Letters of Commitment

Letter of Commitment from President Jarrell

Dear UMB Community,

I am pleased to share the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) inaugural diversity strategic plan: “Weaving University REPS: Diversity Action and Accountability Plan.” This plan represents a comprehensive and ambitious commitment to promoting equity, access, and opportunity for all members of our community and aligns with UMB’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

It is a dynamic blueprint designed to guide us through a collective journey that fosters respect, understanding, and belonging for everyone at UMB. We aim to create an environment where every student, faculty member, and staff member feels welcome and supported to succeed.

This plan has been thoughtfully crafted, incorporating feedback and insights from various stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I would like to thank those who provided input throughout this process. I especially want to thank Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD, chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer and vice president, and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team for their thoughtfulness and hard work.

I encourage each of you to read “Weaving University REPS: Diversity Action and Accountability Plan” and actively engage in the vital work it requires. We all have a role to play in making our University a model of inclusivity, where every member can thrive and reach their fullest potential.

Thank you for your commitment to our core values, especially those of Equity and Justice represented in this plan.


Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS

Letter of Commitment from Dr. Forbes Berthoud

Dear UMB Community,

In these times of disinvestment in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), anti-EDI legislation and general attacks on equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is choosing to be bold and courageous to live out our core values by creating our inaugural strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. I am honored to share the plan with our University community “Weaving University REPS: Diversity Action and Accountability Plan.” This plan represents our road map for the University’s future of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It is the product of the collective hard work and engagement of students, faculty, staff, and postdocs across UMB. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed their time, research, and expertise.

“Weaving University REPS: Diversity Action and Accountability Plan” is designed to align with the University’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, especially focusing on themes 1 and 3. Theme 3 is University Culture, Engagement, and Belonging, which guides us to create a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive culture of care that collaboratively engages and embraces all members of the University community, and the broader community, with respect and in a manner that fosters belonging, understanding, trust, and equity. Theme 1 of the Strategic Plan challenges us to be accountable for and integrate our University’s core values. With the creation of the diversity strategic plan, we directly address our core values, especially Equity and Justice.

“Weaving University REPS: Diversity Action and Accountability Plan” is guided by four central themes, or REPS: Recruitment and Retention, Experience/Climate, Professional Development and Career Advancement, and Scholarship, Education, and Service. Through REPS, we acknowledge that we are all representatives of a dynamic and diverse university. Through repetition, we become stronger and more resilient, and repetition allows our commitment to equity and justice to become a part of who we are as individuals and as a university. And representation matters.

UMB has long had a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, and anti-oppression, and it is my honor to lead the continuation of this commitment. We also recognize how much farther we need to go in our efforts to attract and retain a diverse student population, a broadly representative faculty, and a widely skilled workforce. This is our opportunity to make greater impact.

Finally, I want to extend sincere gratitude to the countless University community members who contributed their time, ideas, and feedback toward the plan’s creation, and a special thank you to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team for your partnership, dedication, and expertise.

I invite you all to engage with us in the implementation of the goals and objectives of this diversity strategic plan and to consider how we can collectively create the most welcoming living, learning, and working environment, one where all faculty, staff, students, and trainees belong and can make their best contributions to the University’s collective genius.

In partnership and collaboration,

Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD, MA
Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer and Vice President, UMB
Professor, University of Maryland Graduate School