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New UMD Report: The Cost of Government Dysfunction Could Increase Costs, Reduce Efficiency

November 16, 2012
Contacts: 

Jennifer Lynn Talhelm -  jtalhelm@umd.edu  - 301-405-4390

Analysis: Late or Failed Appropriations Increase Costs, Reduce Efficiency

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - When it comes to the federal budget process, dysfunction has become the norm. Congress has managed to pass all of its appropriations bills into law before the end of the federal government's fiscal year in just four of the last 37 years. A new report by University of Maryland School of Public Policy Professor Philip Joyce details the many challenges this dysfunction creates - from increased costs to reduced effectiveness and efficiency.

Professor Philip JoyceJoyce, a government management and finance expert who has worked at the Congressional Budget Office, says that late or failed appropriations bills cause problems ranging from delayed hiring and poor morale, to higher costs for services, continuation of ineffective programs, and expensive deferred maintenance. Delays can also do harm to the private sector and the economy as a whole.

"Contractors may face uncertainty about whether their operations in support of a given agency will be interrupted or halted altogether, Joyce writes. "Budget planning at the state and local government level is affected by the uncertainty surrounding the timing and continued receipt of federal funds. The delays can even be felt in the broader economy, not only as the budget affects contractors, but also as it affects funds flowing to individual recipients."

The report is particularly timely as Congress is deciding how to address the "fiscal cliff," the package of spending cuts and tax increases set to go into effect at the end of the year because of Congress's inability to agree on a deal to reduce the debt. Joyce's report calls attention to the increasingly unpredictable federal budget pro­cess and the many challenges it creates for efficient and effec­tive management of federal operations. It also offers several recommendations to Congress, the president and agencies on ways to ameliorate the adverse effects of continuing resolutions on agency operations.

"The Costs of Budget Uncertainty: Analyzing the Impact of Late Appropriations" was published as part of the IBM Center for the Business of Government's Improving Performance Series.

"Dr Joyce looks at the ongoing condition of continuing resolutions, and applies empirical research to develop clear-eye analysis and recommendations for government leaders," said Dan Chenok, Executive Director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government. "This report will help the government address improvements in this key part of the budget process for the future."

Philip Joyce
301-405-4766
Bio: http://www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/philip-joyce

START Center at Maryland will Provide Terrorism Data for 2012 State Department Report

November 16, 2012
Contacts: 

Media Contact: Jessica Rivinius, 301-405-6632 or rivinius@umd.edu

START to produce statistical annex for Country Reports on Terrorism
 
START Logo - University of MarylandCOLLEGE PARK, Md. –  The U.S. Department of State has signed a contract with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland to produce the statistical annex for the congressionally mandated report, “Country Reports on Terrorism 2012.”
 
Headquartered at the University of Maryland, START will systematically collect, catalogue and report statistical information on terrorist incidents occurring in 2012, including the number of terrorist attacks worldwide and the number of individuals killed, injured and/or kidnapped in terrorist attacks. START will also provide an analysis of overarching trends in international and domestic terrorism data, which could include incident location, weapon utilization, tactic and target choice, perpetrators, casualties and consequences.
 
START’s compilation of the statistical annex complements the existing data collection efforts undertaken for its Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the world’s largest, most comprehensive unclassified database of terrorist incidents. Currently sponsored by the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the GTD contains information on more than 104,000 domestic and international terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2011 that resulted in more than 225,000 deaths and more than 299,000 injuries. These attacks are defined as the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion or intimidation.
 
“Collecting accurate, objective baseline data is absolutely essential to understanding terrorism and developing effective methods for countering terrorism,” said Gary LaFree, director of START and professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland. “Over the past several years, START’s GTD team has developed an increasingly sophisticated system for collecting terrorism data. This contract with the State Department allows us to put this system to good use and is a great example of how the GTD can help fill a fundamental role in providing data for the government.”
 
Since 2005, the statistical annexes to the report had been provided by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) using its Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS). NCTC discontinued WITS in April 2012.
 
