President's Initiatives

2012-2013 President’s Symposium and White Paper Project

Illustration of Davidge Hall with "Civitas" carved into the stone
Civility as a Core Instructional Value 

The 2012-2013 topic aims to answer the following question: How can the University Instill Civility as a Core Instructional Value in Educating Health, Legal and Human Services Professionals?  This topic will provide the opportunity to continue the interdisciplinary conversation begun in the 2011-2012 academic year while shifting the focus to the importance of Civility on a health science, human service and law campus. Examining Civility and how it affects our campus-community should provide a seamless transition from the 2011-2012 discussion of the University’s role in Urban Renewal. 

The 2012-2013 topic aims to answer the following question: How can the University Instill Civility as a Core Instructional Value in Educating Health, Legal and Human Services Professionals?  

This topic will provide the opportunity to continue the interdisciplinary conversation begun in the 2011-2012 academic year while shifting the focus to the importance of Civility on a health science, human service and law campus. Examining Civility and how it affects our campus-community should provide a seamless transition from the 2011-2012 discussion of the University’s role in Urban Renewal. 

Image of front cover from Fellows' White Paper   
Click here to read the Fellows' White Paper.

Click here to view the Speakers Series.

Click here to meet the 2012-2013 President's Fellows.

Click here to view the Lunch & Learn workshops featuring UMB resident experts.

In the broadest sense, ci­vility is about good citizenship and about consciousness regarding how our actions affect the larger community.*  It is about more than good manners and courtesy. In our changing society, civility requires that we do more than just passively ‘tolerate’ the changes that are taking place around us (cultural diversity, individualism and increase use of technology). It involves mindfully adapting our own behavior in the light of others’ needs.** Civility causes people to feel valued, shows respect toward individuals and contributes to mutual respect, positive reciprocity, effective communication and team collaboration.  These themes can easily be tied to those outlined in the University of Maryland’s Strategic Plan; however, many universities are involved in in-depth conversations on how to encourage and enhance civility on their campus.


* Aaronson, Mark Neal, “Be Just to One An­other: Preliminary Thoughts on Civility, Moral Character and Professionalism,” 8 St. Thomas L. Rev. 113, 116–17 (1995).
** Baggini, J. (2004) ‘How to live, love (and text) in the 21st century’ The Guardian, 25 November