After the tragedy in Charleston: A message from Dr. Hrabowski

A message to the UMBC community from President Freeman Hrabowski:

More than 50 years ago, the nation was shocked when the 16th Street Baptist Church in my home town of Birmingham was bombed and four little girls—my friends—were killed. People of all races were in disbelief that hatred could be so strong. Today we find ourselves again in complete shock as a nation, struggling to understand how an event as tragic as the shooting of nine people in a South Carolina church could happen in 2015. None of us can say how to put this in perspective.

In times like this, it is important that we reach out and give support to others, think out loud about the importance of community, and reflect on those values that make us decent human beings: our capacity for caring for each other and respect for the dignity of life itself.

UMBC is a special community in which we believe in supporting one another, working to understand and appreciate differences, and endeavoring to learn as much as possible about those qualities that make us human. I encourage faculty, staff, and students to take the time to discuss the challenges we face in this country and beyond involving race, discrimination of all types, inequality, and other social challenges.

When my friends were killed in 1963, some of us didn’t know how we could ever move forward. It was only through coming together and pledging to each other that their lives would not be in vain that we gained strength and hope. We vowed we would never forget. I challenge all of us to do the same.

New Human Resources Workplace Learning & Wellness Unit

TODlogcontactsmThe Human Resources (HR) Department is pleased to announce the reorganization and name change of the Training and Organizational Development Department to Workplace Learning & Wellness (WL&W). The WL&W Unit will continue to provide learning opportunities for staff and faculty that encompass personal and professional development, as well as highlight opportunities to care for the “whole” person through work-life balance and wellness.

Programs available under the WL&W will continue to encompass training opportunities with a focus on providing innovative ways of embedding practical skills learning, professional development, work-life balance and wellness into the fabric of our campus culture through a variety of awareness campaigns, Webinars and on-line learning, instructor-led sessions and cohort programs. Jill Weinknecht Wardell will manage the day-to-day operations of the WL&W in coordination with the HR Benefits Unit.

If you need additional information regarding current learning and wellness initiatives, as well as the revised vision for the WL&W, visit http://hr.umbc.edu/training-organization-development/ or contact Ms. Weinknecht Wardell at jwardell@umbc.edu.

Professional Staff Senate Nominations Now Open

true_grit_homecoming

Are you a UMBC professional staff member looking for a new challenge? Do you know a professional staff member on campus who would be the perfect fit for a leadership opportunity?

The PSS Elections Committee is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Professional Staff Senate. Please submit your nomination today! Nominations are due by April 15th.

Keep in mind that each nominee must be a UMBC exempt employee that has been here for at least one full year. You may submit up to six nominations for this year’s election–don’t forget, self-nominations are also welcome!

Questions about elections? Contact PSS Vice President, Sue Plitt, plitt@umbc.edu.

2015 May Commencement Ceremonies

UMBCFrom: Provost Rous

As we prepare for the 2015 May Commencement, President Hrabowski and I cordially invite you to participate in the Commencement ceremonies of the Undergraduate and Graduate School Programs. Doctoral and Master’s degrees will be conferred on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in the UMBC Retriever Activities Center (RAC). Baccalaureate degrees will be conferred on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. at the Royal Farms Arena. As you know, these events mean a great deal to our students, their parents, and guests, so I hope you will make a special effort to share in their celebrations.

RENTING REGALIA: As in the past, UMBC will subsidize the rental of academic regalia for faculty, and administrative and associate staff. Faculty and staff may order regalia beginning Tuesday, March 3 through March 29. Click on this to reserve regalia: https://my.umbc.edu/go/commencementform. If you have ordered regalia at UMBC before, your information will automatically appear on the screen when you enter your username. If you have not ordered before, you must enter the following information: your cap size, height with shoes, weight, degree earned, and the name of the school where the degree was earned.

DEADLINE TO ORDER: Please order your regalia no later than March 29. Beginning March 30, you will be asked to pay a late charge of $25.00 for your order. Please note that it will not be possible to order regalia after May 4. Even if there is a slight chance that you will attend Commencement, you should order regalia. It is easier for the Bookstore to return unused gowns and hoods then it is to place a late order and not receive delivery on time. Regalia will be ready for pick-up beginning May 6. If you have any questions, please call Gail Dupree at the Bookstore, x53904.

LUNCH AND BUSES: You are invited for lunch at 11:00 a.m. at the Royal Farms Arena before the Undergraduate Commencement. Bus transportation from UMBC to the Arena will also be provided, leaving at 10:30 a.m. for lunch and 11:30 a.m. for ceremony only.

RSVP: Following is the information we need for planning and seating purposes.

  • Your name
  • Your plans to process in the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, including whether you will come for lunch, and whether you will ride either the 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. bus from UMBC to the Arena.
  • Your plans to process in the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony.

If you plan to participate, please send your response for either or both Commencement ceremonies by May 4, by clicking this link: https://my.umbc.edu/go/commencementform.

For additional information about the 2015 May Commencement Ceremonies, please visit the Commencement website: www.umbc.edu/commencement. We look forward to your participation in the Ceremonies.

2015 UMBC Summer Day Camp

summer-day-camp-banner-page-001It is an exciting time here at UMBC, as we prepare to offer our Summer Day Camp program for the 36th consecutive year in operation. The UMBC Summer Day Camp has a number of unique features that make it an outstanding experience for the boys and girls who attend. We offer a wide variety of structured activities in which children of all ages and abilities will be able to take part in.

