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Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Investing in People and Communities


Dear University of Maryland faculty and staff,

The University of Maryland's strategic plan, Fearlessly Forward, boldly commits to making new and sustained investments in our people and communities. Since Fearlessly Forward launched in February 2022, the university has made historic investments in our people and communities, from compensation to family care to mental health and well-being.

University staff play a vital role in achieving our university's mission and are valued members of our community. With this in mind, campus leadership asked the Center for Leadership & Organizational Change (CLOC) and the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment (IRPA) to collect input from staff about their work life experience.

Last summer, we sought staff feedback through a survey, idea booths and campus conversations. We appreciate our staff's participation in these important initiatives, which gave us invaluable insight into their perceptions of the current state of the workplace and ideas for investments to make work life better. We were pleased and encouraged with the level of staff engagement in these community input activities.

We are pleased to share with you the findings from this work. Among the highlights, we have learned that our staff are interested in:

  • creating more opportunities for career advancement;
  • recognizing staff contributions in new and meaningful ways; and
  • developing more opportunities for staff and supervisors to learn and grow professionally.

Additionally, we found that our staff want us to continue to advocate for competitive pay and quality of benefits, continue flexible work options, and ensure diverse perspectives and identities are welcomed at work. Staff are seeking more support from supervisors and asking for more resources to support their contributions.

We understand how important input and collaboration are and as we continue to build out initiatives to be responsive to staff needs. This semester, after carefully considering our staff's valuable feedback, we are committing to taking action. We are starting that work by creating the following:

  • Career Pathways Work Group: A staff-driven work group to develop and expand pathways and opportunities for staff advancement and professional development.
  • Staff Innovation Awards: A new Staff Innovation Awards program that recognizes staff with cash awards for innovative and impactful contributions to the well-being and advancement of our people and communities.
  • New and Expanded Supervisor Training: Professional development training for managers and supervisors on providing effective and inclusive supervision, cultivating positive work climates, and supporting professional growth of employees.

We also understand and recognize that work flexibility is important to our staff. We are committed to working with campus leaders to explore possibilities that balance flexibility with our commitment to achieving the mission of the university.

In addition to work flexibility, staff placed a high value on competitive salaries and benefits. We are committed to conducting a compensation survey that considers issues of market, salary competitiveness, and equity. We will continue to advocate for increased pay and benefits during the 2023 legislative session.

This is only the beginning. We will share more information about these initiatives as they move forward. In addition to these new commitments, units across campus will continue to make investments in new positions and initiatives to support professional development, inclusion and a positive work environment.

We are united in our commitment to continue to invest in our people and communities.


Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost

Carlo Colella
Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer

Georgina Dodge
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Patty Perillo
Vice President for Student Affairs

Vice President Liaisons, We Invest in People and Communities Committee