Calvin B.T. Lee

Calvin B.T. Lee
Calvin B.T. Lee, ca. 1974. University Photographs, UARC 1989-02-002. View larger

UMBC’s second president was Calvin B.T. Lee. Son of a Chinese-American family, he was a graduate of New York University Law School (Doctor of the Science of Law). He practiced law for several years, worked for the U. S. Department of Education, and became an administrator at Boston University. He rapidly moved up to dean, then vice president, and finally acting president at BU. His career as UMBC’s second chancellor began during the 1971-72 academic year. 

Annual Report 1971-72 to the President if the University of Maryland from UMBC by Calvin B.T. Lee
Annual Report 1971-72 to the President if the University of Maryland from UMBC by Calvin B.T. Lee. University Publications, UPUB C18-005. View full document

In his first report to Dr. Elkins, the head of the university system administration, Dr. Lee presented a vision for UMBC that was characterized by rapid growth. Already he could say that the number of full time students had risen substantially in just one academic year. Moreover, the diversity of the student body as well as the ranks of faculty and administration were also expanding. He touted the interdisciplinary curriculum that was being developed and singled out the Afro-American Studies program for special attention. "Unlike…other programs, UMBC combines African Studies and the African Diaspora, i.e., the Black Experience in the Americas and African Heritage," he said. In summary, he was: "Appreciative of the past six years, optimistic in the present, and carefully planning for the future…" He was looking thirty years into the future toward the year 2000.

Project 2000: Toward Higher Learning for the 21st Century
Project 2000: Toward Higher Learning for the 21st Century, April 26, 1972. University Publications, UPUB C8-009. View full document

In the several addresses delivered on April 26, 1972, Calvin B.T. Lee, Morton Baratz, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Sanford Greenberg, Political Science Research Professor and Consultant on Project 2000, used contemporary data to provide a vision of education in the future. The project served as a UMBC vision statement, and Lee took a “fundamentally optimistic view of the future,” in which there would be control of the human condition and the University “can and must play a role in the development of this ability.” The report reflects on a future overloaded by technology.

Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Report for 1976, 1986, 1996, 2001. Reports, multiple years. UPUB P12-007
Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Report for 1976. University Publications, UPUB P12-007. View full document

Accreditation of colleges and universities in Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware is the jurisdiction of the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The conclusion of the 1976 Middle States report was: "In the ten years since it opened for its first freshman and a small group of graduate students, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has made impressive progress."