UMBC Celebrates Present, Future During Fall Opening Meeting

At the Fall Opening Meeting on Thursday, August 22, President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous celebrated the present and future of UMBC.

Hrabowski outlined recent university achievements during his annual State of the University address.

“We are increasingly known as a national model of inclusive excellence and innovation in American higher education,” he said. “We have built strength in research across the disciplines.  We can take great pride in knowing that the rest of the nation is beginning to understand what we already know – that we are a very special place.”

The full text of his speech can be read here.

Rous discussed the UMBC strategic planning process, entitled “Our UMBC: A Strategic Plan for Advancing Excellence.”

“This is an incredible time of opportunity for ourselves and UMBC,” he said. “We are standing at a threshold where we can extend our vision for the University.” Rous also emphasized that there will be opportunities for campus involvement as the plan is being created. More information can be found at

Speakers at the Fall Opening Meeting also included incoming freshman Evan Leiter-Mason, a Sondheim Scholar majoring in economics and political science; incoming transfer student Sophia Venero, who will be majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in biological science; and incoming graduate student Adegboyega “Ade” Akinsiku, who will be studying in the Human-Centered Computing program.

Beginning of Semester Temporary Traffic Pattern Changes

Date: August 24, 2013
To: The UMBC Community
From: Mark W. Sparks, Chief of Police
Subject: Beginning of Semester Temporary Traffic Pattern Changes
August 28, 2013 – September 5, 2013

The start of the fall semester brings many new students, faculty, and staff to campus who may not be familiar with our traffic patterns during this busy period. The primary challenge is establishing and maintaining a safe efficient flow of traffic into and out of the UMBC campus, which is particularly important during this period as campus is at the most crowded during the beginning of the new academic year. The zoned parking plan, with which most members of the community should be familiar, is in effect to help maximize the convenience and accessibility of our parking resources.
Several recent modifications to the Zone Parking Plan remain in effect. These modifications include:
• Lot 23 remains an A/C Permit dual use lot.
• Hilltop Circle parking between Walker Avenue and Center Road remains an A/C Permit dual use area.

In addition, transportation alternatives remain in place for the campus community, and we encourage you, should your circumstances allow it, to use any of these alternatives to bringing a vehicle to campus. In addition to often times saving money for you, these alternative transportation initiatives help us to keep costs down and help reduce the campus carbon footprint. More information can be found at the Transportation Alternatives for a Greener UMBC (TAG UMBC) website ( Some of the highlighted changes are:
• The carpool policy provides a way to save money by sharing the cost of transportation (
• Approximately 40 motorcycle spaces have been added to the existing inventory to encourage motorcycle use.
• ZIPCARS are available on campus and ready for use by students, faculty, and staff (

The permit hours remain the same, and are Monday thru Thursday 7:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. and Friday from 7:00a.m. to 3:30p.m. The parking zone designations have remained the same and are:
Zone A – Red – Commuter Students
Zone B – Green – Walker Community Residents
Zone C – Gold – Residential Students (excluding Walker Apts)
Zone F – Orange – Freshman Resident Students

I am asking everyone in the UMBC community to work with the police department to make this beginning of the year traffic flow safe and orderly. Please assist us by being alert at all times while driving throughout the campus and cooperating with the members of the police department directing traffic. We recognize this may pose an inconvenience to motorists as some driving patterns will be changed for this start-up period to better facilitate driving throughout the campus.

For the orderly flow of traffic, motorists can expect temporary discontinuation of left turns and U-turns along Hilltop Circle during certain times of the day. The following intersections may be affected:
Hilltop Circle & UMBC Boulevard
Hilltop Circle & South Administration Drive
Hilltop Circle & Commons Drive
Hilltop Circle & Hilltop Road

These intersections will be periodically blocked off to prevent backups that will interfere with traffic entering the campus via UMBC Boulevard. In addition, only Gated Faculty/Staff who park at Administration Garage will be allowed to make a left turn at South Administration Drive during this period.

We urge motorists to arrive early to avoid the heavy volume of traffic.

For campus parking updates, please visit

We thank everyone in advance for your help and cooperation in making the drive to and from our campus safe.

Join the UMBC Poetry SLAM!

October 11
6-8 p.m., Performing Arts and Humanities Building Atrium

Slam BIG and Win BIG at the second annual Poetry Slam hosted by the English Department.

Last year’s slam was a standing-room-only success with more than 50 poets applying to compete.

