UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III takes your questions.
UMBC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), have a longstanding relationship that dates back to the founding of UMBC in 1966. Recently the partnership has grown deeper, with increased ties in research and other areas. How important is this relationship between our universities and where is it heading in the future?
– Richard Byrne ’86
Two institutions are rarely as closely connected as UMBC and UMB. That is especially true when you take note of the difference in our ages. UMBC is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary, which makes us the youngest campus in the University System of Maryland. UMB was founded in 1807, and is the founding campus of the system.
Yet despite our age difference, we are inspired by the same ideals and we both focus on academic excellence.
One of the reasons this campus was created was to feed students to the professional schools downtown. There was a need for students well-prepared in a variety of disciplines – especially in the sciences for the health professions and in the social sciences and humanities for the law school. So from the beginning we have had students preparing to go to UMB.
While we’ve always had a healthy relationship with UMB, our relationship now is stronger than ever. UMB has a very strong and collaborative president in Jay Perman. We trust each other and hold the same values, and when you have that trust and vision, you can achieve marvelous things. We both have a vision of making this state a better place for all of its citizens.
Secondly, UMB also has cooperative and vibrant academic leaders. UMB’s Chief Academic and Research Officer and Senior Vice President, Bruce Jarrell, works closely with UMBC Provost Philip Rous on several initiatives, including the UMBC-UMB Research and Innovation Partnership Seed Grant Program that encourages cross-campus interdisciplinary relationships. Our Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) is organizing exciting joint programs with UMB. And Julie Ross, our dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology, chose to work with President Perman and others at UMB during her prestigious American Council on Education fellowship.
Our relationship is strong because we know each other well. The shuttle bus link that we restored this year between the campuses is very important to that effort. Technology is critical, but I hear of many opportunities that people have taken to build research initiatives between our institutions because of face-to-face meetings.
UMB also plays a role in making UMBC a more beautiful place through the UMB Services Center, which provides construction management support for major projects such as our Performing Arts and Humanities Building and the creation of our new Campus Gateway. It is a rich and collaborative relationship.
To send a question to President Hrabowski, visit www.umbc.edu/magazine