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University of Maryland Statement Against Hate and Bias

November 5, 2017
Contacts: 

 Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

 
Statement Against Hate and Bias 
Joel Seligman, AVP for Communications and Marketing - November 5, 2017
 

UMD sincerely regrets the overwhelming misunderstanding resulting in the #UMDNotAHome social media conversation. The statements on social media connected to this hashtag do not reflect the positions of the university or our leaders' mutual commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus and across our nation.

To put it plainly, the UMD administration stands against hate and bias in all of its forms and wants every Terp to feel welcome, safe and at home at the University of Maryland. 

In recent months, there have been instances of intentional provocation by hateful, far-right groups spreading targeted messages that the administration finds despicable. These outside agitators want to divide our campus community into factions that are in conflict with one another from within UMD, rather than see our campus stand together in opposition to the broader forces of hate, white supremacy, anti-immigrant xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and anti-semitism. 

It is understandable that some members of our community are also disturbed by remarks by university officials, even when the comments are quoted entirely out of context and in a manner that misrepresents the meaning. UMD has seen an example of one of our longtime colleagues unfairly criticized for her efforts to provide legal advice to the University Senate Campus Affairs Committee literally at the same time she is working to advance the cause of inclusion.

The administration encourages all members of our community to work together—students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni—to increase respect, inclusiveness, and cohesiveness on our campus. A comprehensive list of efforts underway by UMD administration is available at umd.edu/umdreflects 

 

 

UMD Named a 2017 Best College by MONEY Magazine

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  The University of Maryland ranked No. 11 among public universities according to MONEY Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Colleges. UMD ranked No. 20 overall among U.S. institutions. 

To calculate rankings, MONEY assessed more than 700 colleges in the U.S. based on three equally-weighted categories, including educational quality, affordability and alumni success. MONEY measured 27 factors within these categories covering areas such as instructor quality, measuring the study-to-faculty ratio, affordability for low-income students and value-added earnings, which measures if the school is launching students to better paying jobs. 

Earlier this year, UMD was also ranked a Best Value College by ForbesPrinceton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

UMD Capitol Hill Forum Addresses Health Disparities Research & Action for Equity

September 23, 2016
Contacts: 

Contacts: Elise Carbonaro, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Rep. John P. Sarbanes and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, recently convened more than 100 people for a Research on the Hill forum focused on strategies to achieve health equity at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., professor and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the UMD School of Public Health, the panel discussion engaged experts from academia, federal health agencies and the private business sector in a candid conversation about how to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among vulnerable populations.

“Our exploratory research holds the solutions to many of the most challenging problems of our day,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer Patrick G. O’Shea, Ph.D. “As a university, it is our mission to create and understand knowledge to develop better ways to house and heal and fuel and feed our people in advanced societies that are just, secure, and free. Achieving health equity touches on the ‘heal’ aspect of that mission.”

The topics ranged from the progress that has been made in access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to challenges that still remain in improving quality of care and in making the medical care system incorporate public health and address the social determinants of health that prevent people from acting health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. 

“The state of Maryland has embraced the ACA and there is clear evidence that the new incentives are indeed moving hospital systems away from a fee-for-service business model to one that rewards quality care and positive health outcomes over the volume of procedures,” said Thomas. “While the transition is not perfect, our state is a national leader for what the future of health care will look like.”

Panel members shared examples of effective and innovative community-based health interventions and public-private partnerships that are making a difference through culturally-tailored health promotion and disease prevention services, and highlighted the emergence of social determinants of health such as poverty, discrimination and residential segregation as factors that must be overcome.

 “I’m convinced that if you address racial and ethnic disparities with respect to the delivery of health care and health care coverage in this country, you will build the best health care system we can possibly have because diversity is our country’s hallmark,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a tireless advocate for improving healthcare quality and addressing health disparities.
 
To achieve health equity, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must address broader issues beyond the traditional biomedical model and build trust between those who control health care delivery system and those who have lost hope in the system, said members of the panel. 

The panelists recommended that health equity be incorporated into all public policies, not just those related to health care, to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. 

Panel members included:

  • Margo Edmunds, Ph.D., Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation at Academy Health;
  • J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Julia Huggins, President of Cigna Mid-Atlantic;
  • Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., MPH, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Inaugural Endowed Chair for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota; and
  • Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District and is a distinguished UMD alumnus, also joined the event and emphasized that as an interconnected community, we should all care about health disparities.
 
