Perman Wins National Honor for Leadership in Diversity

February 29, 2016    |  

Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), has been awarded the 2016 Giving Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

The Giving Back Award honors presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and “give back” to their campuses and communities.

The INSIGHT into Diversity Giving Back Award will be presented to President Perman.

The INSIGHT into Diversity Giving Back Award will be presented to President Perman.

Perman will be featured, along with 26 other recipients, in the April 2016 Leadership Support and Giving Back issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Perman, president of UMB since July 2010, has made diversity a key priority for the University. One of his first actions as president in 2010 was to found the University’s Diversity Advisory Council, a group of UMB colleagues charged with strengthening and promoting diversity and inclusion as foundational University principles. Perman also established an Office of Community Engagement to extend the University’s diversity and equality efforts into the surrounding West Baltimore community.

Diversity also is a major theme of the strategic plan developed for the University’s future under Perman’s leadership in 2011. It also is among the seven core values Perman emphasizes as guiding principles for UMB and its faculty, staff, and students.

“It is an honor to be recognized with this distinguished award,” Perman said. “In higher education, research, clinical care, and service – our key mission areas at UMB – there is no more worthy goal than diversity. We are committed to excellence in including people of all races, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, genders, and physical abilities in our workforce, our student body, in the care that we provide and in the groundbreaking biomedical research that we undertake. Still, there is much work that remains to be done.”

UMB has been honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity before. In 2015, the University earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The publication’s award recognized the University’s many diversity efforts and achievements, including its work to recruit a diverse student body, to employ a diverse workforce, and to foster community initiatives that address disparities outside of the University.

“This award, in combination with last year’s HEED Award, serve as encouragement and motivation to continue pursuing diversity and inclusion in all we do here at UMB,” Perman added. “I am proud of the dedication and commitment with which our faculty, staff, and students have embraced this goal, and I look forward to seeing what we can all accomplish together in the future. Recognition such as this serves as invaluable fuel to our fire.”

The 2015-2016 President’s Symposium & White Paper Project is but one example of the University’s ongoing commitment to the goal. A group of fellows is pursuing the topic of cultural competency in the education of health care professionals. Experts bring their insights to a campuswide conversation during the academic year, which culminates in the fellows’ report to the president.

Giving Back Award recipients are nominated by a colleague and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their outstanding demonstration of social responsibility, a commitment to charitable services, and involvement with students, faculty, and staff to serve under-represented populations. Each honoree is recognized for his or her passion, dedication, and philanthropic achievements.

"The Giving Back Award is being given to leaders of institutions of higher education who exemplify what it truly means to ‘give back’ to others," said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “These presidents and chancellors are role models, and we honor their efforts to give back to everyone on their campuses and in their communities.”