A 41-Year Career, Spanning Three SOM Deans, is Shaped by Mission to Serve
University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA announced today that Gregory Robinson, DMin, MDiv, MA, will step down from his position as Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Resource Management, retiring in July after 41 years of service to the School of Medicine. Starting on July 1, 2015, he will focus on the ministerial calling that he accepted more than 16 years ago when he became an ordained minister by the United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) – a calling to a life of ministry and service.
“We owe a deep debt of gratitude for everything Dr. Robinson has done for the School of Medicine over the past four decades,” said Dean Reece, who is also Vice President of Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko Bowers Distinguished Professor. “Indeed, one only has to look around the SOM and UMB campus to see Dr. Robinson’s mark on virtually every research building that we have constructed, including the newest one, HSF III. In addition, Dr. Robinson’s mark is seen in his involvement on committees, advisory boards, in major policy discussions, and in his leadership and management. He has been an instrumental part of the School’s tremendous growth and success, and we wish him all the best in his greater mission of ministry and service.”
Dr. Robinson’s career at the SOM has uniquely covered an unprecedented range of critical administrative responsibilities, including academic and research administration, fiscal management, space and facilities planning, construction and management, human resource management, and parking and public safety. At various points during his tenure, he managed some or all of these functional areas at the same time.
A Career Dedicated to Service
He also managed to find time to dedicate himself tirelessly to service. From the start of his career, serving the needs of the faculty, staff, students and our guests has been his priority. Whether in the SOM, on the UMB campus, in the community, or in the field of academic medicine, his career was marked by unparalleled service and commitment. Over the years, he has served on more than 50 UMB committees, advisory boards and sub-committees, 34 SOM committees and sub-committees and 24 SOM/UMB search committees.
“I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend the past 41 years here at the SOM,” he said. “I never would have dreamed my career would happen this way, but the School kept growing, and I kept taking on new roles and here we are. The continuous challenges have made it exciting to come to work every day!”
He began his career at the SOM in 1973 as Administrative Assistant to Dean John M. Dennis, MD, ‘45. He was hired by Greg F. Handlir, MBA, another 40-year SOM veteran who was Senior Associate Dean of Finance and Resource Management when he retired in 2010. Five years after starting his full time position, Dr. Robinson earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning & Policy Analysis in 1978 from Morgan State University’s School of Urban Affairs and Human Development. It would be the first of three graduate degrees that he would receive during his career.
He then moved into managing facilities planning and construction, where he would play an integral role in the planning and construction of many important projects, including MSTF, Allied Health Building, Howard Hall, 108 North Greene St., HSF I, HSF II and now HSF III.
Building a Team in Human Resources and Academic Administration
During the 1990s under Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, AGAF, Dr. Robinson in his position as Assistant Dean, re-assumed previously held responsibilities in the areas of human resources and academic administration. With these expanded responsibilities and the continuing growth of the SOM, he was given the opportunity to re-build, re-develop and strengthen his areas of responsibility. He recruited new professionals in academic administration (Mr. David J. Ingle, MBA), facilities planning and operations (Mr. Robert A. Cook, MBA), and human resources (Mrs. Jessica L. Bird, MEd), each of whom continues today in these roles and all have developed into valuable members of the Dean’s Office management team, under Dr. Robinson’s tutelage and leadership.
In addition to his contribution to the growth and maintenance of our physical facilities, as Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Resource Management, Dr. Robinson has provided leadership and management in the areas of faculty affairs and human resource management. Specifically, he has provided counsel, direction and advice to countless department chairs, administrators, faculty and staff on appointment and performance-related matters; he has helped develop policies and operational programs to assist in improving faculty and staff performance; he has provided support to the institution’s top leadership by initiating and facilitating pro-active measures pertaining to faculty and staff; and he has provided leadership in the intervention and resolution of critical faculty and staff issues. His participation on the Dean’s Office Faculty Recruitment Committee is one example of Dr. Robinson’s enduring impact on the SOM mission.
“This institution is what it is today because of its outstanding faculty and staff, and it has been personally rewarding to have assisted the faculty and staff in their pursuit of excellence,” he said.
Professional and Community Leadership
Since 1980, in addition to his numerous SOM and University responsibilities, Dr. Robinson has served as board member, campaign advisor, faculty, invited speaker, and recently executive committee member for more than 25 different national and local organizations, churches, universities, and schools – including the United Church of Jesus Christ, the Monroe R. Saunders School, the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Howard University School of Divinity, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Maryland Housing Association, and the Abundant Life Community Church, to name a few.
Professionally, he has been a member of the American Association for Higher Education, the American Institute of Planners, the Maryland Association of Planning Professionals and the AAMC. In 2014, he was awarded the Governor’s Citation from the State of Maryland and a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Baltimore. Prior to that, he had received the Minority Scholarship and Leadership Guild Award, the Howard University School of Divinity’s D.B. Barton Award and was a nominee for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Achievement Award.
Dr. Robinson has earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning & Policy Analysis from Morgan State University’s School of Urban Affairs and Human Development, a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees, both from Howard University School of Divinity. He says that because of his academic credentials, he has been given opportunities to serve in ministry to the broader society and across church denominational lines. “Education is always the key that opens doors,” he adds.
The Next Chapter
Over the past 19 years, Dr. Robinson has been pursuing both his professional career and his ministerial calling. In spite of the demands and challenges of his full-time professional career, he has managed to devote time to a number of ministerial opportunities and responsibilities. He has ministered throughout the US and Canada but concentrates most of his ministerial and pastoral care work in Baltimore, in Lanham, MD, and on the Eastern Shore, where he resides. With his retirement from his professional career at the SOM, Dr. Robinson will transition to the next chapter of his life. He now looks forward to responding to the next challenge and the rewards that come as a result of continued service.
“I guess, in the end, you could say that my career has been about saying ‘yes’ to whatever challenges came along,” he said. “I wasn’t sure where it would lead me, but when I think about it, I am exactly where I should be!