Conference Presentations

The Empowered University

Shared Leadership for Academic Success and Crisis Management
Published 2020
Presented by Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Institution(s) referenced in this resource:
University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Freeman A. Hrabowski III has led a transformation of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) from a young, regional institution to an innovative research university. In our opening keynote, he discusses his new book, The Empowered University, which probes the ways in which an empowering culture and shared leadership enable a campus to tackle tough issues when times are good and manage challenges when crises emerge. He discusses how, by taking a hard look in the mirror, understanding strengths and weaknesses, assessing opportunities and challenges, and engaging in difficult conversations, an empowered campus can innovate in course redesign, group-based and experiential learning, entrepreneurship and civic engagement, academic inclusion, and faculty diversity.

President of UMBC since 1992, Dr. Hrabowski is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. President Obama named him to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the 2011 report, “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads.” His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”

Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), he also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the “Human Condition.” More recently, he received the American Council on Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2018) and was named a recipient of the University of California, Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Award (2019). UMBC has been recognized as a model for inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News, which the past 10 years has recognized UMBC as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching. Dr. Hrabowski’s most recent book, The Empowered University, written with two UMBC colleagues, examines how university communities support academic success by cultivating an empowering institutional culture.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Reflect on the evolution of higher education in American society since the 1960s, including increases in students attending college and the changing demographics of those students, and what this means for our institutions.
  2. Understand the mindful practice of institutional reflection.
  3. Find out how, in advance of crises, to build the shared culture and cultivate the trusting relationships that your team can use to work collectively to manage challenges.
  4. Discover how responsible budgeting practices over time both tie resources to strategic priorities and position a university to protect academic programs and put people first when facing financial downturns.

Presented 7/20/2020.

Other Resources From Dr. Hrabowski