Letters to the UMB Community

Inaugural President's Distinguished Scholar

To the UMB Community:

For some time, I’ve been talking with colleagues about establishing a visiting scholar program, each year inviting a thought leader to campus to engage with our University community on issues important to our work and integral to our growth. We’re enormously fortunate to have relationships with some of the country’s most influential leaders—leaders who can supplement our own scholarly expertise and contribute a new perspective to the challenges we face as an institution with a weighty mission and millions of people reliant upon it.

I couldn’t be happier to announce that UMB’s inaugural President’s Distinguished Scholar is Norman R. Augustine, MSE, retired chair and CEO of the nation’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, and former undersecretary of the Army. Mr. Augustine has chaired several notable commissions, including the National Academies “Gathering Storm” committee—one of the first groups to sound the alarm on America’s slipping STEM competitiveness—and the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program. He was a member of the advisory board to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a member of the Hart/Rudman Commission on National Security, and he served for 16 years on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Closer to home, Mr. Augustine served on the USM Board of Regents and chaired the Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, whose 2015 report offered 32 recommendations for making Maryland friendlier to business. When state and U.S. leaders need solutions to problems of grave consequence, they turn to Mr. Augustine. And, in fact, we were quick to turn to him as well; he was the second lecturer in our Core Values Speaker Series, discussing leadership, a trait he’s demonstrated over his long and distinguished career better than virtually anyone else I know.

Mr. Augustine is volunteering a lot of his time to us. He’s agreed to give lectures and workshops on crisis management and organizational effectiveness, to engage his friends and associates for conversations about what it means to succeed and what we gain from failure, and to help guide UMB’s progress using the most salient lessons he’s learned over a lifetime of business leadership. He’ll also work with our 2019-20 President's Fellows, who are exploring how to institutionalize our Core Values, so that they remain durable even as UMB and its people change. In fact, Mr. Augustine will help the fellows kick off their White Paper Project this Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. (If you’d like to contribute to the fellows’ work this year, contact Courtney Jones-Carney.)

You’ll be seeing information soon on opportunities to interact with Mr. Augustine throughout the academic year. I’m deeply indebted to him for serving as our first President’s Distinguished Scholar, and I’m delighted to welcome him more fully into the UMB family.


Jay A. Perman, MD

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