Some of these activities include sports of the week, self-defense, tennis, arts and crafts, swimming, in-house field trips, and recreational games. The children will also take part in traditional activities appropriate for their respective age levels. However, emphasis will be placed on participation rather than winning. Swimming will continue to be an important part of every child’s experience at camp. Children will have daily group swimming lessons in the morning along with a free swim period each afternoon!

We will be using the Retriever Activities Center (RAC) located on our beautiful campus, which includes multiple air conditioned gymnasiums. We are excited to be able to offer VISA and MASTERCARD payments again this year!

The camp will operate a total of nine weeks for children entering grades first to seventh grade. The wide variety of activities will be under the leadership and guidance of competent and experienced counselors.

If you would like your child to attend, please request information and a brochure as soon as possible. Enrollment is limited and we cannot guarantee space. Camp space is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

For questions regarding camp dates, fees, or other general camp information, please call (410) 455-2638 or email summerdaycamp@umbc.edu

Online registration is now open. Click here for more information.

Online Comment Period for Mid-Year Interim Reports Ends Feb. 28

TO: UMBC Campus Community

FROM: Provost Philip Rous, Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Steering Committee
Bruce Walz, Chair, Academic Planning and Budget Committee, Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Steering Committee

RE: Online Comment Period for Mid-Year Interim Reports Ends Feb. 28

The strategy groups and Foundations Work Group mid-year interim reports describing work to date, key findings, and emerging themes are now available online to the campus community. We encourage you to take a moment to review them and share your thoughts and comments. The reports will be available for comment through Saturday, February 28, 2015.

This is an important opportunity for campus engagement with the strategy and foundations groups as each continues to work on analysis of the collected data and begins to develop recommendations that will include goals, objectives and measures of success. Feedback collected through your comments online and from the fall campus survey will inform development of final recommendations due to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee in mid-April.

We would also like to thank all those who participated in the strategic planning interactive gallery last week. Your experiences and perspective shared throughout the afternoon sparked insightful and informative discussions with the strategy and foundations group members.

2015-2016 Computer Replacement Initiative

UMBCThis memorandum is to announce the Computer Replacement Initiative (CRI) for the Academic Year 2015-2016 in the Academic Affairs division. While we continue to face significant fiscal challenges, we recognize that it is important to provide our faculty and staff with the technology tools needed to carry out our academic mission. Funds available for the CRI continue to be limited and consequently we anticipate that we will not be able to fund all the meritorious applications.

The procedures for this year’s CRI will be the same as last year’s and we will also maintain the same subsidy levels as before. Specifically, the subsidy for a laptop is $1,000 and the subsidy for a desktop is $600. The goal for this differential is to promote the purchase of laptops by faculty and staff based on the advantages provided by laptops in the areas of academic continuity, sustainability, portability and teaching with technology as we continue to enhance our pool of classrooms.

In order to ensure delivery and installation is completed well in advance of the start of Fall 2015, the schedule for this cycle of the CRI is again rather compressed. Ordering of the new machines will occur on May 13th with installations planned for completion by mid-July.

This year we have some iPads available subsidized by DoIT. The tablets will be included in this year’s CRI to encourage faculty use and adoption in the classroom. The tablet request is in addition to the normal desktop or laptop subsidy. Faculty may apply for both a tablet and a desktop or laptop replacement.

Given the success achieved during the previous years with a single procurement and mass distribution of PC’s, we will continue with a similar program this year. As in the past, we will have several “standard” configurations included in this procurement as well as an option for a standard configured laptop. The minimum and recommended configurations for a desktop and laptops can be found at https://wiki.umbc.edu/x/9gJQ

The CRI has always required cost sharing of new computers. As indicated above, we will provide a subsidy of $600 for a desktop computer and $1,000 for a laptop computer. Those wishing to purchase a different configuration may apply the subsidy amount toward the purchase of a customized computer configuration. All computers purchased should minimally be purchased with a three-year warranty.

We will again place a bulk purchase with Dell so machines can be delivered and installed well in advance of the start of the Fall 2015 semester. Each individual will have the option of using the bulk purchase or ordering their customized unit from either Dell or another vendor. I encourage you to participate in this bulk purchase plan given the benefits we have seen in the past. Your department will be charged a one-time amount depending on which option you should select. The options available and the exact department cost share for each option will be announced in March as soon as we have such information from Dell.

The timeline for this year’s CRI is the following:

  • February 16, 2015 – Announcement sent to campus
  • March 27, 2015- Deadline for submitting the CRI application via the DoIT web form
  • April 3, 2015- Notification to chairs/directors of award recommendations from the committee
  • April 9, 2015 – Feedback from chairs/directors on the award recommendations
  • April 14, 2015 – Review by the deans of the awards list
  • April 17, 2015 – Awards are announced
  • May 5, 2015 – Deadline for awardees to make their computer options selection
  • May 13, 2015 – Computer order will be placed

The application form is available on the web at the URL https://apps-my.umbc.edu/apps/cri/. First priority for funding is given to a requestor with a computer that falls below the minimum standard and who has explained the need for a new computer under the mandatory narrative on the form. If you have questions about the CRI or these instructions, please contact Vice Provost Moreira at x56576 (or Executive Assistant, Susan Mocko at x56577).