Core Values

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) seven core values represent each of our seven schools and are at the heart of our mission. They guide our academic programs, operating philosophy, and commitment to our constituents, while supporting our dedication to global enhancement and social progress.

The University is committed to being responsible and transparent.


At UMB, we value and promote responsibility and transparency to achieve continuous improvement, the effective and efficient use of resources, and the momentum to propel us to future greatness. We hold each member of our institution to high professional standards. We are accountable for our collective and our individual decisions, actions, results, and responsibilities. We believe in ethical and professional standards and distinction in scholarly activities. We honor our commitments, and we take pride in our work.

The administration will make every effort to keep faculty, staff, and students informed about University finances, security, human resources, events, curriculum, policy changes, and new initiatives. We pledge to be responsive to the needs of our constituents by continuously evaluating and improving policies, guidelines, and procedures, as outlined in our 2011-2016 strategic plan.

Additionally, through periodic newsletters and venues such as the president’s brown bag lunches and Q&A sessions, the administration will “keep the door open” so the UMB community can share ideas and raise concerns while expecting timely responses in return.

How Can I Live This Core Value?

  • Conduct business in an ethical manner and adhere to our values, conduct guidelines, and policies and procedures.
  • Take responsibility for decisions, actions, and results.
  • Take the initiative to share ideas, thoughts, and opinions.
  • Participate! Attend Q&As, town halls, fill out University-sponsored surveys, and submit honest feedback.

The University expects interactions to be professional, ethical, respectful, and courteous.


It pays to be nice. This is a sentiment that Jay A. Perman, MD, brought to UMB when he became president in July 2010. His keynote speech to the first graduating class after his inauguration focused on the importance of being nice. “I have found that nice guys finish first,” he told the graduates. Additionally, the University’s 2012-2013 Symposium and White Paper Project that President Perman approved was titled “How Can the University Instill Civility as a Core Instructional Value in Educating Health, Legal, and Human Services Professionals?”

So, yes, civility is a core value at UMB. All are expected to be cordial and professional. Civility demands that we treat others with respect. A lack of courtesy or respect will not be tolerated. With civility as a guiding principle, the University community will promote justice, equality, honesty, courtesy, freedom, dignity, and responsible citizenship.

Civility and respect make us further appreciate the unique gifts and contributions of every person in the UMB community and to draw upon their diverse perspectives, so that we can truly be greater than the sum of our parts.

How Can I Live This Core Value?
  • Be caring, respectful, and encouraging to each other.
  • Exercise patience.
  • Listen actively, with sensitivity to individual needs, and ask probing questions to get to the deeper meaning.
  • Spend extra time with colleagues, patients and their families, and clients when a clear need exists.

The University promotes teamwork that fosters insightful and excellent solutions and advancement.


Collaboration is an important activity that involves shared responsibility in promoting productivity and educational success. We commit ourselves to work toward these goals in genuine partnerships with one another, and also with community organizations, businesses, elected officials, and other groups at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Strategic partnerships not only help to strengthen our educational endeavors, they also add to a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and opportunities that contribute to a powerful learning environment.

Indeed, collaboration, among schools and disciplines at UMB, and with other universities in Maryland and beyond, is another hallmark of President Perman’s administration. His inaugural address was titled “Leadership by Collaboration.” During that inspiring speech, President Perman alluded to Robert Fulghum and his 1988 book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. “It is still true,” he told the crowd, quoting Fulghum, “no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.”

How Can I Live This Core Value?
  • Develop relationships across the University to share information and unify efforts. Involving others from different perspectives in decision-making and planning enhances the quality of work.
  • Think creatively about challenges and issues, seeking multiple sources of input.
  • Promote teamwork through positive attitude and encouragement.
  • Remember there is no “I” in team.
  • Be cognizant of UMB’s local, national, and global community activities. Watch for and identify ways to continue to collaborate off-site.

The University is committed to a culture that is enriched by diversity and inclusion, in the broadest sense, in its thoughts, actions, and leadership.


Diversity is a word often used to describe differences among people in terms of race, creed, or sexual orientation. At UMB, diversity means much more. The UMB campus body is diverse in the aforementioned ways, but also in abilities, backgrounds, values, personalities, thoughts, goals, and aspirations. We strive for common identity and purpose. This requires respect, patience, understanding, courtesy, and civility. We value diversity and unique contributions, fostering a trusting, open, and inclusive environment and treating each member of our UMB community in a manner that incorporates all of our core values. Our clearly defined core values provide a sense of identity, stability, and direction.

UMB strives for diversity among its students, faculty, and employees as well as in the vendors, organizations, and businesses with whom we choose to partner. We prepare our students to thrive in a diverse society and in a world where social interaction, work, and exchange occur across geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic boundaries.

We immerse our students in experiences that expose them to different perspectives and provide them with varied learning opportunities. This exposure is based on the concept of respecting and celebrating individual differences, whether they pertain to a person’s ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, economic background, political views, or religious beliefs.

