Free Zipcar membership for faculty, staff, and student employees

In support of our continued campus sustainability initiatives, Zipcar is offering all faculty, staff, and student employees a free Zipcar membership plus $20 in driving credit!

To redeem your special free membership, join and be sure to use your UMBC email to sign up. Zipcar will automatically add $20 in driving credit to your account. Note: Gas, insurance, and 180 miles/day are included with membership. Hourly rates start at $8.25/hour or $74/day.

As a member, feel free to share Zipcar’s $5 driving credit promo code “UMBCLife” with friends and colleagues. Also, be sure to also check out Zipcar’s deals for special membership promotions on discounted driving and all of the member benefits with local partners.

If you have any questions, please contact Zipcar of Baltimore,

Affirming Commitment to Inclusion and Safety for All Members of the UMBC Community

A message from President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous:

Dear members of the UMBC community,

This past Friday we received a timely and thoughtful letter signed by hundreds of faculty, staff, students, and alumni concerned about the well-being and future of students enrolled at UMBC under the Federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative – which provides a pathway to work or college for undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children and meet certain conditions.

We thank the authors and signers for their commitment to the values of our community and their profound interest in ensuring that UMBC campuses will continue to be inclusive and safe, especially for those who could be at risk if there are future changes in immigration policy and law enforcement. The letter specifically requested action to “make UMBC a sanctuary campus” and to develop measures to support and retain DACA students in the event that the initiative is cancelled or expires. We have begun working with University System of Maryland colleagues and will be working with campus shared governance organizations to better understand options available to us that are consistent with our obligations under State and Federal law.

In the meantime, we want to inform you of guidance the USM has shared regarding practices on its campuses, including UMBC.

USM and its constituent institutions affirm our commitment to provide all of our students a safe and supportive educational environment. While we continue to comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations and with lawfully issued subpoenas or court orders, we need not, and shall not, engage in the following activities:

  • Permit immigration enforcement authorities to enter a campus for an enforcement action without a warrant unless there is an exigent circumstance (national security or terrorism matter, risk of death or physical harm, etc.) necessitating immediate action;
  • Voluntarily partner with immigration enforcement authorities to assist with enforcement activities;
  • Detain an immigrant at the request of immigration enforcement authorities;
  • Request and/or share immigration information obtained in connection with a campus arrest; or
  • Provide immigration enforcement authorities with student records without a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.

This guidance is consistent with UMBC’s practices. In addition, our administration has been public about its support for undocumented students’ access to public education. President Hrabowski has signed an open letter from college and university presidents nationwide, urging the incoming administration to preserve and expand DACA. The UMBC administration also publicly and vigorously supported the Maryland Dream Act, which enables undocumented high school graduates who complete at least 60 credits at a community college to receive in-state tuition at Maryland universities.

The immediate need of most students with concerns about immigration status is access to reliable information and support. Campus leaders have been meeting with numerous student groups to hear and respond to concerns. We are planning to share vetted information about resources and to expand capacity to address the needs arising in our community.

We will continue to monitor and attend to needs on our campuses, working in partnership with University Senate leaders and following guidance from the USM.

Important News Concerning FLSA

A message from Valerie A. Thomas, Associate Vice President, Human Resources:

Dear Members of the UMBC Community,

I am writing to let staff and faculty know that campus leaders are aware of the recent federal judicial injunction blocking implementation of new employment regulations authorized by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Following a federal court decision issued yesterday, the USM office has received legal advice from counsel in the Maryland Attorney General’s Office that institutions should put on hold until further notice any changes planned in order to meet the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s new overtime rules.

We will continue to work with University System of Maryland colleagues to understand the impact this may have, and we will communicate more fully as soon as additional information is available. We know this news directly concerns many staff members, and we appreciate your patience.

You Are Invited: Reflecting on Baltimore Stories @ UMBC (12/3)

Reflecting on Baltimore Stories Event

Saturday, December 3, 2016
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Performing Arts & Humanities Building, UMBC
Registration and sign in 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided. Free parking!