 
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is supported in part by the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through a Center of Excellence program based at the University of Maryland. START uses state‐of‐the‐art theories, methods and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve understanding of the origins, dynamics and social and psychological impacts of terrorism. For more information, contact START at infostart@start.umd.edu or visit www.start.umd.edu.
 

New UMD Study Highlights The Politics of Photos

November 2, 2012
Contacts: 

David Ottalini 301-405-4076 - dottalin@umd.edu

Major UMD Study Uses Pinterest to Evaluate the Photo Coverage of the 2012 General Election and GOP Primaries

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - In an election all about demographics, the photos of the campaign foretold the ultimate story. PrezPix - a new study from the University of Maryland that evaluated 8,780 photographs published by 21 major American news outlets over four months of the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign.

Using photos pinned to the social media outlet Pinterest, PrezPix documented just how broad a base President Obama attracted.   Repeatedly the photos showed Obama talking to and wading among groups of diverse supporters - college students, women, factory workers, Latinos, African Americans - all images that reinforced his position as the president of the "47 percent" and more.

The PrezPix study also documented how positively the media pictured Pres. Obama and his wife. In an election where women, minority and youth voters played the deciding roles, the photos of Obama and his wife specifically addressed all three of those core demographics.  Again and again the photos pinned to Pinterest showed the couple as friends, as intimates, as having fun - all powerfully subliminal messages about the character of the president.

By contrast the photos of Gov. Romney and his wife showed the couple as more formal, more businesslike, more respectful - positive traits, but not adding substantively to what voters saw of just Romney himself.

OTHER STUDY HIGHLIGHTS

During the presidential campaign, the 18 news outlets in the fall phase of the PrezPix study published more photos of Romney than of Obama.  In September and October 2012, researchers evaluated a total of 5,546 photographs of Pres. Obama and Gov. Romney during the presidential campaign: 2,933 photographs of Romney and 2613 photographs of Obama.

But more coverage of Romney did not necessarily mean more "positive" coverage:  The 18 news outlets, taken as a whole, published proportionately more "positive" photos of Obama in September, two weeks before the first debate.  Obama was pictured smiling more often, engaged with the public more often, in more diverse settings, with more diverse audiences.

But by October and the weeks of the first two presidential debates, the coverage no longer so dramatically favored Obama - and in most cases the tone of the coverage of the two men was roughly on par. Why the shift?

The presidential debates - and the reactions and spin that followed each one - dominated the visual coverage of the October campaign.  Literally.  News outlets used split-screen photos or pictures of the two men on the debate stage together for more than half the photographic coverage of the debate weeks - and they often appeared to select those photos precisely to give "mirror" (or more equal) portraits of the two men.

See the PrezPix website for more highlights, including findings about the photographic coverage of the spring GOP primaries.

USE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM PINTEREST

The PrezPix study is believed to be the largest academic research project to date to use the Pinterest platform to aggregate and evaluate news photos. Many news outlets have a presence on Pinterest, but because of its majority female audience, most news media use Pinterest only to post style and living photos. But as Moeller observed, "Increasingly photos are the way that online news consumers access news of all kinds. Everyone is aware that photos have a message, but until now very little has been done to systematically consider what is being said with them."

"Watchdog sites for political ads and campaign contributions exist," she continued, "but until Pinterest, it has been too difficult to evaluate photos, especially in anything approaching real time. What is especially valuable for researchers is the transparency of Pinterest. Pinned photographs link back to their original locations. In our case that means that viewers can evaluate the images we've pinned to see for themselves on one Pinterest board how any given news outlet has pictured a particular candidate. In an era of open data, when the voting public increasing wants and needs information to be online, searchable and mashable, Pinterest is an unmatched research tool."

