Academic safety – A condition where students are challenged but not overwhelmed by their coursework, where they have adequate resources to help them succeed in their classes, and where they have a balance in their lives among schoolwork, work, family, student activities, and social life. Typically requires identifying students who are struggling; providing them with the resources they need, such as academic and mental-health help; and assisting them, if needed, to identify alternative academic/career directions.

Anchor institution – A nonprofit institution that once established tends not to move location and has the potential to contribute greatly to its community through such means as employment, wealth and human capital building, and cultural and recreational opportunities.

Communities of excellence – Groups of faculty, staff, and students that leverage existing strengths to address the difficult problems and questions of our time through interdisciplinary research and effort. Such communities both have impact on the world beyond the university and offer distinct and innovative educational opportunities to students.

Research-active faculty – Faculty who demonstrate current and ongoing activity in research, scholarship, and creative productivity through measures appropriate to their field, including but not limited to such recognition as presentations, publications, grants and contracts, or prestigious awards and honors.

RISE Zone designation – A geographic area designated by a Maryland county or Baltimore City in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Commerce that has a strong connection with a qualified institution, such as a university, and is targeted for increased economic and community development. The purpose is to access institutional assets that have a demonstrated history of commitment to economic development and revitalization in the communities in which they are located. Qualified institutions and local governments develop a targeted strategy to use the institutional assets and financial incentives, including possibly real property tax and income tax credits, to attract businesses and create jobs within the zone