USM Foundation

LeaderNotes Spring 2024

on March 26, 2024 by Micaela Cameron

The latest edition of LeaderNotes is available. This edition includes a Letter from the President, a Board Meeting Recap, Spotlight on Staff, and more.

Click here to read the full newsletter.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy Spring!

In late February, thanks to the great work of Chair of the Advocacy Committee Anirban Basu, members of the Foundation’s Advocacy Committee, Foundation staff, and I traveled to Annapolis to meet with legislators to advocate for the University System of Maryland. While in Annapolis, we had meetings with Maryland Senator Guy Guzzone and Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Adrienne Jones, along with other Maryland lawmakers at a legislative reception at the Maryland Inn. We were especially thrilled to be treated to a special tour of the Maryland State House Chambers led by Adrienne Jones, who was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to show us incredible spaces in the historic building, such as where George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army. It was very rewarding to speak on behalf of the USM and to champion the good work of our institutions. I would like to extend a special thank you to Susan Lawrence, USM vice chancellor for government relations, as well as Anirban Basu for helping to facilitate this visit

Our colleague Ralph Partlow will retire at the end of June after serving for five years as general counsel of the USM Foundation. Ralph has played an important role in working to enhance the Foundation’s legal, compliance, and risk management functions and has helped to guide senior leadership and the Board through some challenging situations. I anticipate that Ralph will continue to support his successor’s transition on a part-time basis after June 30, and am grateful for his willingness to do so.

In late January, members of the Foundation staff and Foundation Board Chair Don Scheeler attended the 2024 Association of Governing Board’s Foundation Leadership Forum in Downton Los Angeles. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn from our colleagues from institutions across the United States. The Foundation’s CIO Sharcus Steen moderated a discussion, “The Global Economic Outlook: Insights and Implications for Endowment Management” with panelists from Nuveen, the Strategic Investment Group, and Northern Trust Wealth Management. The group shared their perspectives on the global economy and changes in admissions practices and constrained budgets at universities. I also facilitated a discussion at the Forum on “Foundation Strategy and Planning” and was joined by colleagues from West Virginia University Foundation and the Association of Governing Boards. We presented a workshop on a streamlined approach to: developing foundation strategy; executing plans to enhance board governance; strengthening the performance of key foundation functions; and elevating a foundation’s ability to serve as a strategic mission partner to the institution.

There is a lot more news from the Foundation and the System – continue reading this edition of LeaderNotes to learn about the great advancement and work our staff, leadership, and institutions are doing!

As always, please reach out to me with any questions you may have.


Leonard R. Raley

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