Pinterest

 

STUDY BACKGROUND

The PrezPix study was led by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland, College Park; researchers included students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The research team analyzed the photo coverage of 21 news outlets. For the fall general election three of the original 18 news outlets (the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dallas Morning News and Philly.com) were dropped, so that three news outlets from swing states and states hosting the presidential debates (the Cleveland Post Dispatch, the Denver Post and the Miami Herald) could be added to the list. The news outlets in both the spring and fall phases of the study were:

ABC News Daily Beast New York Times
Bloomberg Fox News NPR
CBS News Huffington Post Politico
Christian Science Monitor Los Angeles Times USA Today
CNN NBC News Washington Post

 


ICMPA's PrezPix study is available online at http://prezpix.com
The Pinterest boards collecting the almost 9,000 images evaluated is at http://pinterest.com/prezpix/

National Weather and Climate Prediction Center Opens at UMD

October 19, 2012
Contacts: 

Lee Tune, 301 405 4679 or ltune@umd.edu

 
  NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in UMD's M Square research park.
Image Credit: John T. Consoli/University of Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The eye of weather and climate prediction for the nation is now a centerpiece of M Square, the University of Maryland Research Park. This week, the federal government officially opened the long-awaited Center for Weather and Climate Prediction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The new center brings together more than 800 NOAA employees from several different outdated buildings and puts them in an innovative, state-of-the-art facility designed by a team of architects led by University of Maryland alum Roger Schwabacher M.A. Arch. '99.

"We at the University of Maryland are thrilled to have [NOAA] as a key partner in our M Square Research Park," said University President Wallace Loh, speaking at the opening ceremonies. "And for the first time we will have right here in this region, I believe, the greatest concentration of earth, climate and weather scientists in the world."

The new NOAA center provides the nation with a broad range of environmental services - from predicting the hurricane season and El Niño/La Niña to forecasting ocean currents and large-scale rain and snow storms. Billions of earth observations from around the world flow through environmental models, developed and managed in the new building, that support the nation's weather forecasts.

The center's new building is deliberately next door UMD's Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) and Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) -- leading centers on earth science, climate change and energy use. NOAA and the University of Maryland have established a collaborative agreement designed to maximize the enhanced academic and research opportunities made possible by the new center and its location adjacent to campus.

"NOAA depends on the research community and we are excited about the partnership with the University of Maryland," said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA's National Weather Service.

A NOAA news release says the agency is developing and expanding programs for the new center to increase scientific collaboration between its researchers and forecasters and University of Maryland faculty and students, as well as other scientists across the nation and abroad. "A new partnership with the University of Maryland will inspire the next generation of earth scientists by pairing undergraduates in the department of atmospheric and oceanic science with researchers at the center to earn federal requirements to become certified meteorologists and oceanographers," NOAA says.

About 25 UMD undergraduates are enrolled in the university's new atmospheric and oceanic sciences major that will offer internships and research opportunities through NOAA's center. The new NOAA center is "terrific for recruiting students," says research scientist Jeffry Stehr, who is associate director for professional masters & undergraduate programs in the department of atmospheric & oceanic science.

UMD alum Schwabacher led the design of the energy-efficient building, which features a soaring atrium, a green roof and rainwater bio-retention. Its work environment is designed to encourage scientific interaction by co-locating scientists from across disciplines and creating an open concept design to promote greater communication and collaboration.

"This facility is an important investment in our nation's future," said Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. "It's a place where government, academia and others can come together to make new discoveries, drive innovation, and uncover new ways to give our citizens and businesses the information they need to make smart decisions, whether that's deciding how to ship their products to customers or just taking care of day-to-day tasks."

UMD Partnering to Understand and Respond to Changes in Climate and Weather

Over the past 15 years, the university has built on its long tradition of excellence in atmospheric, climate, biological, and earth science to develop major new partnerships with NOAA, NASA and other federal agencies in the areas of earth science, remote imaging, climate change and energy research. In addition to the latest NOAA partnership, UMD collaborations and initiatives include leading the NOAA-supported Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites (CICS); the long-standing cooperative agreement between UMDs Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center; the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership between the university and the Department of Energy; and a collaborative UMD initiative called Climate Information: Responding to User Needs (CIRUN).

About M Square

M Square is a public-private partnership between Corporate Office Properties Trust and the University of Maryland (UMD). Maryland's largest research park, when fully built out, will encompass two million square feet and employ an estimated 6,500 people. The park's location serves to link physically and programmatically university researchers, students and staff with federal laboratories and private sector companies. Key technology clusters at the park include: environmental and earth sciences (NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, Joint Global Change Research Institute, and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center); food safety and agriculture policy (USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, UMD/FDA Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition); and language and national security (Center for Advanced Study of Language, National Foreign Language Center, Raytheon, and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity).

