For University of Maryland Global Campus’s 75th anniversary, we spoke with Chris Motz about some of his favorite experiences and where he hopes to see the university in years to come. Chris Motz is UMGC's vice president for academic outreach and corporate alliances in Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships. He joined the university in 2020 and leads the university's outreach to both corporations and community colleges. Before joining UMGC, Motz spent 22 years in leadership roles in higher education, serving as academic dean and later as president of Hagerstown Business College at Kaplan College and as area president for Kaplan University's Maryland campuses.
During your time at UMGC, how have you seen the university evolve and change?
There have been an incredible number of changes in the short time I’ve been at UMGC! I think the institution has accepted its rightful place as one of the most innovative and progressive adult-serving institutions in America. We’ve narrowed our focus on the key drivers of growth, been recognized as the most transfer friendly institution in the country and launched new partnerships that have expanded our reach and broadened our portfolio of offerings to new audiences of learners.
What is the most significant change you have witnessed at the university?
The most significant change that I’ve seen during my time has been the explosive growth of our partnerships, both academic and corporate alliances, which have added hundreds of students to UMGC.
Can you name some UMGC faculty or staff members (or even students/alumni) who impacted your career here at UMGC?
Peter Smith has definitely had an impact on my UMGC career by providing me with sound advice and by helping me to focus on the right priorities.
UMGC is celebrating 75 years of excellence in education. What does that history mean to you?
UMGC’s 75-year history has been about expanding access to learners needing nontraditional ways to achieve an education. It’s been a pioneer in adapting the delivery of learning to meet students where they are.
Why is it important?
UMGC’s place in the history of higher education is important because of the incredible shifts taking place in the way learners are acquiring knowledge. UMGC will continue to innovate to meet the needs of the adult learning marketplace.
Which of UMGC core values resonates with you the most and why? (Students First, Accountability, Diversity, Integrity, Excellence, Innovation, Respect, or People Always)
Innovation resonates most with me because in order for us to stay competitive and relevant to the learners we serve, we must continue to think ahead of the curve, anticipate needs and trends, and be ready to deploy new in-demand solutions that will keep us relevant for new generations.
UMGC recently introduced its new mission “Inspire hope, empower dreams, and transform lives ... one student at a time.” What does that mean to you?
Our mission of changing lives and preparing the workforce of the future begins and ends with the experience of the individual student and it must remain our constant focus.
How do you feel about UMGC’s role in supporting the military, wherever they are?
It is our heritage and our lasting legacy. It must remain an integral part of what UMGC is about—meeting servicemembers, their families, and adult learners wherever they are.
If you had one word to describe your experience at UMGC, what would it be and why? Significance, because not only have I felt significant as an individual working here, but I have felt the significance of the work I am privileged to lead as well.
Where do you hope to see UMGC in the next 75 years?
Continuing to innovate and be a leader in serving adult learners, the most transfer friendly university in the country serving military and non-military students around the world.