Skip to main content
Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


New Awards and Initiatives to Invest in Our Staff

Dear colleagues,

Earlier this year, we announced three new staff-focused initiatives to support the work of our Fearlessly Forward strategic plan commitment to invest in people and communities. Our goal is to create a workplace where staff thrive through new opportunities to learn, lead and advance, and are recognized for their talents and contributions.

Over the past seven months, we have made progress in developing programs centered around recognition, career advancement and professional development. Our focus in these areas is the result of feedback we heard directly from our staff through a survey, idea booths and campus conversations conducted last year. As we continue to champion these initiatives, it is important that we honor the outstanding efforts of our colleagues.

Recognizing our talented and innovative staff

Today, we are thrilled to announce the launch of two inaugural awards that recognize the many valued contributions of our exempt and non-exempt staff. The Terrapin Innovation Award and the MVP Impact Award recognize remarkable ideas and/or a commitment to excellence by staff. Recipients of these awards will be honored at a reception in the spring and receive a $1,000 cash award.

  • The Terrapin Innovation Award recognizes staff members for new ideas that capture the spirit of moving Fearlessly Forward with innovative and creative thinking that benefits their unit, department or the university.
  • The MVP Impact Award recognizes staff members who, over the past year, have demonstrated a Fearlessly Forward attitude of excellence, remarkable service and outstanding contributions that benefited their unit, department or the university.

Let’s invest in each other! We encourage everyone to take a moment and nominate yourself or a colleague. More information about the awards, a slide deck for supervisors, and printable flyers and nomination forms in multiple languages are available on the website. Nominations for both awards are due by October 30, 2023.

Creating new pathways and development opportunities

Our work last year showed that our staff are also interested in more opportunities for career advancement and for staff and supervisors to learn and grow professionally. Our teams have been hard at work developing new and innovative programs to support these needs.

  • University Human Resources and consultants from UMD’s Center for Leadership & Organizational Change are partnering to design and develop the Excellence in Supervision training program. This program centers on supervisors’ abilities to connect employees and teams to the mission of the university, care for their employees, and coach their employees to learn, grow and succeed. Through this program, we seek to transform workplace culture by adopting a human-first orientation to supervision driven by clear expectations and mutual accountability. The program will be piloted with a few campus units in spring 2024.
  • In addition, University Human Resources has formed a Career Pathways Work Group. This group will develop recommendations for staff professional development initiatives and career planning. The twenty-three members of the workgroup, including exempt and non exempt staff, have been identified and will evaluate existing practices this fall. We look forward to sharing updates from this group in the future.
  • Lastly, a consultant is collaborating with University Human Resources to review compensation, identify and address any equity-related issues, and provide recommendations, further solidifying our dedication to fair and competitive compensation practices.

We are energized by the collective efforts across campus, helping us advance our work to invest in people, their well-being and growth, thereby creating the conditions that support their ability to fully participate and thrive in our UMD community.


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