The University of Baltimore provides innovative education in business, public affairs, the applied liberal arts and sciences, and law to serve the needs of a diverse population in an urban setting. A public university, the University of Baltimore offers excellent teaching and a supportive community for undergraduate, graduate and professional students in an environment distinguished by academic research and public service. The University:
Positioning for the Future: Creating a Shared Vision, the University of Baltimore Strategic Plan 2004-2007 helped initiate transformational change at UB. The significant institutional accomplishments of that period provide the UB community with a strong foundation from which to envision the possibilities of the coming five years.
Expanding the Vision: the University of Baltimore Strategic Plan 2008-2012 continues that transformation while remaining rooted in the University’s historic educational mission. The updated plan is consistent with the goals and objectives outlined in The USM in 2010: An Update of the USM Strategic Plan and with the state plan for higher education.
In fall 2007, enrollment in the University System of Maryland reached a record high of 137,412 students, reflecting a 1.5% increase from the previous year. USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan, in projecting a system-wide enrollment increase of 30 percent during the coming decade, stated, “We are literally adding the student population equivalent of a Frostburg, Salisbury, or University of Maryland Eastern Shore – 4,000 or more students – every two years.”
State demographic, economic and political factors contributing to the projected increase include a surge in high school graduation levels associated with the “Baby Boom Echo;” the impact of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program on the state’s need for additional post-secondary, certificate and professional development offerings; and the USM’s commitment to closing the Achievement Gap – the disparity between low-income and minority students and other young Americans in terms of college attendance and success rates.
After years of declining and unpredictable public support, the state’s elected officials have proposed dedicated and enhanced funding streams for higher education in the state’s budget. With the addition of a collaborative effort to fund increasing enrollments, Maryland is poised to reverse recent cycles of declining support and increasing tuitions to meet the needs of a new generation of students.
From 2002 to 2007, UB student enrollment grew by 13 percent. During that period, the University opened its first-ever student center, an award-winning building that serves as the signature structure of a revitalized campus. Six UB faculty members received USM Regents awards. In spring 2007, the University successfully completed its reaccreditation process with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The launching of new academic programs, such as those in Simulation and Digital Entertainment and Real Estate and Economic Development, continued the UB tradition of innovative, timely responses to workforce needs. Another tradition was officially recognized when UB became one of the first universities in the nation to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s “community engaged” classification. New efforts in each of the schools contributed to this distinction, including the Schaefer Center’s partnership with the Weinberg Fellows Program; the Center for Families, Children and the Courts’ Truancy Court program; and the establishment of the Entrepreneurship Opportunity Center.
In fall 2007, UB welcomed its first freshmen class in 32 years, marking the University’s return to four-year undergraduate education. The initiative, created in response to increased state demand, was made possible by the collaborative efforts of faculty and staff working in a timeframe seldom realized in higher education.
In 2007, UB achieved the largest percentage enrollment increase in the USM at 9.44 percent, the largest since the University became a state institution. The introduction of the First and Second Year Program accounted for only a portion of this increase: UB’s growth without first-year students would still represent the highest percentage increase in the USM.
The updated plan outlines goals, objectives, strategies and success measures in six topic areas, with a focus on enhancing the learning and teaching environment. From these, an overarching and transformational vision emerges of the University of Baltimore in the coming decade.
This vision is comprised of four key elements:
These elements require growth in the institution’s existing resource base from multiple sources, including state funds, private giving, corporate and foundation support, the University of Baltimore Foundation and continued entrepreneurial activities. With the necessary base funding, the University of Baltimore can continue its transformational growth into the next decade.
UB’s teaching mission has historically been centered on career-focused education, as stated in the Academic Committee Report of October 2007: “…the education of the student is central to all the activities at UB and the ultimate goal is to provide a supportive learning environment for individuals to advance in their careers and be engaged in their communities.”
Career-focused education faces distinct challenges in today’s marketplace due to global competition and the rapid pace of change and innovation. Today’s graduates must be prepared for more than a career, as skills in communication, problem-solving, collaboration and technical literacy will be required in all professional disciplines. These skills enable more than job entry or career advancement: they are key to a fully-realized life experience.
In addressing these challenges, five-year targets will include the following:
Strategies for strengthening learning and teaching at UB include:
The successful development and launch of the First and Second Year Program changed undergraduate education at the University of Baltimore. The initiative presented the UB community with the opportunity and challenge of developing a lower-division curriculum, delivering general education requirements, and examining learning and teaching styles for a new generation of students. The effort resulted in an invigorated campus climate, a reassessment of current practices, and a renewed commitment to UB’s historic educational mission.
With full implementation of the 4-year undergraduate program, coupled with its existing graduate and professional programs, UB is positioned to be a growth institution within the USM at a time when post-secondary education is more important than ever before.
In Maryland, as well as regionally and nationally, success in the knowledge-based 21st century economy depends on the availability of an educated workforce. The University of Baltimore’s practical and professional programs in business, law and the applied liberal arts will be a major asset in advancing the region’s competitive advantage in the coming decade.
Equally important is the value that undergraduate and graduate degrees bring to the individual: access to better-paying jobs, increased economic mobility, and greater community engagement and personal fulfillment. During the last century, these values formed the basis of what was called the American Dream. The University of Baltimore and all public institutions must define that dream for the new century; closing the Achievement Gap is a major and critical first step towards that goal.