New NIH Grant to Advance Joint UMD & UMB Brain Surgery Robot Development

October 18, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown - UMD - 301-405-4618; crystalb@umd.edu

 

 

MPowering the State Logo

ADELPHI, Md - A research team from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) have been awarded a new $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing a small robot that could one day be a huge aid to neurosurgeons in removing difficult-to-reach brain tumors. This NIH grant is one of the first awarded to a joint UMB and UMD research project under the collaboration between these two research powerhouses that is known as University of Maryland: MPowering the State.

Team members Jaydev P. Desai, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering at UMD, and Rao Gullapalli, MD, associate professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, and J. Marc Simard, MD, professor of neurosurgery, both at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have developed their "Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Intracranial Robot" (MINIR) prototype over a number of years and demonstrated its feasibility, supported in part by a previous NIH grant. The team has evaluated the device under continuous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). According to the researchers, work done on the previous NIH grant helped to uncover next level challenges that are the basis of this new NIH project.

The NIH grant will enable the team to develop MINIR-II, a fully MRI-compatible robot and demonstrate its safety and effectiveness. To accomplish this, MINIR-II will need to be under the direct control of the physician, with targeting information obtained exclusively from real-time MRI that uses active targeting methods with sensors embedded within MINIR-II.

"This technology has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and management of patients with difficult to reach intracranial tumors and to have a direct impact on improving their quality of life," says Dr. Desai. "This work is a result of exceptional collaboration over the years, between our two extraordinary institutions."

Brain tumors are among the most feared complications of cancer, occurring in 20 to 40 percent of adult cancer patients. Despite numerous advances in treatment, the prognosis for these patients is poor, with a median survival of 4-8 months. Whether a primary (intrinsic) malignancy, or a secondary (metastatic) malignancy, involvement of the brain in a cancer patient is devastating, because it threatens the very personality and identity of the individual, and is invariably the most likely of all complications to directly and severely affect the quality of life. Currently, the optimal treatment is to remove the tumor(s) through primary surgical resection, then follow with additional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Unfortunately, in many patients the location of the brain tumor makes it too difficult to remove through primary surgical resection. This is especially true for tumors deeply embedded in the brain that may be difficult to access using conventional neurosurgical techniques. The poor general health of the patient can further complicate the matter.

A fully MRI-compatible MINIR could one day enable neurosurgeons to reach such difficult tumors and greatly improve outcomes for these patients. Furthermore, image-guided robotic surgery avoids the complications associated with brain shifts associated with conventional tumor resections, as the target tumor may move during surgery but will always remain within sight through the exquisite contrast available from real-time MRI.

An early version of MINIR won the 2007 University of Maryland, College Park Invention of the Year award in the Physical Science Category.

The Great Fire of 1912: The Blaze That Built Maryland

October 18, 2012
Contacts: 

David Ottalini, 301-405-4076 or dottalin@umd.edu

MAC Before the Great Fire of 1912

By Lauren Brown

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The buildings were still smoldering as day broke on Nov. 30, 1912. Exhausted cadets stood among the scattered effects salvaged the night before: damaged trunks, a charred bureau or chair, a basket of papers. They and their dinner-dance dates, still wearing party dresses stained and reeking of smoke, stared at the ruins before them.

The Barracks and the Administration Building— the heart of the Maryland Agricultural College—had housed all 265 cadets as well as the mess halls, all the offices and records, and the departments of languages and mathematics. Now they were an unrecognizable, blackened heap of brick and stone.

The inexplicable catastrophe might easily have shuttered the little college on the hill. Instead, MAC emerged from the ashes of the Great Fire to reshape its mission, ownership, physical appearance and orientation, and enrollment—its entire identity. It rallied determined students, faculty, alumni and state leaders to lay the groundwork for a far more ambitious institution, one that became the University of Maryland.

TerpVision 7: The Great Fire of November 29, 1912 

Listen to the oral history of Ken Grace - a student at Maryland Agricultural College at the time of the Great Fire. Interview by Art Brodsky on November 21, 1973.

