2011-2016 Strategic Plan Executive Summary

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has a long, illustrious history of achieving excellence and providing benefit to the state. However, the University, like all institutions of higher education, finds itself in challenging times. Yet these challenges also provided great opportunities.

The University’s 2011-2016 strategic plan was designed to take advantage of these opportunities. UMB created its strategic plan in careful alignment with the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ strategic plan. The plan was created from the work of more than 140 faculty, staff, students, partners, and friends who dedicated tremendous time and energy to its completion. Hundreds more participated in town halls, interactive feedback sessions, focus groups, surveys, and online feedback. The participation was exceptional, but perhaps more impressive was the genuine enthusiasm at all levels for moving the University forward.

Eight themes were identified as major areas of focus for the strategic plan. Work groups consisting of faculty, staff, and students from across the University, with input from town halls, online surveys, and community focus groups, developed the goals and tactics for each theme. Below is a high-level executive summary that outlines the accomplishments as of May 4, 2016.

University of Maryland, Baltimore
Strategic Plan 2011-2016
Draft Five-Year Progress and Milestones
Executive Summary Report
May 4, 2016


Actual and anticipated highlights on progress and successes through June 30, 2016:


Theme 1: Achieve Pre-Eminence as an Innovator 

  • Formed a pre-eminence committee to serve as governing and policy development body to advance a Universitywide bioinformatics research agenda.
    1. Held two symposiums led by experts in the field to discuss relevant issues influencing the development, management, and use of large data sets in research and their corresponding legal and ethical implications.
    2. Developed a set of recommendations to guide UMB development and practices.
  • Increased collaboration with the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the UMB Center for Health-Related Informatics and Bioimaging (CHIB) through the University of Maryland MPowering the State partnership agreement; this relationship, among others, created the concept for a bioinformatics resource, the Research HARBOR.
  • Designed, prototyped, and developed the Research HARBOR (Helping to Advance Research By Organizing Resources); this virtual and physical asset offers the research community access to resources to facilitate inquiry into complex health, legal, and population studies. Improved the development of this resource through collaboration and partnership with UMMS to further the HARBOR resource capacity with clinical data sets and technical expertise.
  • Research HARBOR staff and resources to be co-located in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library in fall 2016 to facilitate access to other relevant information sources.

Theme 2: Promote Diversity and a Culture of Inclusion 

  • UMB leadership is committed to strengthen a culture of diversity and inclusion in its practices and initiatives.
    1. Diversity Advisory Council assigned formal responsibility for advising and assessing University practices on diversity and inclusion.
    2. Diversity and inclusion criteria placed in leaders’ performance evaluation. Consequently, leaders assessed on their efforts to advance a culture of diversity and inclusion in their respective areas.
    3. In conjunction with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, and the Department of Human Resource Services, developed initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion as a UMB core value; such activities include promoting this value through the Core Values Speaker Series, recognizing staff and programs that exemplify efforts to promote the value, and tracking progress through surveys, data, and other metrics on the University’s progress in this area.
  • Completed a comprehensive climate survey to assess perceptions of UMB diversity and inclusion efforts through employee feedback. Data will be used to identify areas of concern and develop programs to address problematic areas.

Theme 3: Foster a Culture of Accountability and Transparency 

  • UMB president delivered three successive State of the University addresses, which was not the practice prior to his administration; efforts establish the standard of accountability and transparency to the University community for subsequent University leaders to continue this practice. It also established the expectation that each dean delivers an annual formal address to his/her respective school.
  • Significant improvement to the Office of Institutional Research and Accountability website to maintain up-to-date data on UMB demographics, statistics, and other key indicators. Please visit the improved website at http://www.umaryland.edu/institutionalresearch/.
  • Successfully coordinated a comprehensive two-year self-study in conjunction with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education decennial reaccreditation review and site visit. Achieved glowing comments from the site visit team on UMB’s compliance with the 14 reaccreditation standards. Visit the Middle States website at http://www.umaryland.edu/middlestates for additional information on the process.
  • Partnered with the theme “Create an Enduring and Responsible Financial Model for the University” to integrate assessment and accountability criteria in the annual budgeting process. Reiterations to the process occurred over two to three budgeting cycles, with an agreed upon budget template approved by the president and deans. Continued efforts to development performance indicators for each operating unit.

