University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Announces Resignation

From UMES Office of Public Relations:

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE

Office of the President

February 12, 2018

Dear UMES Family:

I am writing today to inform you of my decision to resign from the presidency of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. I will step down as President effective June 30, 2018. Serving as President of this great University has been an honor, privilege and blessing. Though a difficult one, this is a decision I reached after much thought and prayer. I have notified Chancellor Caret and the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, and they are supportive of my decision. I believe there is a time and a season for all things. This is my time to renew, to rekindle my passions, and to spend quality time with family, especially my M&Ms (a.k.a. my five grandkids). This is UMES’ season for growth and continued excellence as a Doctoral University as it embarks on a new strategic plan and a new capital fundraising campaign.

I am incredibly proud of all we have accomplished together during my tenure as President. Through your hard work and dedication, UMES has, indeed, made substantial progress toward my vision of moving “From Excellence to Eminence”. This year, for the first time, we broke into the ranks of the Top 20 HBCUs according to US News and World Report’s ranking of the nation’s best HBCUs. Although we graduated our first Pharm. D. cohort just in May 2013, we have already produced nearly 300 graduates and have become a Top 10 producer of African-American pharmacists. We have accomplished many milestones, including our long-held goal of gaining Carnegie Doctoral University status, which we achieved in February 2016. The quality of our institution and its academic programs has been affirmed through successful reaffirmation of accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, initial specialized program accreditation by ABET (Engineering), ACPE (Pharmacy), and PGA (Golf Management), as well as successful continued accreditation of many other of our stellar programs.

We have established new academic programs, including our first fully online degree, a master’s in cyber-security engineering technology, and built our largest, most sophisticated facility, the ultra-modern $103M Engineering and Aviation Science Complex. We achieved milestones in student success including the highest 4-year graduation rate in 14 years (22%), the highest 6-year graduation rate in nine years (38%), and the two largest graduating classes (768 and 758 graduates) in UMES history. We also have experienced successes in fundraising with three major gifts of $1 million each, and an increase in the University’s endowment by 45% since 2012.

To be sure, we have faced many challenges, but we have handled them with honesty, transparency, and a “can do” attitude that views every obstacle as an opportunity for continuous improvement. Through our I CARE initiative, we have sought to elevate the campus culture to one where the I CARE core values of Integrity, Commitment, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence epitomize our “Hawkspitality”.

Over the next several months, there will be ample time to talk more specifically about our achievements, the transition to new leadership, and the opportunities for UMES moving forward. As we embark on the Spring 2018 semester, I encourage you to continue to focus your efforts on our mission – preparing graduates to address challenges in a knowledge-based global economy. Let us pledge our best efforts to continue moving UMES to the next level.

As I complete my tenure as President, I will continue giving my best on behalf of UMES. Thank you for the trust and support you have given me and for the privilege of serving our beloved UMES as your leader. I am, and will always be, a Hawk-4Life!

Hawk Pride…Catch It!!

Sincerely,

Juliette B. Bell, Ph.D. President

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.

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