 


Read the Complete Terp Magazine Feature about The Great Fire of 1912
See the University Archives Feature on the Great Fire that includes photos, oral histories and more.

UMD's Future of Information Alliance Receives $1 Million

September 7, 2012
Contacts: 

David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or dottalin@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md -  The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation has awarded $1 million to the Future of Information Alliance (FIA) at the University of Maryland. Launched in 2011, the Alliance reaches across disciplines in exploring key information-related challenges and opportunities. The Deutsch Foundation funds will be used over the next three years to expand the Alliance's "Visiting Future-ist" program and to create a new seed-grant competition for students and their faculty mentors.

"This generous support will help us to bring more of the world's leading innovators and researchers into important conversations about the future of information, across campus and beyond," says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. "It will also help our students take part in the search for creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time."

The seed-grant program is designed to spur innovation and research by multidisciplinary teams of students, under faculty mentorship. Each group will collaborate with one of the FIA's 10 Founding Partners, whose members include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the National Geographic Society, the Newseum, Sesame Workshop, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. National Park Service, the Barrie School, NPR-affiliate station WAMU 88.5, and the Office of the Governor of Maryland.

Details of the seed grant program will be announced on the FIA website.  Students in each of four winning teams will be designated as Deutsch-FIA Student Fellows and will receive stipends for work on their projects. Faculty mentors will also receive stipends and will be designated Deutsch-FIA Faculty Fellows.

The FIA launched its "Visiting Future-ist" program in November 2011 with a week of programs on campus. Leading innovators from Google, Twitter and Microsoft spent the week talking about their own work and brainstorming with hundreds of students, faculty and staff.  One of last year's Visiting Future-ists, Dr. Dan Russell,  who is known as Google's Director of User Happiness, will return to campus several times this year as the FIA's first" Future-ist in Residence." Google is an FIA Corporate Affiliate.

The Deutsch funds will help expand the Visiting Future-ist program, with three events to be held each year.  The first of these, on Nov. 12, will focus on transforming education through the future of information.  This event will explore how universities are experimenting with new forms of online education that reach beyond campuses to potentially millions of participants worldwide. The second Visiting Future-ist event, on Feb. 4, 2013, will explore the uses of crowdsourcing for creativity and human potential.  The third event, on May 6 will focus on the challenges and opportunities in accessing and using big data to better support government services, improve healthcare information, and more.

"The Future of Information Alliance and its transdisciplinary focus offer students and faculty the opportunity to engage in transformative research and education," says UMD's Vice President for Research and Chief Research Officer Dr. Patrick O'Shea."Through its important and visionary contribution, the Deutsch Foundation has helped make this new initiative possible."

The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, based in Baltimore, supports innovations in science and technology, investment in education, creative placemaking and the arts community in Baltimore, and projects that enhance the well-being of others. The Deutsch Foundation is already established as an important supporter of innovation at the University of Maryland.  One current Deutsch Foundation program supports graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the Clark School of Engineering working on a multidisciplinary program in biofabrication, investigating and developing nano-scale technologies for detection and treatment of disease .

The Future of Information Alliance was created to serve as a catalyst for dialogue across disciplines and to promote research on issues related to the evolving role of information in our lives. By identifying shared challenges and encouraging innovative solutions, the Future of Information Alliance seeks to facilitate a future in which information in all its forms can be an effective resource for all. The Future of Information Alliance is co-directed by Professor Allison Druin of Maryland's iSchool and Associate Professor Ira Chinoy of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The FIA operates under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Research and is supported by the deans of all colleges and schools across campus as well as a broad-based campus advisory board.

 

Campaign Ad Psychology and Financing 2012: UMD 'Election Dissection' Sept. 19

September 7, 2012
Contacts: 

Laura Ours, 301-405-5722 or lours@umd.edu

Former Congressman, Faculty Experts on Campaign Financing and the Psychology Behind Election Ads

WHAT:

'Election Dissection' - an interactive event featuring a keynote by former Congressman Dennis Cardoza and UMD Government and Politics faculty experts - will help mark Constitution Day. The UMD event will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The event is free and open to the public.

