University of Maryland University College is in process of creating a transformative new business model, approved by the University System of Maryland in 2015, that sets the institution on a path to sustainable growth while fulfilling its public mission. The foundation of this new model is UMUC Ventures, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit supporting organization created in 2016 to generate new revenue streams that will serve to hold down costs for UMUC students.
Certain non-academic functions of the university are being transferred to UMUC Ventures as subsidiary companies with the potential to generate outside revenue — with proceeds funding student scholarships.
One example is HelioCampus, launched in January 2016, to continue providing sophisticated data analytics to the university while also marketing its business intelligence products and services to other educational institutions across the country.
A plan is now underway to spin off UMUC’s technology unit into a second education-enablement company that would be owned by UMUC Ventures. As with HelioCampus, the new company, to be called AccelerEd, would continue to serve UMUC while eventually offering its expertise—for a fee—to other education institutions and organizations.
The university is working with the USM Board of Regents, the UMUC Ventures Board of Directors and other stakeholders on this plan.
As this comes to fruition, the university’s guiding principle is the fair and equitable treatment of the transitioning employees. In fact, every employee of the current UMUC technology team will be offered a position in the new company, with comparable responsibilities, pay, and benefits. No one will be left without a job.
UMUC Ventures represents an important step forward for UMUC, positioning the institution to continue to innovate, grow, and thrive in a highly competitive and ever-changing landscape of adult higher education.
Through the establishment of Ventures and new companies like HelioCampus and AccelerEd, UMUC is creating a new way of fulfilling its public mission of providing an open access, quality education to adult learners in Maryland. Further, these moves exemplify the innovation and agility for which UMUC is renowned. It is a key part of the University’s strategic plan to ensure long-term stability, innovation and growth that will benefit students.
It is important to note that our academic core will not transition to Ventures.