How Can I Live This Core Value?
  • Don’t take sides. Don’t refuse to communicate or acknowledge the rights of others.
  • Promote an inclusive work environment. Appreciate and seek deeper understanding of each person’s unique contribution. Apply knowledge of other work styles to enhance the work of the team.
  • Practice mutual respect.
  • Make an effort to meet new people and embrace various cultures.
  • Challenge yourself to stray from your norms. Learn from different sources and try to appreciate all the different threads and colors of life’s tapestry.
  • Learning from others who are different than yourself is your ticket to cross boundaries, practice acceptance, and realize that differences in people comprise exciting variety.

The University is guided by a constant pursuit of excellence.


Nothing but the best will do when we are teaching students, treating patients, or advancing science. As the state’s public health, law, and human services university, we have a responsibility to set the standard by which others are measured. We are devoted to excellence in professional and graduate education, research, patient care, and public service: Excellence in the craft of teaching, excellence in learning, excellence in scholarship, excellence in customer service, excellence in our interactions with one another, internally and externally. We strive to work at the highest level of performance, with a commitment to continuous improvement.

We award 60 percent of all professional practice degrees in Maryland, and we have a responsibility to excel. And thanks to our faculty, staff, and students, we meet the challenge in a resounding way. But standing still isn’t an option. We must continue to improve.

To do this, we coordinate programs to promote student access and success, regularly evaluate and upgrade the teaching and technology skills of faculty, and support career ladders, professional development and re-training options, and, perhaps most important, lifelong learning.

How Can I Live This Core Value?
  • Understand your role in the University.
  • There are no small roles.
  • Strengthen your coaching skills. Offering and receiving coaching and feedback are important parts of practicing excellence.
  • Focus on your well-being. We produce optimal results when we’re at our best, physically and emotionally.
  • Connect your own work with department and University goals and priorities as well as strategic plan goals.
  • Continuously gain knowledge, build skills, increase engagement, and improve productivity.
  • Focus on your patient, client, or co-worker to increase their satisfaction. Offer unparalleled customer service and care on all levels. Success breeds success.

The University’s industry is to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge.


At UMB, we seek to square the circle, think outside of the box, expand infinity. We seek to augment the learning of students, faculty, and staff. We foster and protect academic freedom and habits of thinking that are creative and critical. No one is exempt, because learning is a lifelong avocation. The University creates and encourages a climate of discovery as well as the formation of innovative teaching and learning strategies — we realize further learning occurs in places beyond the classroom.

We pursue knowledge by preserving the intellectual heritage of our past while boldly marching into the arms of our future. It is our responsibility to disseminate this new knowledge to the general population and then apply it through patents, startup companies, nonprofit community outreach organizations, and bench-to-bedside methods. After all, if a large grant is awarded to aid an underserved population, but the program never gets off the ground, no one benefits. If a groundbreaking legal brief has potential to become a new judicial mandate but is never voiced, no one benefits. And, if a cure for disease is found but not acted upon, it benefits no one.

So closing the circle of knowledge — by completing the task and meeting the goal — is essential and well worth our efforts.

How Can I Live This Core Value?
  • Maintain curiosity. Pursue creative and unique solutions. Ask questions and seek answers.
  • Transform knowledge into action.
  • Take risks, initiate action and positive outcomes.
  • Teach students that knowledge comes not just from a textbook but through life experiences.
  • Create opportunities in which teacher and student become co-learners, discovering knowledge together and sharing their gifts with each other.

The University strives continuously to be a leader and to develop leaders.


In the professions represented by UMB — dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work — as well as within its administration, leadership is an essential component. It combines ability and the willingness to lead professional practice to higher levels. We commit ourselves to practice ethical and sound leadership through deliberate and systematic attention to the ethical principles that guide all leaders in a moral and just society. We endeavor to direct initiatives in a way that inspires respect.

Whether it is leading the way in research with nearly $500 million awarded to the University in grants and contracts in Fiscal Year 2013 or developing future leaders with our “real-world” curriculum that focuses on interprofessional, team-based approaches to education, UMB strives to help its faculty, staff, and students make the connection between what they learn and how they live — and how they guide and influence others for the greater good of humanity. We develop and offer on- and off-campus opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to engage in activities that promote social and global responsibility and thus the chance to prepare themselves for leadership and responsible citizenship in their professions and communities.

How Can I Live This Core Value?
  • Demonstrate the expectations set for the team, and “walk the talk.”
  • Encourage others to assume leadership roles and develop new skills.
  • Understand that everyone can have a leadership role and that one doesn’t have to serve in a supervisory capacity in order to lead.
  • Practice your leadership skills. Read books on leadership, take a leadership seminar, observe the leaders you admire and their techniques, words, and actions.
  • Think about your formal leadership role as well as the informal leadership roles you play at work. Outside of work, think about your involvement in community organizations and how others in those organizations may view you not only as an individual but also as a representative of UMB. A leader acts appropriately at all times and is someone who makes a difference in their world.

Read Living Our Core Values to learn about UMB's commitment to our mission and our constituents.

Download a Core Values poster for your office!