UMUC Provost Cini to Transition to Research and Teaching Role

University of Maryland University College President Javier Miyares announced on Feb. 9 that Marie Cini, Ph.D., has decided to step down as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, effective July 1. Cini will continue at UMUC as senior research fellow in the university’s Center for Innovation In Learning and Student Success and as a member of the collegiate faculty in The Graduate School.

“Since accepting my offer to become provost four years ago, Marie’s impact has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Miyares in an announcement to the university community. “I invited Marie to step in and build an academic organization focused on program quality, accessibility, and innovation. Clearly, our size had outgrown our support structure. She proceeded to assemble a first-rate team and establish a strong core, providing robust support for our schools and helping them achieve their goals.”

Miyares said that enhanced program quality and student outcomes were hallmarks of Cini’s tenure, along with the trailblazing transition to Open Educational Resources (OERs), an initiative that eliminated publisher textbooks and embedded digital resources in most undergraduate and graduate classes, saving students millions of dollars each year.


Marie A. Cini, Ph.D.

Cini also led the university’s effort to develop the enhanced learning model (ELM), the formation of the Academic Advisory Board, stronger support and training for faculty, and creation of the Center for Innovation In Learning and Student Success, all of which have contributed to UMUC’s stature today as a world leader in innovative educational models.

“As Marie has often said, her deepest passions focus on innovative methods and models that drive high-quality, low-cost, accessible programs for adult learners,” Miyares added. “Her new position will allow her to concentrate on foundational work in areas including artificial intelligence, learner analytic models, and new technologies to support learning, all of which will benefit UMUC.”

By joining the collegiate faculty of The Graduate School, Cini will also bring her formidable skills back to the classroom. She will continue to write and speak on behalf of the university as one of the nation’s foremost thought leaders in adult higher education.

Miyares referred to Cini as “an invaluable partner” in helping build a solid, successful, sustainable model for UMUC going forward. “She has accepted and met all of the challenges I have asked her to take on and I owe her the opportunity now to transition, as she wishes, into a position that allows her to contribute to our future, and hers, in new ways.”

“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to President Miyares for his unwavering support as we have worked together to better serve our students in this transformational time in adult higher education,” said Cini. “I have been honored to work with my extraordinary colleagues on the faculty and across the university, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the noble mission of UMUC in this new and exciting capacity.”

In the coming weeks, Miyares said he will announce an interim provost who will work alongside Cini to ensure a smooth transition. The university will also establish a search committee to assist in the selection of the next provost with the goal of having that individual in place by the beginning of 2018.

Cini, whose academic career spans more than 25 years, joined UMUC, the nation’s premiere online public university dedicated to serving working adults and active-duty military personnel around the world, in 2008. She was named provost and senior vice president in 2013 and served previously as vice president and dean for The Undergraduate School. She has a broad academic background as a faculty member, scholar, and administrator in both undergraduate and graduate program development and management.

After earning doctoral and master’s degrees in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a master’s degree in counselor education from the Pennsylvania State University, Cini began her career in higher education teaching adult students. She later administered programs for adults at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; undertook various roles at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey; and served as associate vice president for academic affairs and interim dean of the School of Management at City University of Seattle in Washington.

Cini recently completed a one-year term as president of the Online Learning Consortium’s Board of Directors and was a Class of 2016 inductee into the International Adult Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

UMUC Alumnus and HR Innovator Makes SHRM’s ‘30 Under 30’ List


At 24, Joey Price ’11 created Jumpstart:HR, LLC, a consulting and outsourcing firm that helps small-business owners and startup founders build better, more stable businesses. Five years later, Price’s innovation and ambition have landed him a spot on the inaugural Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) ’30 Under 30′ list.Continue Reading

MOOC Bolsters Launch of New Global Health Certificate


The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) recently dipped its toes into the world of free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, with two goals: to carry its online-course expertise farther beyond the borders of Maryland than ever before and to test interest in a new graduate certificate program in global health.

On both fronts, the “Global Health: The Lessons of Ebola” MOOC earned a thumbs up. And for instructors involved in designing and teaching the course, the value-added was tremendous.Continue Reading

McCaul to Reporters: The U.S. Is Losing the Cyber War


The United States is losing the war in the cyber world, the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security told journalists gathered for a one-day UMUC-sponsored cybersecurity seminar for reporters on Jan. 11.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. “If anything comes out of the [Russian] election system attack, it will be to make people aware of this issue and how we should make this a priority.”Continue Reading

Easing the Pain of Password Management


The article “Estimating Password-Cracking Times” by the business software solutions company Better Buys asserts that a seasoned hacker could break the woefully inadequate yet commonly-used password “123456” in less than 0.29 milliseconds.

Now, it may be difficult to imagine anyone in today’s virtual world relying on “123456” to secure their data and personal information. But, In fact, for the better part of the new millennium, according to UMUC Cyber Connections Blog contributor Garrett Boyd, “123456” has remained—along with password, 12345678, qwerty and 12345—among the top five on the list of the 25 most commonly used and hackable passwords.Continue Reading

U.S. Office of Personnel Management and University of Maryland University College Expand Federal Employee Discounted Rates to Include Graduate Cybersecurity, Business Administration and Data Analytics Programs

ADELPHI, Md. (Jan. 12, 2017) –The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and University of Maryland University College (UMUC) have expanded upon their 2014 agreement which provides a 25 percent discount on out-of-state tuition rates on courses, certificates, and degree programs to all current Federal employees, spouses, and their legal dependents.

Under the expanded terms, Federal employees new to UMUC can now save five percent on graduate Cybersecurity, Business Administration and Data Analytics programs, which previously were not discounted.

In addition to the discounted rate, the alliance between OPM and UMUC also allows Federal subject matter experts to work with UMUC curriculum developers to infuse a public sector perspective into courses designed to prepare students for possible future Federal employment.Continue Reading

Public Policy Forum Hosted by UMUC Focuses on Personal Data and State Infrastructure


Editor’s note: On Dec. 6, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) hosted the Maryland Cybersecurity Council’s public policy forum on cybersecurity, which featured questions and answers from public- and private-sector experts on personal data collection and privacy protection, as well as infrastructure protection and incidence response. This article is taken from a UMUC Cyber Connections Blog post authored by Alex Kasten; it details highlights from the forum’s sessions.Continue Reading