A 1st prize of $200 will go to the winner of this dazzling high-energy slam. 2nd and 3rd cash prizes, too, for students and alumni sharing their original work, judged by a panel of faculty and staff, including several distinguished poets.

Help us put the performing in the new Performing Arts and Humanities Building!

To participate in the slam, submit a print and video version of no more than five minutes of original poetry to by 9/17/13.

Entries will be judged on their poetic effects, compelling content and on video performance.

All UMBC students and alumni are eligible.

A video of last year’s Poetry Slam is below.

Fall Opening Meeting

Each year, at the start of the fall semester, the UMBC community comes together to welcome colleagues and students back to campus, celebrate our achievements and launch the beginning of a new academic year. Please join President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous at the Fall Opening Meeting on August 22, in the University Center Ballroom. A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the program begins promptly at noon.

The Fall Opening Meeting will include the President’s annual State of the University Address and welcoming remarks by Provost Rous. Three of our incoming undergraduate and graduate students will also talk about why they chose to join the UMBC community.
We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, August 22.

2013-14 Hrabowski Fund for Innovation Award Competitio​n; Now Open to Staff

UMBC is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation Award 2013-14 competition.

For Academic Year 2013-2014, a total of approximately $100,000 will be  available through this competition to support initiatives to enhance  teaching and learning at UMBC, with specific emphasis on innovative  approaches to increase the success of our undergraduate and graduate  students. Such approaches may include, but are not limited to, redesign  of courses or other learning experiences, innovative course and/or  curriculum development, and other projects designed to improve or  understand student-learning outcomes at UMBC. In this  round of the competition we have expanded the submission eligibility  requirements to include full-time staff as well as faculty.

The competition is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty, clinical  instructional faculty, lecturers and instructors, and staff with  full-time appointments. Proposals for funding may be made by individuals or by collaborative groups. The Faculty Development Center is available to work with faculty or staff as they develop their ideas for projects.

For the AY13-14 competition, proposal deadlines are October 11, 2013 and February 14, 2014.

Working with the Provost’s Office, Dr. Linda Hodges, Director of the Faculty  Development Center, coordinates the competition. The detailed request  for proposals, instructions for submission, and required forms for the application can be found here.

Lisa Akchin, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations, in the Baltimore Sun

“In a time when social bridge building is greatly needed, we have lost much of our capacity for public friendliness,” writes Lisa Akchin, associate vice president for marketing and public relations, in a recent Baltimore Sun op-ed.  Akchin was responding to President Obama’s recollection of being greeted by the click of car door locks while crossing the street as a young black man.

“I know my own hand made that reflexive move for the door lock too many times before my mind considered the impact of my actions as a white woman on the feelings of a young black man,” she says.

Akchin writes about her own process of changing her perceptions, and calls on others in Baltimore to seek out opportunities to engage with people of diverse backgrounds. “For me, the first step out of this counterproductive cycle was a decision to stop seeing a statistic when I approached a black man on the street and begin seeing an individual coming from somewhere and going somewhere,” she says. “We are fortunate in Baltimore to have many attractive public spaces and events that serve as a modern-day town commons. These places and experiences offer rich opportunities to practice public friendliness.”

The piece, “On race, moving from fear to friendliness,” appeared in the Sun on July 24.

UMBC Again Named a “Great College to Work For”

July 26, 2013

To: The UMBC Community

From: President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous

Re: UMBC Again Named a “Great College to Work For”

For the fourth consecutive year, The Chronicle of Higher Education has named UMBC one of the best colleges in the nation for which to work. Each year, the Chronicle asks faculty and staff across the country to rate their workplaces on a host of factors. UMBC rated highly across all categories this year, earning it a spot on the “Honor Roll” for the second consecutive year.

UMBC is among only 97 colleges included in the Chronicle’s full list, and is one of only 10 Honor Roll institutions nationwide in its size category.  Other Honor Roll institutions in our category include Baylor University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The Chronicle results are based on responses from nearly 45,000 people at 300 institutions nationwide, including UMBC. The assessment also included an analysis of demographic data, benefits, and workplace policies at each participating college. This year, UMBC received high ratings in seven categories:

  • Collaborative Governance
  • Teaching Environment
  • Confidence in Senior Leadership
  • Supervisor/Department Chair Relationship
  • Respect and Appreciation
  • Tenure Clarity and Process
  • Diversity

Those ratings reflect our values and our deep commitment to supporting one another. We are a “Great College to Work For” because of each of you. Thank you for all you do for the UMBC community.