Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiative
A Final Report to the Board of Regents
William E. Kirwan, Chancellor
June 22, 2005
(Accepted by the Board June 22, 2005)
1. Introduction. In June 2004, Chairman Cliff Kendall, appointed a workgroup consisting of, in addition to himself, Regents Pat Florestano, Robert Pevenstein, Tom Finan, and David Nevins. The purpose of the workgroup was to review the organizational structure of the USM's four "special purpose" institutions. These institutions are the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the University of Baltimore (UB), the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI), and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (UMCES). These institutions are considered "special purpose" because each has characteristics that make it significantly different from a traditional degree granting university.
UMUC serves primarily as an "online" campus with very few traditional classrooms and a predominantly part-time student body. It also operates a large overseas division serving U.S. military and diplomatic personnel abroad. By its mission, UB is restricted to serving upper division and professional graduate students. UMBI and UMCES are research institutes. While the faculties of these institutes have some involvement in graduate education, the institutes do not offer degrees.
2. Actions Taken. After several meetings and discussions with the presidents of UMUC and UB, the workgroup came to a conclusion about the future directions for these two institutions. It was decided that UMUC's mission and structure should stay intact but that the university needed greater autonomy from state rules and regulations in order to take full advantage of its potential to generate a national constituency for its online offerings. This is deemed an important objective because the revenue from out-of-state operations will enable UMUC to serve larger numbers of in-state students at a lower cost. The recommendation to seek the necessary flexibility and autonomy was unanimously approved by the E&E workgroup and by the full board. Many of the desired changes were achieved during the 2005 legislative session. Others, not requiring legislative action, are under review by relevant Board committees.
The workgroup concluded that UB should continue to serve as a stand-alone institution but that it should expand its mission and serve lower division students as well. The concept of an upper division only institution was an experimental concept nationwide several decades ago but the idea has largely been abandoned by higher education. Moreover, given the extreme enrollment pressure that the USM faces in the coming decade, the workgroup concluded that the expansion of UB's mission is a highly desirable step to take, one that could help address the need for increased USM student capacity. UB has developed a proposal to expand its mission to include a lower division cohort and both the E&E workgroup and the full board approved the organizational review workgroup's recommendation to move in this direction. The issue of UB's expanded mission is now under review by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
3. UMBI. The workgroup met on numerous occasions to consider the status of UMBI. Two issues were the focus of the workgroup's attention: 1) the financial viability of UMBI as a non-tuition generating entity; and 2) the separation of UMBI from the educational mission of the USM.
The workgroup heard from President Jenny Hunter-Cevera; William Gust, chair of UMBI's Board of Visitors; Aris Melissaratos, Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development; and Larry Vanderhoef, Chancellor of the University of California, Davis, who was one of the originators of the UMBI concept. The workgroup also studied a document prepared by the Chancellor, with input from President Hunter-Cevera, on the advantages and disadvantages of disaggregating UMBI's four centers and placing each on one of the USM's degree granting research campuses.
Any decision regarding UMBI must take into account the fact that USM is an entity of state government. UMBI was established with its present structure through a generous appropriation from the state and with the full support of the Governor and the General Assembly. Secretary Melissaratos emphasized how much he has used the existence of UMBI and its centers in marketing Maryland to high tech firms, especially bio-science firms, that are considering a possible relocation to Maryland.
In considering the role of UMBI in USM's educational mission, the workgroup was made aware of the engagement (teaching and thesis supervision) of numerous UMBI faculty with graduate students from several of USM's degree granting institutions. The workgroup was also briefed on UMBI's considerable contribution to science education enrichment programs for the state's K-12 teachers and students.
The issue of financial viability has been studied by UMBI and USMO. Unless there is an unexpected cut in state resources, UMBI has sufficient indirect cost recovery from research grants and revenues from other sources to maintain its operations at their current level.
Chancellor's Recommendation. It is my recommendation that for the present UMBI continue to be a constituent institution of the USM led by a president. There is one entity within UMBI, however, for which change at this time may be appropriate. This is the Institute for Human Virology (IHV). IHV was created almost 10 years ago. It was established through a complicated contractual agreement involving UMB and UMBI, which must now be renegotiated. Lead by Robert Gallo, co-discovery of the AIDS virus, IHV has shifted its focus from basic to clinical research. This makes its activities increasingly less compatible with the mission of UMBI and more compatible with the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB). Moreover, the majority of IHV's research is lead by two faculty members who have their primary appointment in UMB.
It is my recommendation that the Regents charge the Chancellor to initiate a process, which may draw upon outside experts, leading to a determination during FY 06 of the best administrative home for IHV and to bring a recommendation to the Board for its consideration on this matter contemporaneously with a new MOU describing IHV's future arrangements with UMB and UMBI.
4. UMCES. UMCES was established by the state some 80 years ago with the primary purpose of doing research and outreach on issues related to the Chesapeake Bay and its environmental well-being. As such, over the intervening years, it has been a primary source of research and information for the state in setting policies regarding the Bay. The administrative responsibility for UMCES was assigned to the University of Maryland some 50 years ago and it was placed at the highest level of the organizational chart. Over the years, its research mission has broadened somewhat but it continues to have the Bay as its primary focus and it continues to be the state's main source for research and scientific information regarding the Bay. The president of UMCES sits ex officio on the Governor's environmental cabinet and on other bodies - both state and federal - concerned with the coastal environment.
A predicate to quality in academic research is a strong linkage between faculty and graduate students. The Institute's faculty are very involved with graduate students. Indeed, UMCES faculty are the major source of instruction and thesis supervision for USM's interdisciplinary and inter-institution Marine Estuary and Environmental Science program.
There remains the issue of financial viability. As a non-tuition generating institution, UMCES is dependent upon a consistent flow of state funding; research grant indirect cost recoveries are not sufficient to cover operational support expenses. We will work with UMCES to develop a cost-based model for assessing and funding budgetary requirements. Assuming no major cuts in state support -- UMCES will have adequate resources to maintain its programs in a satisfactory manner.
Chancellor's Recommendation. For the various reasons cited above, it is my recommendation that for the present UMCES continue to be a constituent institution of the USM led by a president.
5. Conclusion. With these recommendations, the organizational review of the special purpose institutions comes to a close. This has been a very constructive process that will strengthen the operations of several of these institutions. It has also reaffirmed the mission and structure of UMCES. Only one issue regarding UMBI remains unresolved. However, a course of action has been identified.
It will be important for the Regents to review the recommendations in this report periodically to see if the changes resulting from this review have produced the desired results. It also will be important for the Chancellor and the Board to continue periodic review of the organizational structure of the USM and to make changes when appropriate.