The Importance of Confidentiality

The search for the next president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) will be a considered, deliberative, and confidential process designed to incorporate diverse perspectives from across the University community. While the University System of Maryland Board of Regents holds ultimate responsibility for selecting UMB’s next president, the board seeks input from key internal and external constituencies, alumni, and local, state, federal, and other public and private partners of the University.

A search committee has been established to advise the Board of Regents. The composition of the committee reflects the critical importance of inclusion to the process and incorporates a broad range of perspectives and a diverse set of ideas and input. The committee is charged with overseeing the confidential search process, evaluating potential candidates, and providing recommendations on the best-qualified finalists for the board’s consideration.

Throughout the search process, the identities of candidates will be protected to ensure that the committee can attract the deepest, most diverse, and most highly qualified pool of candidates possible. Many prospective candidates expect confidentiality in searches at the presidential level to avoid endangering their current positions. The strongest candidates are unlikely to be “on the market,” and instead are likely to be engaged in important work at their current institutions. Candidates have a vested interest in maintaining good relations with their leadership, donors, and constituents, which could be jeopardized if their interest in a new position were to become public. Given the importance of recruiting the strongest pool of candidates possible, each committee member took the following confidentiality pledge to ensure that they uphold the principles of the search:

The members of the search committee recognize and respect the essential need for integrity and confidentiality in the conduct of this search. Together we pledge to adhere to the following:

  • We will not discuss or communicate in any manner any confidential information with anyone, other than members of the search committee or people expressly designated by the search committee chair to receive such confidential information.
  • We recognize that our obligation to maintain confidentiality will continue after the search committee completes its work.
  • We acknowledge that only the chair of the search committee is authorized to speak to the news media on behalf of the search committee.
  • Each of us agrees to disclose promptly to the chair of the search committee any real or potential conflict of interest, or appearance thereof, in a relationship with a potential candidate or candidate.
  • Each of us agrees not to contact individuals for informal references or other information on candidates unless this is specifically requested by the search committee. If an informal reference or other information is requested, each of us agrees to provide an accurate and complete report to the chair of the search committee.
  • We will place the best interests of University of Maryland, Baltimore ahead of all special and personal interests, and will use common sense and good judgment in applying ethical principles to all search committee work.
  • Each of us agrees that we are not and will not become a candidate for the position.

In our conduct on the search committee, we will abide by these general principles: We will adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct; we will guard against inaccuracies, carelessness, bias, and distortion made by either emphasis or omission of information; we will strive to treat issues impartially and handle controversial subjects dispassionately; and we will treat all candidates and fellow members of the committee with civility and respect.