The story and the history of UMBC is that of a community that, through the commitment and hard work of our faculty, staff and students, has dedicated itself to creating a new model of the public research university based upon the principle of inclusive excellence. UMBC rightly has established a national reputation for the diversity of our student body and our commitment to educating and supporting students from all backgrounds. While we have made significant progress, we continue to deepen and expand our efforts to recruit and retain a diverse and inclusively excellent faculty. There are multiple reasons for this imperative, each one of which is sufficiently compelling in its own right. UMBC must recruit and maintain a diverse and inclusive professoriate if it is to achieve its mission and enable the University, USM, and Maryland to benefit from and collaborate with the brightest minds in the world. The vibrancy of the intellectual and social life of the UMBC community is enriched when minds from diverse backgrounds live, learn, create, and engage one another in respectful and insightful ways. How we deal with the issues of diversity and inclusion today matters – not just for how we see ourselves and our community at this moment, but also for what we envision our university can become in the future. Our collective acknowledgment of this imperative is reflected in our new strategic plan which identifies diversifying our faculty as a critical step toward advancing all aspects of our mission. Put simply: UMBC cannot reach our full potential as a leading public research university without the benefit of a full range of diverse perspectives and backgrounds driving our educational mission, research, scholarship, creative activity and civic engagement. Nor can we expect to fulfill our promise and responsibility to be a university that is engaged in understanding, and finding solutions for, the most important local and global challenges we face today.
We hope you will find the information on our Faculty Diversity Webpage to be useful as we engage in ongoing conversations about these issues. While we have come quite far, we acknowledge that we can, and must, do more to address the hiring, retention and advancement of a diverse and inclusively excellent faculty at UMBC. We ask you to join us in a renewed commitment to our most fundamental value of inclusion and to bring this important issue to the forefront in our discussions of our shared principles. Your engagement is critically important to shaping our future as an inclusive scholarly community.