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New University of Maryland, Baltimore president stresses collaboration with University of Maryland Medical System

Baltimore Business Journal - by Emily Mullin

Dr. Jay Perman is new to his job as president at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, but he already has a plan for the campus and surrounding area.

Perman said he wants University of Maryland to “feel like home” to its students, faculty and staff. That means reaching out to the business community to encourage more restaurants, clothing stores, grocery chains and dry cleaners to open near campus.

The university’s immediate neighborhood has seen a lot of change in the past few years, but challenges still remain. Perman said the area around the campus could be more community-focused.
Perman also stressed the need for collaboration among University of Maryland's School of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical System and the rest of campus — which have traditionally existed as separated institutions.

Perman began his term in July and replaced Dr. David J. Ramsay, who had been at the helm of University of Maryland since 1994.

Here are excerpts of the BBJ’s recent conversation with Perman about his plans.

BBJ: How do you plan to reach out to the business community here in Baltimore?

Perman: We have a common interest in this immediate area, particularly the downtown Baltimore area between Charles Street and our campus. I’m very keen on our university doing its part to make the area between downtown and our campus a vibrant area. For the city, for the business community, if we could achieve that, the benefits are obvious. I would like our faculty staff and students to make this area home. We have to work toward that. There has been great progress with regard to residential development. Now there needs to be attention given to enhancing what’s available with regard to retail and entertainment. That is a very important relationship that I wish to foster between the university and the business community.

BBJ: Typically, the different arms of University of Maryland, Baltimore have functioned as separate entities. Are you going to encourage a closer relationship among the University of Maryland Medical System, School of Medicine and the rest of campus?

Perman: There is a lot of collaboration, but we could do a much better job of leveraging each other. I am certainly expecting these schools to find ways to work together, to do things innovative that they probably couldn’t achieve by going at it alone. That also, of course, presents opportunities for working more economically. I’m going to also encourage teaching and training students from the various schools to work together.

BBJ: The University of Maryland BioPark is an essential part of the university and Baltimore business community. What do you see the future of the BioPark looking like?

Perman: The eventual build-out is envisioned to be 10 science buildings, of which we have two and plans for a third. Right now we’re most focused with our plans for the third building.

BBJ: What will you do differently from the previous president?
Perman: I would think that what is going to be seen differently here is engagement on the part of myself and the people that work here and the community. I intend to be a partner.

Jay Perman
Age: 63
Title: President, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Northwestern University; doctor of medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago
2004-2010: Dean, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
1999-2004: Chairman of pediatrics University of Maryland School of Medicine and Chief of pediatrics for the University of Maryland Medical System
1996-1999: Professor and chairman, Department of Pediatrics, at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia in Richmond