Jay A. Perman, MD, became the fifth chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) in January 2020. The USM enrolls more than 170,000 students in 12 universities and three regional higher education centers across the state, and confers nearly eight in every 10 bachelor's degrees awarded in Maryland.
As chancellor, Dr. Perman is committed to advancing higher education affordability for all students, and ensuring that every person in Maryland who wants a college education can access it. Over the last several years, the USM has grown the share of underrepresented minority students enrolled in system institutions, improved students' retention and completion rates, and boosted the amount of institutional aid awarded to students in need.
Dr. Perman is building on the USM's reputation for innovation, particularly in teaching and learning, community engagement, and research. The system's R&D enterprise has grown to eclipse $1.5 billion in extramural funding, and key technology commercialization metrics-invention disclosures, licenses, and startups-have climbed significantly.
Dr. Perman leverages the system's size and reach to support the state's top priorities in education, innovation, and workforce and economic development, and has deepened interinstitutional collaboration to create new academic opportunities for students, advance interdisciplinary research, and solve the biggest, most intractable problems challenging Maryland and the nation.
Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Dr. Perman was president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) for nearly a decade. A pediatric gastroenterologist, he still practices medicine once a week, teaching team-based health care to students in UMB's six professional schools.
As UMB president, Dr. Perman strengthened that institution's ties to the city of Baltimore, growing innovation-based economic development and spearheading programs to improve the health and well-being of UMB's closest neighbors. In 2014, he established the Office of Community Engagement to coordinate UMB's many outreach projects-with special emphasis on West Baltimore-and to leverage resources so that the university can respond quickly and effectively to community needs. He led the acquisition and renovation of a new Community Engagement Center to serve as the cornerstone of UMB's outreach efforts. Dr. Perman also launched the UMB CURE Scholars program, which provides intensive mentoring for West Baltimore students interested in the STEM fields.
Dr. Perman's UMB presidency was marked by excellence in education and research. Each of UMB's professional schools-medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and social work-has been singled out for recognition in national and international publications, most notably U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. During Dr. Perman's tenure, UMB's extramural funding broke records; in FY 2018 and FY 2019, UMB attracted nearly $700 million in grants and contracts.
Dr. Perman received his Doctor of Medicine degree with Distinction in 1972 from Northwestern University. After his residency in pediatrics at Northwestern University Children's Memorial Hospital, he completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School and at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston.
From 1977 to 1984, Dr. Perman was an assistant professor and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. He first came to Baltimore to work at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, serving as a professor of pediatrics and head of several divisions between 1984 and 1996. Dr. Perman was then named the Jessie Ball duPont Professor and Chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, where he served until 1999. From 1999 to 2004, he chaired the Department of Pediatrics at UMB's School of Medicine, before leaving to become dean and vice president for clinical affairs at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. In 2010, he returned to UMB as president.
Dr. Perman's career includes service on many U.S. higher education boards, including the National Association of System Heads, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, and the Southern Regional Education Board. He is a member of the Association of Governing Boards' Council of Presidents, and is active on issues involving specialized and regional accreditation, serving as chair of several Middle States review teams.
Locally and regionally, Dr. Perman chairs the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board and serves on the boards of the University of Maryland Medical System, the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, Baltimore's Promise, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is past-chair of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
Dr. Perman is a past president of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, a former section chair of the American Gastroenterological Association, and a former executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He has served on the board of the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans.
In 2020 and 2021, Dr. Perman was named to The Baltimore Sun's Business and Civic Hall of Fame, the Baltimore Business Journal's Power 10, and The Maryland Daily Record's Power 100, as well as that paper's list of Influential Marylanders.
A native of Chicago, Dr. Perman and his wife, Andrea, a research nurse, have four adult children and nine grandchildren and reside in Baltimore.