University of Maryland Mission Statement

Approved by the Board of Regents, October 27, 2000
Approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission November 30, 2000

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The University of Maryland, College Park, is a public research university, the flagship campus of the University System of Maryland, and the original 1862 land-grant institution in Maryland. It is one of only 61 members of the Association of American Universities (AAU). In keeping with the legislative mandates of 1988 and 1999, the University of Maryland is committed to achieving excellence as the State's primary center of research and graduate education and the institution of choice for undergraduate students of exceptional ability and promise. While the University has already attained national distinction, it intends to rank among the very best public research universities in the United States. To realize its aspirations and fulfill its mandates, the University advances knowledge, provides outstanding and innovative instruction, and nourishes a climate of intellectual growth in a broad range of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary fields. It also creates and applies knowledge for the benefit of the economy and culture of the State, the region, the nation and beyond.

As the flagship of the University System of Maryland, the University shares its research, educational and technological strengths with other institutions and their constituencies in the USM and throughout the State. The University's academic programs and expanding computer and information technology infrastructure serve many audiences, and the entire State has access to and depends on the University's libraries. In conjunction with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the University serves the State's agricultural needs through the Maryland Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station. The University delivers continuing education programs that are consistent with its research mission and core competencies to an increasing number of degree-seeking and professional audiences. Using technology, the University provides selected quality programs to audiences worldwide to share its knowledge and extend and enhance educational opportunities. The University also provides administrative support to other USM institutions in the areas of accounting, communications, engineering and architectural services, environmental safety, personnel management, and purchasing.

The University values the Ph.D. and terminal professional degrees such as the M.B.A. as its signature degrees, but it also awards a wide range of bachelor's, master's and other doctoral degrees. Degree programs are offered in agriculture and natural resources, architecture, behavioral and social sciences, business and management, computer, mathematical and physical sciences, creative and performing arts, education, engineering, health and human performance, humanities, journalism, life sciences, information studies, and public affairs. Its faculty achieve national and international renown for their research and scholarship, serve society at a distinguished level, are innovative and creative teachers, and participate in the tradition of shared governance. The highly qualified academic, professional, and non-exempt members of the staff provide both support and leadership for the University's educational, research, and service activities.

The University counts among its greatest strengths and a major component of its excellence the diversity of its faculty, students, and staff. It is committed to equal educational opportunity. It strives to hire a diverse faculty and staff of exceptional achievement through affirmative action, to celebrate diversity in all of its programs and activities, and to recruit and retain qualified graduate and undergraduate minority students.


The University of Maryland has a clear vision of its future as a nationally distinguished public research university. To achieve this goal, the University expects to perform and be funded at the level of the public research institutions that have historically been the very best. Five such AAU members serve as the University's peers: the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, the University of California-Los Angeles, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. With increasing numbers of nationally- ranked graduate programs, a distinguished faculty, and research leading to the discovery of knowledge, the University is in a position to provide graduate education at the forefront of research and scholarship, which will attract the most highly qualified graduate students. The University also provides enriched and challenging undergraduate educational experiences, including a core arts and sciences curriculum, opportunities for undergraduate research, living-learning communities such as College Park Scholars and the nationally renowned Honors Program, and other unique, intensive, and innovative programs such as Gemstone and Civicus.

The University of Maryland shares its research, educational and technological strengths with businesses, government and other educational institutions. With productive scholars and researchers of the highest caliber, the University will continue to raise the entire level of business and commerce throughout the State. Because of the depth of knowledge possessed by the faculty across many disciplines, the University of Maryland is uniquely positioned to forge relationships with corporations, non-profit organizations, other educational institutions, local school districts, and major federal agencies, laboratories, and departments. Because of the breadth of strength in many disciplines, the University of Maryland is at the forefront in advancing knowledge in areas that increasingly depend on multi-disciplinary approaches. The University of Maryland serves as a hub of knowledge from which flow cultural, intellectual, and economic benefits to the State and region. University of Maryland faculty share with many segments of society the fruits of knowledge and foster and participate in an entrepreneurial culture that is essential to the development of new industries based on knowledge. Faculty are a resource for federal, state, and local governments in shaping public policies on a variety of social concerns. They are leaders in the preservation and interpretation of history and culture, innovators in the creative and performing arts, and major contributors to the advancement of knowledge in biology, mathematics, computer and physical sciences, information science and technology, and engineering. The University of Maryland is a leader in research on teaching and learning that contributes to educational reform in the State and the nation, provides future administrators and teachers with up-to-date knowledge of the best pedagogical methods in all disciplines in an increasingly diverse educational system, and is innovative in providing pathways to teacher certification.


In accordance with the 2000 State Plan for Higher Education, the University System of Maryland Strategic Plan, and the 2000 Strategic Plan for the University of Maryland, the University of Maryland will:

  1. Continue to elevate the quality of undergraduate education by providing enriched educational opportunities and personally fulfilling and challenging academic curricula that prepare all graduates for productive roles in society; by remaining the school of choice for the most talented students in Maryland and for outstanding out-of-state students by strengthening efforts to recruit students who will contribute to and benefit from an enriched educational environment; by improving the conditions for their enrollment and success, including enhanced advising; by increasing retention and graduation rates; by enhancing and promoting the training of teachers by engaging faculty from the arts and science disciplines in teacher training, by increasing the pathways to certification, and by mentoring of new teachers; by working to increase the availability of financial aid to ensure access to all qualified students; and by systematically integrating the use of information technology into its instructional programs so that all faculty and students can fully exploit new technology as an essential tool in teaching and learning;

  2. Build a strong, university-wide culture of excellence in graduate and professional education, research, scholarship and creative and performing arts by increasing the number and proportion of its faculty who are regarded by their national and international peers as being among the best in their disciplines; by continuing to improve the excellence of its best research and graduate programs while also increasing the number of programs of recognized excellence; by increasing the University's success in recruiting, developing, and placing outstanding and diverse graduate students; and by developing and facilitating access to scholarly information in all formats to support cutting-edge research, scholarship, teaching, and learning;

  3. Ensure a university environment that is inclusive as well as diverse and that fosters a spirit of community among faculty, staff, and students by increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff; by recruiting outstanding and diverse graduate and undergraduate students; by improving the graduation rate of ethnic minority students; and by building a greater sense of community among faculty, staff, students, and alumni;

  4. Engage the University more fully in outreach and collaborative partnerships with the greater community by extending the scholarly reach of our campus, extending the learning community beyond the campus boundaries, and promoting lifelong learning as an integral component of our academic programs; by increasing the scope and impact of the University's international programs and activities; by continuing to provide leadership for the University System of Maryland and its institutions where appropriate; and by expanding the University family of friends and alumni; and

  5. Ensure an administrative, operational, and physical infrastructure that fully supports a first-class university by establishing a top-performing University Relations operation; by creating and maintaining an electronic networking infrastructure that provides the tools for faculty and staff to excel in their research and scholarship and to utilize innovative approaches to teaching and learning; by developing the University's physical facilities so that they meet the needs of a leading research university; by ensuring that the administrative operations of all campus units provide customer-oriented service; by accelerating and supporting the migration of student and business services to an online environment; and by building the human resource infrastructure to enable effective recruiting, retention, and first-class support of the academic mission.