Baltimore County

UMBC recognized in national survey as great college to work for in every category

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a public research university in Catonsville, recently was recognized in every category on the 2021 “Great Colleges to Work For Rankings” list, and became the only Maryland university to make the list this year.

The list is published by the Chronicle of Higher Education each fall and 70 U.S. colleges and universities were selected for recognition, according to the program’s website.


All accredited institutions in the United States with an enrollment of at least 500 students were invited to participate at no cost.

This is UMBC’s 12th consecutive year on the list and 10th making “honor roll” status, which was given to 10 institutions in each size that were most often cited across all of the categories.


“I credit the people at UMBC with the success. We believe strongly in shared governance, and that term means different things to different colleges and institutions, but here it’s very real,” said UMBC president Freeman Hrabowski III. “Faculty and staff and students are involved in decision making at all levels and there is a strong sense of community among people here.”

According to survey results conducted by consulting firm ModernThink, UMBC achieved recognition in the following categories: job satisfaction and support, compensation and benefits, professional development, mission and pride, supervisor/department chair effectiveness, confidence in senior leadership, faculty and staff well-being, shared governance, faculty experience, and diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Hrabowski highlighted the faculty and staff well-being category as a major accomplishment from the list. The culture at UMBC focuses on strong collaboration of trust and an emphasis on the life of the mind, he said.

“We appreciate what it means to be authentic and real, and to support each other — it’s all about us,” Hrabowski said. “That means when we do well we can feel good about it and when we have challenges we work to solve problems together.

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“The idea of well-being is people feeling satisfied with their jobs and excited about the work they’re doing and professional development … we’re always growing and learning.”

Recognition for the list was primarily determined through feedback provided by faculty and staff through the survey, which measured core criteria of a university such as faculty experience and managerial/organizational competencies.

Hrabowski said it inspires him to see that his faculty and staff want people to know they love working at UMBC.


“We’re just very fortunate to have people who not only take pride in what we do, but also want others to know how proud we are. They want to shout it to the mountaintop … this is a great place to be,” he said.

Hrabowski, who recently announced he would retire in spring 2022, expects to witness the continued recognition of excellence at the university long after he departs as president.

“Success breeds success, so people take pride in being on this list,” he said. “I have no doubt that the campus will select a superb president and that our colleagues here will continue to lead with this kind of compassion … what you see in this survey is a part of our DNA.”

The full list for the Great Colleges to Work For ranking is available here.