For the 11th year in a row, UMBC has been recognized as a 2020 Great College to Work For. UMBC is the only university in Maryland represented on this year’s list. According to survey results conducted by ModernThink, UMBC achieved recognition in the following categories:
- Collaborative Governance
- Respect and Appreciation
- Work/Life Balance
- Confidence in Senior Leadership
- Teaching Environment
- Tenure Clarity and Process
“This recognition is particularly meaningful as faculty and staff completed the survey in January-April 2020, a time of very rapid change and uncertainty, when remote work and learning began,” says Valerie Thomas, chief human resources officer and associate vice president for human resources.
“UMBC really is a community and that is perhaps most evident in the administration’s belief in shared governance,” says Bobby Lubaszewski, president of UMBC’s Professional Staff Senate. Lubaszewski ‘10, English and history, is assistant director of marketing for the Division of Professional Studies. He shares, “We are constantly looked at as a model of strong shared governance by our peer institutions because the administration actually listens to what we have to say.”
UMBC is working to maintain connections within the University community at a time when most faculty and staff are working remotely. The UMBC Together group was convened to develop resources, provide spaces to connect, and share opportunities to bridge the gap in the current virtual environment.
“To me, UMBC Together signifies a community, being a part of a family that challenges you, comforts you when you need it, asks hard questions, laughs with you, and helps put you in a position to be your very best,” says Greg Simmons, M.P.P. ’04, public policy, vice president for Institutional Advancement.
The University’s commitment to diversity resonates especially strongly with faculty and staff. One employee shared with the survey group, “UMBC’s diverse, welcoming environment truly allows students, staff, and faculty to learn and develop beyond what the standard university experience has to offer.”
In an ever-changing environment, many employees share that they feel heartened by the University’s response to challenging issues. “In these difficult times UMBC has continued to go above and beyond to support its faculty and staff by putting our safety first in response to COVID-19, and by repeatedly demonstrating its unwavering commitment to eradicating structural racism and other forms of inequality,” says Orianne Smith, associate professor of English and Faculty Senate president.
In addition to this Great Colleges accolade, UMBC has also been named to Money’s 2020 Best Colleges in America list, the 2021 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, and Princeton Review’s The Best 386 Colleges 2021 edition.
Banner image: UMBC Academic Row. All photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.