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The Division of Student Affairs is recognized for the fifth year in a row as a vibrant workplace that is committed to staff work-life balance, professional development, and inclusive excellence.

For the fifth consecutive year, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has been named one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.

The honor, which is awarded in a collaboration between Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)-College Student Educators International, is a national recognition that celebrates student affairs workplaces that are vibrant, diverse, supportive, and committed to staff work-life balance, professional development, and inclusive excellence.

This year, UMB was among 27 institutions to receive the award, which focuses on workplace diversity, staffing practices, and the work environment by using an online survey to examine categories such as family friendliness, salary and benefits, and professional development opportunities. The University of Maryland, College Park also received the award for the second year in a row.

“This recognition is an acknowledgment of our priorities and values within UMB Student Affairs as well as the climate and culture we continually strive to foster,” said Patty Alvarez, PhD, MS, chief student affairs officer and associate vice president of student affairs. “I am also appreciative of the many UMB policies and opportunities that contribute to the creation of positive experiences for employees. Everyone stands to benefit when we invest in diversity, equity, inclusion, and our employees.”

In its award application, the Division of Student Affairs noted that its leaders stress the importance of diversity and its benefits to the organization while maintaining a positive overall climate toward diversity in the workplace. Student Affairs also supports staff engagement in professional development opportunities such as conferences, workshops, reading groups, mentoring, and continuing education.

The application also highlighted UMB and Division of Student Affairs employee benefits such as sick, disability, vacation, personal, and family care leave that is paid, as well as flexible and compressed work schedules, telecommuting options, stress-reduction programs, and fitness programs/gym memberships. Additionally, the application noted that UMB has a chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer.

“It’s easy to think it commonplace after winning this award five years in a row, but it’s not,” said Flavius R.W. Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH, vice provost for academic and student affairs and vice dean of the University of Maryland Graduate School. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone in Student Affairs, as well as the broader UMB community, to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. It is heartening to see that our commitment to these values remains steadfast and unwavering.”

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education will present the award March 27 during the ACPA annual meeting in New Orleans. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is the nation’s only biweekly news magazine and online daily dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. You can read more about the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs Awards in the magazine’s March 16 issue.

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