Dear UMBC Community,
It has been such a pleasure to witness firsthand the strength of this community and to get to know many of you in my first few months. You have accomplished great things together and are poised to take bold steps forward as a national leader that redefines excellence in higher education through an inclusive culture. I know that my next step must be to engage in deep and comprehensive listening.
To that end, I am pleased to announce the launch of UMBC Bold: Campus Conversations. This initiative will allow for all in our community to share their perspective on the state of the university and to reflect on its future potential.
Vandana Janeja, Chair and Professor of Information Systems, Michelle Scott, Professor of History, and Greg Simmons, M.P.P. '04, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, have graciously agreed to chair a committee charged with leading the campus conversations. Two of our distinguished community members will also serve as honorary committee chairs: Adrienne Jones '76, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, and Alan Wilson, Chair of the UMBC Board of Visitors.
We hope that you will engage with us at sessions focused on a breadth of topics including: the academic experience, our research enterprise, partnerships, governance, and other areas that impact students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Our conversations will be guided by three questions:
1. What achievements and core values should we celebrate and nurture?
2. What challenges might hinder our ability to advance our mission and vision?
3. What are your bold aspirations for the future of UMBC?
I am eager to spend this time listening and learning with you. I know that as we go forward, we must go together.
President Valerie Sheares Ashby