UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski has been awarded a $500,000 grant for academic leadership from the Carnegie Corporation. According to a Carnegie press release, the award acknowledges "[Hrabowski's] development of a culture of excellence and success in preparing students of all backgrounds to go on to earn Ph.D.’s in science and engineering." Carnegie also praised Hrabowski for "[building] on that success to infuse principles of excellence and teaching innovation throughout the university."
Hrabowski will reportedly use the money to start a fund, the Freeman Hrabowski Fund for Academic Innovation, to support campus projects and programs that align with those principles.
Hrabowski has long promoted innovation and diversity at the school and viewed demographic differences as potential strengths, rather than potential sources of conflict. In an essay for Baltimore in September 2006, he tellingly wrote...
It is a guiding principle here that living, studying, and interacting with diverse groups strengthen us as people, prepare us for America's emerging demographic reality, and break down barriers that inhibit possibilities for all.
I'm not suggesting that our campus is nirvana; we have issues arising from our diversity that need constant attention. But we have cultivated an atmosphere that encourages the discussion of such issues—and this is hard work. Because many students still come to campus from homogenous backgrounds, we challenge them to reach beyond their comfort zones and connect with others different from themselves.