Theme 4: Excel at Interdisciplinary Research (IDR)  

  • Formed a cross-disciplinary/school committee to adjudicate an IDR seed grant program.
    1. Awarded four competitive two-year $75,000 grants to teams of researchers across UMB schools.
    2. Obtained annual progress reports to include efforts to secure external funding for future research.
  • Created other seed grant programs of an interdisciplinary nature with UMB and UMCP, and UMB and UMBC faculty; tracking results to determine ongoing feasibility and effectiveness of these seed grant initiatives.
  • Intensified activities to pursue MPowering the State funds to support for a collaborative Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) between UMB and UMCP. This partnership will further enhance the ability to translate basic and clinical research into practice. See website for additional information at http://medschool.umaryland.edu/ctsi/.

Theme 5: Excel at Interprofessional Education, Clinical Care and Practice, and Public Service 

  • The Center for Interprofessional Education (CIPE) was established and staffed in 2013; School of Nursing Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, named its first director. See website for additional information at http://www.umaryland.edu/ipe/.
  • Instituted an Annual IPE Day, each spring since 2013, building upon each year’s experiences and successes; realized significant interest among faculty and students for curriculum and training to advance skills and learning opportunities across professions.
  • Conducted a comprehensive assessment of curriculum across the health programs that  translate well into a proposed IPE curriculum.
  • Established funding mechanisms to invigorate interests, design curriculum, and program offerings, and develop faculty and student skills in IPE areas.
  • Formed an advisory council to further the work of the center and continue to look for opportunities to increase cross-professional education and skills.

Theme 6: Develop Local and Global Initiatives that Address Critical Issues 

  • Completed an inventory of key campus global and local partnership and activities, which in part led to the creation and staffing of the President’s Office of Community Engagement in 2014 and a community action plan;
    1. Established the Community Engagement Center at the BioPark to allow community residents to access resources viable for neighborhood enhancement and economic development; Visit the website at  https://www.umaryland.edu/oce/center/.
    2. Implemented a plan with the UMB Procurement Office to improve opportunities for West Baltimore businesses to successfully compete for campus contracts.
    3. Expanded relationship with the Southwest Partnership alliance.
  • Developed and offered a global IPE course on children’s and women’s health.
  • Developed and improved plan for creation of the Center for University and Community Partnerships, later renamed the Center for Community-Based Engagement and Learning (CBEL). The center coordinates, guides, and enhances opportunities for community-based student engagement, scholarship, service, and learning to improve the health and welfare of the West Baltimore community. Visit the website at https://www.umaryland.edu/local/.
    1. Initiated the Community Engaged Scholarship Research Grant program that supports seven small projects in West Baltimore; first cohort of community engaged faculty fellows announced in 2015.
    2. Developed orientation material for faculty and students planning community engagement activities in Baltimore City communities; additional presentations and informative materials under development.
    3. Developed a Universitywide 1 credit elective course on community engagement taught by fellows in the 2016 curriculum.

Theme 7: Drive Economic Development 

  • Launched UMB Ventures in 2014, a joint initiative with UMCP to increase entrepreneurial activities within and across the two universities.
  • Accelerated the growth of new technology licenses in FY14 and FY15, and new venture startups in FY15.
  • Maryland Proton Treatment Center opened in the BioPark in February 2016; this center offers a precise form of radiation treatments using state-of-the-art equipment. Visit the website at  http://www.mdproton.com/.
  • Developed and awarded four newly established Student Entrepreneurial Fellowships in FY16; fellows are paired with faculty researchers to assist in developing business plans to help researchers bring products to market.
  • Recruited a chief development officer to expand institutional advancement efforts. As a result, UMB fundraising total increased by 8 percent in FY15 over the previous year’s results; anticipate a 7.5 percent increase over FY15 or $82.4 million in pledges.
  • Efforts to address the increasing need for research and new venture development space with the construction of the Health Sciences Facility III facility and plans for new construction in the BioPark.

Theme 8: Create an Enduring and Responsible Financial Model for the University 

  • Introduced and utilized a mission-based financial model template for use during the annual budget development process; used in FY13 and FY14; later approved and adopted by senior leadership in central administration and schools for multi-year planning and to achieve consistency and accountability across all operating units.
  • Improved business processes with the launch of the HRMS system upgrades to include an electronic Personnel Action Form (ePAF), which significantly minimizes the time to complete personnel actions from inception.
  • Developed the framework for designing a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) process to increase uniformity for routine business processes at UMB.
    1. Formed University committee to examine processes, and recommend next steps to remediate organizational inefficiencies, which surface from the assessment process;
      • Recruited a policy analyst tasked with developing and implementing an online SOPs Procedure Library, which launched early FY16. This tool connects users with dependable support services to ensure efficient and seamless operations.
      • The Procedures Library and updates on SOPs added can be accessed at https://www.umaryland.edu/procedures/.

