USM regents salute Thompson as 'exemplary'

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    President Thelma B. Thompson,PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (June 28, 2011) - Thelma B. Thompson's steady-hand stewardship of UMES over the past nine years has drawn praise from the University System of Maryland's governing board.

    The USM Board of Regents described Thompson's leadership of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as "exemplary" in a June 17 resolution.

    Thompson, UMES' 13th president and the second woman to hold the post, announced in mid-March she will retire Aug. 15.

    She was present to accept the resolution when it received the unanimous endorsement of the panel responsible for oversight of 11 of Maryland's public four-year institutions.

    During her tenure, UMES enrollment grew by 25 percent and the university convinced key state policymakers to support the addition of 14 new degree programs -- including a doctorate in pharmacy.

    Thompson traveled widely to promote UMES, attending conferences and establishing international agreements and exchange programs with several African nations.

    Early on, she set a goal for academic departments to pursue peer-review accreditation and saw 24 degree programs achieve that credential -- including the School of Business and Technology just days after she announced her retirement.

    That focus on academic quality has earned UMES recognition from peers as one of the nation's upper-tier historically black institutions in an annual U.S. News & World Report survey, an accomplishment that regents noted in their resolution.

    Thompson also took a lead role in a seven-year fund-raising campaign that began in 2004 with a $14 million goal, a figure the university exceeded by nearly $1 million.

    The USM regents' resolution is among a number of public accolades bestowed recently on Thompson:

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    Thompson says she plans to complete a novel she started many years ago and has not rulex