Jennifer K. Rice
June 24, 2021


Dear UMD College of Education community,

As announced last month, I have been appointed UMD's Senior Vice President and Provost. I am humbled and honored to be taking on this new leadership role at the university, and I am excited about the impact that I can have through this position. But I approach my new post with mixed emotions -- serving as dean of the College of Education for the past four years has been an absolute privilege and honor.  

I have always approached my career journey with an open mind to new opportunities to make a difference through education. The work of the College of Education, in collaboration with many others, has been a tremendous opportunity to do just that. We have made incredible progress as a college community over the past four years and I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. Even during the prior academic year, I cannot believe how much we have been able to achieve despite the difficult challenges we faced. Our progress in the face of adversity tells me that our upward trajectory is strong and unwavering -- that we are on a course that cannot be shifted or stifled by challenging times. In fact, what I have seen this year is quite the contrary -- we seem to be picking up steam. Our work is making a difference, a real difference.  It shows in our rankings, but more importantly in the impact that our work is having on our fields; in schools, neighborhoods and society; and in our own college community committed to inclusive excellence. I am so proud of that.

A leadership transition at this point in time was not my original plan, but sometimes circumstances unfold in unexpected ways. While it's difficult to pass the helm in the midst of the great progress we are making, it's also important to embrace new opportunities to affect positive change. This new role will allow me to take many of our values and innovative ideas, forged in collaboration with you all, to the entire Maryland campus. As I think about the transition ahead, I am absolutely confident in our leadership team to carry on our good work -- these are talented and committed individuals for whom I have the deepest respect and trust. Over the past four years, we have laid a strong foundation and achieved growing momentum.

COE’s Associate Dean of Research and Professor Laura Stapleton is assuming the interim dean role and I am confident in her ability to lead the College forward. I will work closely with her and our entire leadership team to ensure a smooth transition, even after I move into the Provost role on July 1.

In closing, I want to thank you all for your support, enthusiasm, hard work, and community spirit -- even in the face of incredible challenge. We have advanced an ambitious agenda and our work together has reflected our shared values. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished and I know that our progress will continue in the future. 


Jennifer King Rice
Dean, UMD College of Education