In addition to meeting state and regional needs, targeted growth can provide UB with:
Growth strategies include:
During the next five years, the University of Baltimore will commit to achieving national ranking and recognition in areas of academic excellence while maintaining its core educational mission.
This commitment includes:
In order to realize the overarching goals of the updated plan, the University of Baltimore must receive adequate funding to support its distinct mix of pre-professional undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, as well as the resources necessary to implement its enrollment growth initiatives.
UB is committed to working collaboratively with the USM and the Maryland Higher Education Commission to establish a peer model that results in funding appropriate to the institution’s structure and mission. In addition, the USM, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly, established the Enrollment Funding Initiative (EFI) to help meet the demands on universities’ operating budgets as a result of increasing enrollments. UB’s participation in this initiative, as well as the state’s commitment to maintaining EFI funding levels, is critical to the University’s enrollment plans.
Finally, the University of Baltimore is committed to successfully meeting its capital campaign targets and public/private initiatives. The additional support for scholarships; faculty research and endowed chairs; and infrastructure enhancement will contribute significantly to the University’s continued growth and development.
The next section identifies goals, objectives, strategies and success measures that will help UB realize its vision for the future. The list of strategies and success measures will guide actions and can be used to assess progress in each area, but they are not comprehensive: Strategic planning is a dynamic process, and should be informed by ongoing discussion, evaluation and – if necessary – refocusing.
Specific strategies and success measure targets should be set periodicallyafter collaborative discussions among all responsible units. Progress towards these institutional goals should be monitored on a regular basis and be reported annually to the campus community. Existing school, college and unit plans should be reviewed for consistency with the updated institutional plan. Standing shared governance committees, as well as campus-wide work groups in specific areas, will participate in monitoring plan implementation.
Through a culture of self-assessment and continuous improvement, the University of Baltimore can most effectively fulfill its commitment to all stakeholders.
Objective 1.1: Increase support for faculty to develop pedagogy; assess student learning; employ cutting-edge instructional technology; and mentor new colleagues.
Objective 1.2: Add faculty lines in areas of programmatic growth and need to assure quality of instruction, maintain appropriate teaching loads, and meet accreditation standards where applicable.
Objective 1.3: Enhance research and scholarship that contribute to the University’s academic mission.
Objective 1.4: Support the ongoing assessment of programmatic and student course learning outcomes.
Objective 1.5: Strengthen academic support services and co-curricular programming to meet the needs of a diverse student population.
Objective 1.6: Achieve national ranking and recognition in select areas of academic excellence.
Objective 2.1: Increase total student headcount to 8,000.
Objective 2.2: Review existing academic programs based on current enrollments; market indicators of future enrollments; degrees granted; cost; dedicated faculty; and contribution to general education requirements; and enhance initiatives that ensure programmatic currency and relevancy.
Objective 2.3: Increase the number of four-year undergraduate majors.
Objective 2.4: Strengthen and coordinate retention efforts in all program areas.
Objective 2.5: Develop and launch programs in areas of documented need based on thorough market analysis; comprehensive business plans; USM and MHEC approvals; and dedicated resources.
Objective 2.6: Expand co-curricular offerings to enrich students’ educational, cultural and social experiences.
Objective 3.1: Increase support for and promotion of the University’s centers, institutes, clinics and community-focused initiatives.
Objective 3.2: Increase collaborative programs and community-focused education that utilize Baltimore’s potential as an educational incubator.
Objective 3.3: Strengthen UB’s culture of students as community stewards through enhanced service-learning and internship opportunities.
Objective 3.4: Increase opportunities for local residents and businesses in UB’s hiring, purchasing and other on-going business functions.
Objective 3.5: Continue to develop and implement public/private development partnerships that meet university and community needs and contribute to the economic and social vitality of midtown Baltimore.
Objective 4.1: Increase the annual operating budget to adequately support the University of Baltimore’s distinct mix of pre-professional undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.
Objective 4.2: Provide a supportive environment for the ongoing professional development and engagement of all staff.
Objective 4.3: Enhance customer service in all public-facing and internal operations.
Objective 4.4: Increase the participation of alumni, staff, faculty, students, external stakeholders and the business community in the University’s fundraising initiatives.
Objective 4.5: Increase financial resources for students to enhance available financial aid, work-study positions, graduate assistantships and stipends.
Objective 4.6: Increase alternative revenue streams to support the academic mission through public/private partnerships and expanded auxiliary enterprises.
Objective 5.1: Construct new and renovated classrooms, labs, study areas, offices, academic support facilities, and common spaces necessary to maintain and enhance the learning and teaching environment.
Objective 5.2: Enhance the information technology infrastructure to support learning, teaching, student services, and core business functions.
Objective 5.3: Increase environmentally-conscious practices in energy consumption, recycling, procurement, transportation and building construction and renovation.
Objective 5.4: Enhance campus green space, signage, lighting and other streetscaping elements to create a safe, welcoming and defined urban campus.
Objective 5.5: Provide parking facilities and campus residential options that meet the needs of current and future students, faculty and staff.
Objective 6.1: Increase diversity in faculty and professional staff hiring.
Objective 6.2: Support the awareness and inclusion of diversity in academic and co-curricular programming.
Objective 6.3: In collaboration with the USM, enhance efforts to close the college achievement gap among current and future student populations.
Objective 6.4: Increase participation in and effectiveness of campus shared governance.
Objective 6:5: Enhance campus communication, feedback and assessment mechanisms that contribute to the fulfillment of the University’s mission.