Theme 9: Create a Vibrant, Dynamic University Community 

  • Served as the overarching theme that encapsulated efforts across other themes and fundamental areas with goals related to improving the campus culture, and the physical environment, while promoting a greater sense of community. 
  • The offices of Human Resource Services, Communications and Public Affairs, and Police and Public Safety were essential factors in fostering a sense of community across the campus through promoted activities within their respective units or in collaboration with each other. These programs or initiatives include:
    1. Annual UMB Orioles game night;
    2. Expanded wellness fairs and open houses;
    3. Fostered the creation of The Elm, mobile app, and modifications to the UMB home page to promote easy navigation and access to information;
    4. Developed and significantly enhanced new employee orientation program;
    5. Created “walking paths”;
  • Increased collaborative efforts with Baltimore City police to provide services to promote a sense of community and safety on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Dramatically improved the University’s public image to emphasize a recognizable sense of place.
    1. Various physical improvements to the UMB façade including wayfinding signage, gateway pylons, and building and street signs.
    2. Increased collaboration with Baltimore City government and community organizations to revitalize Lexington Market, create the Bromo Towers Art District, and address the Drovers/Sons of Italy building at the eastern perimeter of the campus.
    3. Formed the West Baltimore Planning Group to engage and improve the UMB surrounding neighborhoods; facilitated the creation of the President’s Office of Community Engagement.

Fundamental Areas

The fundamental elements (also referred to as areas) were established as part of the strategic planning process to address systemic and operational issues that could serve to impede the University’s efforts to meet its strategic priorities expressed in its eight themes. Consider them building blocks of the University, basic fundamental elements that underpin, facilitate, and form the foundation of the University’s overall operations. The fundamental elements are: Information Technology, Government and External Relations, Two-Way Enhanced Communications, and Faculty and Staff Training. Each fundamental area established its own goals and associated tactics to improve its operating unit and thereby maximize support to theme leaders as they work to advance their respective goals. A high-level summary of the fundamental areas’ successes follows:

FA: Information Technology 

  • Streamlined online access to applications using the UMID authentication process; worked collaboratively with University partners (i.e., UMMC, FPI, and UMCP) to create a federated identity management system to improve access to shared applications.
  • Developed a cross-schools IT Steering Committee to address emergent issues and or proactively plan for mutual projects and obtain cost savings across the institution.
  • Establish policies and procedures to ensure data safety and effectively manage data storage, capacity, and growth.

FA: Government and External Relations 

  • Developed strategies and fostered relationships at the federal level to highlight UMB expertise in the health sciences professions while opportunities to leverage proximity to agencies located in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding counties.
  • Coordinated efforts with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to develop an external relations strategy for Baltimore City government officials, Maryland delegation leaders, and various Maryland county executives to utilize UMB resources and/or formulate and strengthen requests for support from federal and state agencies of mutual benefit.
  • Prepared and coordinated school-specific agendas for federal, state, and local government consideration to advance education, research, clinical, and public service missions, and align with strategic priorities.

FA: Enhanced Two-Way Communication 

  • Developed consistent brand messaging and positioning for the University; standardized policies and procedures across the University related to styles, procedures, and protocols for use of brand in external relations.
  • Developed impactful and meaningful campaigns to advance the brand locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Created programs and campaigns to celebrate University achievements, support a more cohesive University community, and promote our mission and accomplishments to a wider audience. Responsible for the creation of the weekly Elm, the common calendar, mobile app, and development or promotion of various cultural and community-oriented programming and initiatives.

FA: Faculty and Staff Training 

  • Created and enhanced the Office of Employee Development in the Office of Human Resource Services (HRS); improved mentoring offerings and retained valued employees in the process.
  • Simplified general processes, and access to HRS services through enhancements to website, eLearning systems, improved online technologies. Efforts resulted in timely completion of personnel actions and recruitment activities; also supported organizational compliance activities for students and staff.
  • Significantly improved the onboarding process for new employees and achieving high marks on employee satisfaction surveys on these efforts. This action helped support a greater sense of community at the UMB.

In January 2016, the president named the co-chairs for the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan and launched the formal planning process. The planning process will occur over six months, and the new strategic plan will be adopted by the Executive Cabinet in June 2016.