KNOWLEDGE THAT WORKS FOR BALTIMORE
The University of Baltimore is an integral part of the Baltimore region and state of Maryland. Founded in 1925, the university has for over 80 years educated civic leaders, business people, lawyers, and other skilled professionals who work in the region’s and state’s businesses, governments, courts, nonprofit and service organizations
The University of Baltimore identifies itself as an anchor institution, uniquely committed to strengthening the Baltimore area. In the global economy, the performance of an individual region is now shaped less by national trends or policies than by its own local ability to attract and retain a “creative class” of highly skilled individuals and to maintain a climate of innovation, diversity, and quality of life. Higher education takes on a new importance and role. In many metropolitan areas universities have become the largest single employer or largest economic sector. Therefore, the university must not only give graduates the skills to compete individually, but must also contribute to increasing their civic-mindedness and making the Baltimore region as a whole more competitive.
Our commitment to the Baltimore region (referred to by some as “regional stewardship”) expresses itself in all aspects of the institution: our student body, the curriculum, our faculty and their research, our staff and business operations, and the university’s location and facilities.
Most of our students come from this region, and most remain after graduation to contribute their creativity, energy, and skills to its business, public and nonprofit sectors. Our students reflect the diversity of the region, in terms of race and ethnicity, as well as age, experience, and background. Our classes celebrate the fact that many of our students are already productive, working members of society, and many of our faculty have considerable applied professional experience. The curriculum builds on these strengths, and features extensive action research, service learning, clinical practice, internships, and other forms of intense interaction with our urban environment, especially Central Baltimore. This active learning involvement builds professional skills and knowledge, strengthens the region, and enhances civic awareness.
The research and professional activities of our faculty similarly focus on addressing the challenges and maximizing the opportunities of the Baltimore region and the state. Often working closely with students and classes, faculty train nonprofit leaders to run their organizations more effectively, assist government agencies in performance assessment, archive historical records, organize comprehensive interventions to reduce school truancy, provide access to information technology, offer legal research and advice, conduct large-scale labor force analyses and economic evaluations, help design new products for small business, and conduct a host of other projects. These projects are often facilitated by UB’s strong research and outreach centers and conducted in partnership with many other organizations.
UB’s staff help create a caring, involved community that flexibly meets the needs of a diverse student body. Through their civic and volunteer involvements, ranging from the leading civic and public organizations in the state to neighborhood churches and associations, our staff members enhance the quality of civic life. We also seek to strengthen the local economy by hiring people from the communities where our students live, and by purchasing goods and services from local businesses.
The university takes full advantage of its location in the cultural district of the city. Our buildings frequently welcome others for educational, cultural, and social events. New development projects are creating additional housing, shopping, and office facilities and raise the visibility of the campus. Through our involvement in the Central Baltimore Partnership and our leadership of the Central Baltimore Higher Education Collaborative, we work with other educational, neighborhood, and public organizations that share our commitment to improving the social and economic viability and appearance of the neighborhoods surrounding the university.
We believe that the university’s work is best done in partnership—a partnership in learning between students and faculty, in knowledge creation and application between the university and the civic, public, and private sectors, and in neighborhood and regional growth and development with all those committed to the Baltimore region. Finally, in all these pursuits we are mindful of our place in an increasingly global world. Even when focused locally, our “knowledge that works for Baltimore” is relevant everywhere.
Jessica Elfenbein Ph.D.