Key topics will include the psychology behind election ads and what constitutional issues surrounding campaign financing. Audience members will be invited to weigh in on the topics discussed by using their smart phones.

Format: After welcoming remarks from College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dean John Townshend, Congressman Cardoza will speak on the history and significance of Constitution Day, and the importance of voting and civic engagement. Three faculty members will then make individual presentations, including PowerPoint and audience involvement via interactive smart phone technology. A brief Q&A session will follow the final faculty presentation.

The event is sponsored by the UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Department of Government and Politics and the UMD Center for American Politics and Citizenship.

WHO:

Dennis Cardoza, Former U.S. Congressman, Managing Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP (keynote speaker and emcee);
Paul S. Herrnson, director of UMD's Center for American Politics and Citizenship, professor of government and politics, and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland (presenter);
Stella Rouse, assistant professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland and a research fellow at UMD's Center for American Politics and Citizenship;
Antoine Banks, assistant professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland and a research fellow at UMD's Center for American Politics and Citizenship;
Philip Resnik, professor with joint appointments in linguistics and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, and the developer of new technology in the emerging field "computational political science," who is responsible for the technology that will allow the audience to participate with their smart phones at the event.

WHEN:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:

Student Union, Grand Ballroom
University of Maryland, College Park, 20742
Directionshttp://ter.ps/e0

RSVP:

Media are asked to RSVP and check in at the event.
Contact: Laura Ours, 301-405-5722 or lours@umd.edu

 

New University Agreement Offers Downloads of Popular Microsoft® Products

September 7, 2012
Contacts: 

Phyllis Dickerson Johnson, 301-405-4491 or phyllis@umd.edu

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Recognizing that there are strategic advantages for a university to provide students with the latest software without them having to spend money for individual upgrades, the University of Maryland recently added new components to a university agreement that allows students to download popular Microsoft® software for educational and personal use at no additional charge.

Late this summer, the following Microsoft products became available for student download: Office 2010 Professional (for Windows), Office 2011 Standard (for Macintosh), and Windows 7 Operating System Upgrade 32bit/64bit Ultimate. Windows 8 is slated to be available for student download after its release.

The products are available through a new agreement between the university and Microsoft managed by the Division of Information Technology. The expanded agreement also makes several popular products, including Microsoft Office and Windows 7 upgrades, available to university faculty and staff for their personal computers at no cost for Work at Home use and makes available the following enterprise server products for faculty and staff: Exchange, Forefront, Lync, SharePoint, System Center, and Windows. University departments, colleges, and schools can get these products at no cost on DVD from the Division of IT's Software Licensing.

Strategically, there are many advantages to providing needed software tools in the most effective ways possible to faculty, staff, and students through licensing software broadly for the entire university, said Brian D. Voss, Maryland's Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. Voss continued: Such licenses encourage use of legal software installations; promote the use of modernized and up-to-date tools; improve the security and integrity of the university's technical environment; save students, faculty, staff, and university groups out-of-pocket costs; and, through version standardization, lead to more efficient and effective support services.

The strategy of centrally providing modern software to the university originates from the IT strategic planning process that is underway at the University of Maryland - supporting an "IT Abundance" model that gives the university community the widest possible array of useful technology tools while doing so in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

This strategy is one broadly embraced by major universities nationally; it has proven to be successful in improving IT environments and allowing institutions to get the most value possible from their software expenditures, said Voss, who has previously deployed similar initiatives at other higher education institutions.

University of Maryland students, faculty, and staff have already downloaded several thousand Microsoft products since the launch last week, and many more can visit www.software.umd.edu to get started.

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. Ranked No. 18 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, it has 32 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10 and 73 in the Top 25. The Institute of Higher Education (Jiao Tong University, Shanghai), which ranks the world's top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 38 in the world and No. 13 among U.S. public universities. The university has produced six Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, more than 40 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit www.umd.edu.

Phyllis Dickerson Johnson
Director of Communications and Marketing 
Division of Information Technology 
University of Maryland
301.405.4491 
phyllis@umd.edu

 

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