Office of the President
Campus Messages

Higher education investments and the 446th legislative session

A Message from President Darryll J. Pines

By Darryll J. Pines

Dear University of Maryland Community,

The Maryland General Assembly concluded its 446th legislative session, and we are heartened at a continuing and strong commitment to higher education initiatives and infrastructure even with a challenging financial situation.

We are thankful that our FY25 budget allocation will include a cost-of-living adjustment (“COLA”) and merit pool for our employees. This will be the sixth straight year of salary increases, representing a committed and continuing investment in our people. The Department of Human Resources will follow up with specific guidance with regards to COLA and merit increases.

We will advance our efforts in using next generation technology to improve the lives of all Marylanders. The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 376, sponsored by Senator Nancy King and cross-filed in the house by Delegate Jared Solomon, which will provide $15 million over the next five years and then $6 million annually for the Institute for Health Computing (IHC), a transformative collaboration through the MPowering the State strategic partnership. The IHC, based in North Bethesda, will be at the forefront of leveraging advances in artificial intelligence and computing to better diagnose, prevent and treat diseases in patients across the state.

On the capital budget side, we received $71.42 million for the Stanley R. Zupnik Hall interdisciplinary engineering building; $12.5 million to upgrade our most critical infrastructure and address ongoing maintenance needs; and $5 million for new affordable graduate student housing.

The General Assembly provided funding for university priorities such as the Maryland Mesonet weather station network; the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) program with local governments; and the Engineering for US All (e4usa) initiative to bring engineering curriculum into high schools. They also passed Senate Bill 960, which establishes the Climate Technology Founder’s Fund in the Maryland Clean Energy Center.

Our overall budget appropriation from the state will increase in FY25 due to the COLA and merit allocation, and at the same time, budget pressures at the state level have resulted in an operational budget cut of $28 million. This reduction is being absorbed largely through vacant positions, and we are focused on mitigating these budget adjustments as efficiently and equitably as possible.

We continue to be grateful to Governor Wes Moore, Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson and the General Assembly for their ongoing commitment to higher education. The work of the University of Maryland remains critical to moving our state’s economy forward with innovation, entrepreneurship, and a workforce trained to take on the grand challenges of our time.

I would like to thank all our community members on campus and beyond who advocated for our university in Annapolis, including USM officials; faculty, staff, students and administrators; our Alumni Association; and our UMCP Foundation Board of Trustees. I would also like to give special recognition to Ross Stern, Executive Director of Government Relations, and his team of Virginia Meehan, Molly McKee-Seabrook and Amina DeHarde. None of this would have been possible without their tireless work to share timely and accurate information, consistently championing our campus and its people.

Here’s to a strong finish of this academic semester and our continued commitment to move Maryland Fearlessly Forward.


Signature of President Darryll Pines

Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland

Twitter: @President_Pines
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