michigan. Only the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was ranked higher.
    This progress reflects our progress relative to a number of important goals outlined in the University's Strategic Plan. As we continue year by year to implement the Strategic Plan, I am confident the quality of our programs and our value will rise even more.

    In addition to advancing in the Top 10, the University of Maryland was also profiled in the February 2010 rankings issue, which hits newsstands today and is online now: .

    Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost


  • Enhancement of Living-Learning Programs [9.09.09]
  • Enhancement of Living-Learning Programs

    In Fall 2008, my office initiated a comprehensive review of our living-learning programs: University Honors, Gemstone, Honors Humanities, College Park Scholars, CIVICUS, Hinman CEOs, and a number of smaller ones. The purpose of the review was to examine thoroughly the strengths and weaknesses of these programs and recommend changes that could advance the University's Strategic Plan goals of enhancing the quality of undergraduate education and enrolling a larger number of academically talented students. The review committee, chaired by Dr. Mahlon Straszheim, submitted its report to me in May 2009, and I shared the report with the Council of Deans and the directors of the living-learning programs.

    I have accepted the committee's recommendation to create an Honors College and enhance the College Park Scholars programs. These actions are an important step toward offering programs that excite, challenge, and inspire our students and notably distinguish our programs from those at other institutions. Both programs will aim to increase academic rigor as well as faculty involvement.

    The Honors College. The Honors College will be home to existing honors programs (University Honors, Gemstone, and Honors Humanities) and will be expanded over time to include new subject-area programs designed to match the interests of today's students, address major societal issues, and take advantage of our location in Washington, DC. The Honors College will provide a comprehensive curriculum that includes both depth of focus in particular topics and breadth of study provided by the extraordinary set of honors seminars presently offered. Students admitted to the Honors College will be given the opportunity to indicate their preferences for specific programs. Students who cannot be accommodated in oversubscribed programs will be enrolled in the existing University Honors program.

    The Honors College will include an expanded number of seminars and H-versions of courses taught by faculty. Additional resources have been provided to the Honors College through the reallocation process to create Faculty Fellows, faculty who will spend time in the Honors College interacting with students in addition to their teaching in Honors courses.

    Two exciting new programs, Digital Cultures and Creativity (from the College of Arts and Humanities) and Entrepreneurship and Innovation (from the James A. Clark School of Engineering) will be the first subject-area programs in the new Honors College. Each program will enroll approximately 75 students beginning in Fall 2010. I appreciate the effort of the sponsoring colleges in identifying outstanding faculty to lead their programs as well as their contribution of resources. These programs are vital to the success of the Honors College and to our commitment as a university to raising our already outstanding Honors programs to a new level of excellence.

    Digital Cultures and Creativity is an interdisciplinary program in which students explore new media technologies through activities as varied as digital music and video production, digital art, creative electronic writing, virtual worlds, software development, and developing online communities. Program activities will engage students as consumers and also sophisticated producers of new digital media. The program will be directed by Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum with faculty participation from the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences and the College of Information Studies.

    Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides the opportunity to learn and live entrepreneurship through courses that build the entrepreneurial mindset, show how innovations are assessed, how markets are identified, and the process of launching a successful enterprise. Student teams will work in an incubator setting to develop an innovative business concept that would offer products or services. Top proposals may receive financial support. The program will be directed by Professor Dave Barbe and will include participation from Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) staff, all of whom have real-life entrepreneurial experience.

    Professor William Dorland will serve as the Director of the Honors College, with responsibility for recruiting, mentoring, creating a sense of community among participants, and coordinating all programs. The Director will also be responsible for program budgets. I will rely on his judgment in making the new Honors College a great success.

    College Park Scholars. Enhancements to College Park Scholars will build on its very successful focus on interdisciplinary themes combined with an educational approach to active learning, student interaction, community involvement, service learning, and research projects. This focus, when combined with the support of very engaged faculty and staff, provides extraordinary educational benefits. Increasing the academic challenges in the curriculum and an expanded emphasis in program marketing will promote further success. Dr. Greig Stewart, Director of College Park Scholars, will guide the program in achieving these goals.

    As a result of the review conducted last year, College Park Scholars made two important program changes that have had favorable impacts on Fall 2009 admissions: (1) revision of the program on the environment, now titled Environment, Technology, and Economy; and (2) creation of a new program, Science and Global Change, sponsored by the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Both have been successfully received; a significantly higher fraction of students enrolled in Fall 2009 ranked these programs as their first or second choice.

    A new College Park Scholars program, Global Public Health (sponsored by the Maryland School of Public Health), will enroll its first students in Fall 2010. Global Public Health provides students with an interdisciplinary examination of the connections between public health and a host of socioeconomic, environmental, and geopolitical considerations. Students will have opportunities for interactions with public health organizations, community-based activities, and practicums that include research, service learning, and study abroad projects. The program will be directed by Professor Donna Howard.

    Strategic Oversight. I have created the Provost's Advisory Committee on Living-Learning and Special Programs to provide oversight and strategic direction to the University's living-learning and other special programs; to conduct assessments, including annual reviews and the development of agreed-upon goals; and to provide oversight of all major program changes, such as the establishment of new programs. Dr. Donna Hamilton, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, will chair the committee.

    Sincerely, Nariman Farvardin
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • Announcement of "I"-Series Courses: Request for Proposals [9.04.09] (pdf)
  • Reorganization of the Office of International Programs [9.01.09]
  • Five New Deans Hired in 2009