The Chancellor's Message

January 2020

We enter a new year and a new decade—and this week I begin my tenure as chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM). As I take on this responsibility, I’m excited to build on the system’s strengths and the progress we’ve made, and enable even greater achievement to come.

As president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), the USM has been my home for the past decade (and 15 years in all). So I know first-hand the outstanding quality of our institutions, the brilliance of the women and men who lead them, the commitment of our faculty and staff, the enthusiasm of our alumni, the dedication of the USM Board of Regents, and—above all—the talent and drive of our students. I’m grateful for the extraordinary opportunities a foundation like this makes possible.

As I move forward in leadership, I will be accessible, transparent, and collaborative. As we work together to improve the lives of Maryland’s people and strengthen its communities, I pledge that every USM institution—each with its own unique qualities and needs—will have a voice and will be heard. I plan to build on the USM’s reputation for educational innovation, particularly in research, economic development, and community engagement. Above all, I will work to fulfill what I consider one of my life’s obligations: ensuring that every person who wants a college education is able to access it.

I thank my predecessor, Dr. Robert Caret, whose vision invigorated Maryland’s higher education landscape. In his years as chancellor, Dr. Caret grew the USM’s enrollment, made sure that our students reflect the wonderful diversity of this state, enhanced our innovation capacity, and strengthened the USM’s role as a primary driver of Maryland’s economic vitality. Working with our partners in state and local government, along with business and industry leaders, community activists, education advocates, and the hard-working people throughout the USM, I hope to build on this legacy in the years ahead.

The 2020 General Assembly session will soon be upon us, and my first priority will be working with leaders in Annapolis on the USM’s budget priorities, legislative goals, regulatory issues, and other matters affecting the system. I will no doubt be calling on many of you for advice and support.

Another priority is to get to know Maryland and the USM even better in the coming weeks and months. I plan to spend time in every part of the state, talking with Marylanders about the system’s assets and challenges, and emerging opportunities to build new partnerships to meet both regional and statewide needs. The USM plays a critical role in enriching our communities, supporting job creation, fueling economic growth, and enhancing Marylanders’ quality of life. I look forward to talking with many of you as we build an ambitious agenda to benefit our state and its people.

Those who know me know that I will also be visiting each USM institution to meet with administrators, faculty, staff, and students to explore how we can work together as a system to advance higher education access and affordability, teaching excellence, student success, and other strategic priorities. These visits will be central to shaping my work as chancellor.

To that end, I’d very much like to hear from you. You can respond to this letter, or share your thoughts on any USM issue, by writing to me at

I hope you share my excitement for what we’ll achieve together. It is the privilege of my life to be able to work with you to make our extraordinary USM even better.