USM Board Chair to appoint special committee to study UMBI

Clifford Kendall, chairman of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents, announced Feb. 27 he will appoint a special committee of regents to review the mission and organization of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI). UMBI is one of USM’s 13 institutions.

Given USM’s critical role in advancing state priorities, Kendall will charge the group with developing recommendations for maximizing the return on the state’s investment in UMBI and its component centers.

“This is an appropriate time to launch this review,” said Kendall. “Earlier this week, Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera announced her decision to step down from the UMBI presidency June 30, 2009. This period of transition offers an opportunity to carefully study the advantages of UMBI’s current structure, as well as consider alternative organizational options, including distribution of the UMBI centers to other USM institutions.”

Kendall plans to appoint the members of the special committee within the next few weeks. Once the members convene, they will develop the scope and an expedited timeframe for their work.

UMBI was established in 1985. Its mission is to conduct groundbreaking research in key areas of biotechnology, generate innovative solutions to practical problems, and develop new technologies for commercial application. The institute has four research centers: two in Baltimore and one each in Rockville and College Park.

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