We invite you to join us to reflect on a year of programs exploring identity in Baltimore, as part of the “Baltimore Stories” project. Opening with remarks from UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski and University of Maryland, College Park President Wallace D. Loh on the role of the public university in the community, the event will consider how narratives about Baltimore are made and disseminated in and through media, who speaks for Baltimore, and what these stories mean for the future of the city. Humanities scholars, cultural organizers, partners, and other guests will discuss their efforts over the past year to help amplify the voices of Baltimore communities and use narrative to move towards change. Young people will share media projects highlighting the importance of their stories to the Baltimore’s future.

Directions to UMBC:

Register Now!

Celebration in honor of Sandy Parker, Dec. 8

Please join us on Thursday, Dec. 8 to celebrate the career of Dr. Eugene “Sandy” Parker. Dr. Parker is retiring from UMBC after 36 years of distinguished service.

Dr. Parker was one of the first faculty members to be named UMBC’s Presidential Teaching Professor. He was a leader in the establishment of UMBC’s Conservation and Environmental Research Areas (CERA), past president of the Faculty Senate, and served for 10 years as chair of the Department of Geography & Environmental Systems. As a colleague, friend, and mentor to many past and present UMBC faculty, staff and students, he has played a key role in the life of the university for nearly 40 years.

The celebration will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8, 5-7:30 p.m., on the 7th floor of the Library. Please RSVP to Robin Schmidbauer,, by Thursday, Dec. 1, so that we can plan accordingly.

UMBC50: A Tradition of Caring

A message from 2016 Maryland Charity Campaign Co-Chairs Scott Casper and Karl Steiner:

Dear Members of the UMBC Community,

As we plan for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and look forward to more time with family and friends throughout the holiday season, we recognize that many people less fortunate than ourselves need our help.

Our community’s passion for caring, and the fact we are one of the most generous campuses in the state, speak volumes about who we are and our values. We are moved by this demonstration of caring and commitment by the UMBC community. Your contributions, no matter the size, make a real difference to the many charities you support.

The Maryland Charity Campaign supports nearly 1,000 charities, many of which are local nonprofits in our surrounding community that work hard each and every day to provide resources, services, and assistance to those in need. Many of these nonprofits have modest support and are often not equipped with the means or staffing as many of the larger organizations we’ve come to know. Through the Maryland Charity Campaign, even the smallest local organizations in our community have the opportunity to connect with supporters and raise funds necessary to continue their important work.

Offering these services on such a large scale takes an immense amount of time, organization, and resources by America’s Charities, the group charged with managing and executing the Maryland Charity Campaign. To help support the organization’s efforts in running the campaign, a nominal fee—typically no more than 11%—is deducted from all donations made through this program.

We understand it is important to you that your donations go directly to the charity of your choosing. But, we also ask that you recognize the work of America’s Charities in providing this valuable service to the many nonprofits in the area that would not otherwise have the same capacity or reach on their own.

If you have not yet had a chance to do so, we encourage you to help support the many nonprofit organizations that serve our surrounding community, and consider a gift of any amount. If you need assistance with your online donation, please see our online guide.

Thank you for all your support in this year’s Maryland Charity Campaign. It is a privilege to be part of such a supportive, caring community.

Our Nation and Our Community

A message from President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous:

Dear members of the UMBC community,

As we have talked with a number of students and colleagues today, it is clear that this is a critical moment for America—a moment when we sense how divided we are as a nation—and when it is difficult to know how we will bridge those divides. The world now looks toward the United States to see how we come together and move forward after an election that so sharply divided our country.

In challenging times, we come to know more about ourselves and our values as we articulate our concerns, our goals, and our visions for the future. Most important for the UMBC community and our fellow citizens now is remembering how much we share with one another as fellow humans. Though we may have very different opinions, mutual respect and support for one another will lead us toward shared goals.

As our university vision states, UMBC is a community committed to advancing knowledge, economic prosperity, and social justice, and we do so by welcoming and inspiring inquisitive minds from all backgrounds. The work that we do here is noble: We seek the truth, we educate the next generation of leaders, and we help to solve the problems of humankind. Education is more important now than ever.

In UMBC’s spirit of “Grit and Greatness,” we urge each of you, individually and collectively, to remember that we are all leaders working toward important goals for ourselves, our communities, and our world, and we are also all here to support one another.

University leaders are planning additional opportunities for campus conversations in the near future. Students who would prefer to speak one-on-one with a supportive staff member rather than attend an event are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center at 410-455-2472.