The President's Message on The Elm-June

Read Dr. Jarrell’s column about the General Assembly’s 2024 legislative session in the newsletter’s new “On The Elm” format, which includes news, notes, upcoming events, and more.

Starting this month, The President’s Message newsletter is moving to The Elm website. The newsletter will include President Bruce Jarrell’s column, Laurels, New Hires, News and Notes, Upcoming Events, and a Save the Date section.

Presidents Column: 2024 Legislative Session Report

It has been an exciting and fulfilling academic year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), and last month the Maryland General Assembly concluded its 446th legislative session. I want to report on some of its actions that are of particular interest to UMB.

First, I was glad to share the news that the governor’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget allocation includes a cost-of-living adjustment and merit pool for UMB employees. I am glad we can give salary increases to the best and brightest employees in Maryland who strive daily to improve the human condition and serve the public good!

I am pleased to announce significant allocations by the General Assembly this session to UMB’s operating budget, totaling $4.3 million in support of our mission, including:

  • $1.4 million grant for the School of Medicine’s (UMSOM) Rural Health Equity and Access Scholarship Program
  • $1 million grant to the School of Dentistry (UMSOD) for operating costs of an emergency dental clinic
  • $1 million grant to UMSOD for pediatric dental clinic services
  • $500,000 grant to UMB for the Erin Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention at the Francis King Carey School of Law
  • $250,000 grant for Maryland Carey Law’s and the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics
  • $150,000 grant to UMSOM’s Center for Infant and Child Loss

The governor and the General Assembly’s Capital Budget also supported UMB through:

  • $1.638 million in funding for the new Dental Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • $3 million for FY25 to design, construct, renovate, and capital-equip laboratory and office space for the University of Maryland Institute for Health Computing (UM-IHC) at the North Bethesda Metro location
  • $26.73 million for our new School of Social Work building

We also can celebrate some key bills and budgetary allocations that significantly impact UMB.

In a significant win for UMB’s research initiatives, the legislature mandated annual funding for UM-IHC (MPower Joint Steering Council Funding, House Bill 334/Senate Bill 376). I advocated for this bill that secures vital resources to drive innovation in health care through innovative artificial intelligence technologies.

The Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund and Commission (HB 51/SB 13) solidifies the establishment of the Pediatric Cancer Research Commission, directing competitive grants from the Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund toward pediatric cancer research. Through the dedicated advocacy of Curt Civin, MD, director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at UMSOM, UMB supported this pivotal initiative aimed at advancing breakthroughs in pediatric oncology. In addition, UMB advocated against an action within the governor’s FY25 budget that would have eliminated $5 million for this important fund.

Recognizing the need to safeguard the integrity of state contracts, UMB was responsible for drafting State Contracts - Prohibited Provisions (HB 289/SB 375), legislation to prohibit restrictive provisions that impede the state’s rights. With the endorsement of University Counsel Arthur “Skip” Rose, JD, this bill ensures equitable contractual agreements that align with Maryland’s legal framework.

The Tax Assistance for Low-Income Marylanders - Funding (HB 451/SB 676) legislation reinforces support for low-income Marylanders by enhancing funding for tax assistance programs. With Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins, JD, and clinical instructor Beverly Winstead, JD, advocating on behalf of Maryland Carey Law, this bill increases critical financial aid to underserved communities.

The extension of the state’s Live Near Your School program underscores UMB’s commitment to community development. With Dawn Rhodes, DBA, chief business and finance officer and senior vice president, championing this cause, UMB continues to foster neighborhood revitalization and homeownership opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.

Expanding the Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund - Alterations (HB 891/SB 418) amplifies UMB’s impact on community projects. With James Hughes, MBA, chief enterprise and economic development officer and senior vice president, advocating for this legislation, UMB stands poised to leverage resources for sustainable community initiatives.

I want to thank everyone who advocated and testified on UMB’s behalf. I especially want to thank Kevin Kelly, JD, chief government affairs officer and vice president, and our Office of Government Affairs, which serves as the University’s primary point of contact with state, federal, and local government officials and their staffs, as well as business and community stakeholders. Our collaborative efforts have yielded substantial legislative victories and secured critical funding for UMB’s mission.


Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS


See our monthly roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

New Hires

See a list of new hires at UMB central administration and our seven schools. 

News and Notes

Four PharmD graduates from the School of PharmacyThe School of Pharmacy celebrated its Class of 2024 Doctor of Pharmacy graduates on May 17.

Congrats to the Class of 2024: UMB marked graduation with events that included a festive Universitywide celebration and individual school ceremonies. Our graduation website includes stories and photo galleries from the festivities that occurred during the week of May 13-17.

Catalyst MagazineRead the Spring 2024 issue of CATALYST magazine: This issue features stories about a UMB elective course focused on the effects of climate change, Maryland Carey Law’s 200th anniversary, artificial intelligence-assisted diagnostics at the School of Dentistry, and much more.

Middle States Working Groups Complete Self-Study Report Draft: The University’s seven Middle States Commission on Higher Education working groups have drafted the self-study that is a major component of the accreditation process. The report will be discussed in two town halls in October designed to allow the UMB community to provide feedback.

UMB Foundation Celebrates Philanthropy: The foundation recognized its Distinguished Service Award recipient and seven Catalyst for Excellence Award winners. Henry Lee, DDS ’79, a School of Dentistry alumnus, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his many years of generosity and service to the school and UMB.

UMB Distinguished University Professors2024 Distinguished University Professors Announced: Distinguished University Professor is the highest appointment that can be bestowed upon a UMB faculty member. This year’s cohort (pictured at left) includes Richard Boldt, Susan Dorsey, Steven Kittner, E. Albert Reece, William Regine, and David Weber. They will be honored at the Faculty Convocation in September.

Showing You’re Proud to Work Here, Proud to Give Here Has Never Been Easier: The Office of Philanthropy offers easy ways for faculty and staff to give back to the UMB projects, programs, and funds that matter most to them. With enhanced searchability and convenient payment options, donors can show their support in a matter of minutes. To give by credit card or digital wallet, visit

The UMB Pulse“The UMB Pulse” Podcast: The latest episode features an inspiring interview with Kun Yang, PharmD ’15, a School of Pharmacy alumnus who co-founded Pricklee, a company that produces cactus water. Kun's journey took him from growing up in Canada to attending pharmacy school in Maryland, where the idea for Pricklee blossomed.

UMB’s Roger Ward Honored with Leaders in Diversity Award: Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA, provost and executive vice president of UMB, was selected as one of the 10 honorees for the Baltimore Business Journal’s 2024 Leaders in Diversity Awards, which recognize efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in workplaces and the community.

Upcoming Events

Cover of 1807, UMB's art and literary journalJune 10 to July 28: 1807 Issue 5 Gallery: Visit the Weise Gallery at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library to see an exhibition of artwork from the milestone fifth edition of UMB's art and literary journal, 1807.

June 12: “The Table” Dialogue: As part of its Pride Month programming, join the UMB Intercultural Center for a virtual discussion about pinkwashing and its impact on the LGBTQ+ community.

June 18: Pride and Juneteenth Social Hour: Join the UMB Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the School of Nursing Lobby for a social hour celebrating Pride Month and Juneteenth. Attendees are encouraged to wear vibrant colors.

June 25: LEAPS Speaker Series: Hugh Stoddard, MEd, PhD, of the Baylor College of Medicine will be the guest speaker for this virtual event on the topic “Co-Creation of Curriculum: An Innovative Technology for Teaching That You Didn’t Know You Needed.”

Save the Date

Police officer getting face paintedAug. 6: National Night Out: Join UMB Police and Public Safety for National Night Out, an annual community-building event that promotes positive relationships between police and the communities they serve. The event features free food, games, and giveaways.

Sept. 12: Faculty Convocation: The convocation to celebrate the new academic year will feature faculty speakers and recognition of the 2024 Distinguished University Professors. 

Oct. 14-17: Founders Week: UMB’s annual celebration will feature the Awards Recognition and Reception, Student Cookout, and Staff Luncheon, plus a celebration of the Community Engagement Center’s 10th anniversary and a groundbreaking for the new School of Social Work building.

Video of the Month

Seven Class of 2024 graduates discuss what they learned and how they grew during their time at UMB:

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