“It is unacceptable that in the United States, where all are created equal in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that one’s access to healthcare may be higher or lower as a result of race, gender, or income,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Everybody being healthy is of concern to each and every one of us.”
 
He discussed how we must continue to defend the patient protections that Americans are benefiting from thanks to the ACA, such as the no-cost access to preventive services like mammograms and immunizations, as well as remind people of the dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly people of color, who now have health coverage as a result.

The event was held as part of the University of Maryland’s Research on the Hill series, which is aimed at raising awareness of research with great societal significance.

View the conversation at: https://youtu.be/HPedKr0jZLQ

UMD Study Finds Connecting Uninsured Patients to Primary Care Could Reduce ER Use

May 6, 2015
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418
Hillery Tsumba 301-628-3425

Montgomery County, Md. Initiative Could Improve Health, Reduce Costs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An intervention to connect low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to a reliable source of primary health care shows promise for reducing avoidable use of hospital emergency departments in Maryland. A University of Maryland School of Public Health study evaluating the results of the intervention was published this week in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs

For twenty years, use of hospital emergency departments has been on the rise in the United States, particularly among low-income patients who face barriers to accessing health care outside of hospitals, including not having an identifiable primary health care provider. Almost half of emergency room visits are considered “avoidable.” The Emergency Department-Primary Care Connect Initiative of the Primary Care Coalition, which ran from 2009 through 2011, linked low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to safety-net health clinics. 

“Our study found that uninsured patients with chronic health issues – such as those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or anxiety – relied less on the emergency department after they were linked to a local health clinic for ongoing care,” says Dr. Karoline Mortensen, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and senior researcher. “Connecting patients to primary care and expanding the availability of these safety-net clinics could reduce emergency department visits and provide better continuity of care for vulnerable populations.”  

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the initiative engaged all five of the hospitals operating in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time, and four safety-net clinics serving low-income patients. Using “patient navigators,” individuals trained to help patients find the care they need and can afford, these hospitals referred more than 10,000 low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients who visited emergency departments to four local primary care clinics, with the goal of encouraging them to establish an ongoing relationship with the clinic and reduce their reliance on costly emergency department care. 

Two hospitals in Montgomery County who participated in the intervention continued the program after the initial grant period concluded because of the benefits they saw for patients and for reducing emergency department visits and associated costs. These hospitals are currently testing a new version of the intervention specifically deigned to link emergency department patients with behavioral health conditions to appropriate community-based services. 

While hospital administrators and health policy experts throughout the country are recognizing that access to primary care improves continuity of care for patients and reduces avoidable use of emergency departments, the implications of this project are particularly important for hospitals in Maryland, which are now operating under a unique all-payer model for hospital payments. Within this new payment structure, Maryland hospitals will have to meet ambitious spending, quality of care, and population health goals. Reducing avoidable use of emergency departments can help in reaching these goals.

The project provides promise not only for hospitals in Maryland but throughout the nation to improve health care experiences and outcomes for their patients. Shared learning systems were an integral component of the project so participants were learning from each other and sharing best practices throughout the project and that learning has now been documented and can be replicated in other communities.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project to work on,” says Barbara H. Eldridge, Manager of Quality Improvement at the Primary Care Coalition. “We created a learning system that permits us to sustain improved communication between patients and their providers, between hospital discharge planners and community based clinics, and across five hospitals operating in Montgomery County.” The initiative has proven successful in Montgomery County, Maryland and is being replicated in communities in other parts of the country. 

“Linking Uninsured Patients Treated In The Emergency Department To Primary Care Shows Some Promise In Maryland” was written by Theresa Y. Kim, Karoline Mortensen, and Barbara Eldridge and published in the journal Health Affairs

University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618 crystalb@umd.edu

College Park, Md. – Today, the University of Maryland launched a brand-new multimedia news and information portal, UMD Right Now, which provides members of the media and the public with real-time information on the university and its extended community.

UMD Right Now replaces Newsdesk, which previously served as the university’s news hub and central resource for members of the media. The new site is aimed at reaching broader audiences and allows visitors to keep up with the latest Maryland news and events, view photos and videos and connect with the university across all of its social media platforms.

“We designed UMD Right Now to be a comprehensive, vibrant site where visitors can find new and exciting things happening at Maryland,” said Linda Martin, executive director, Web and New Media Strategies. “Through social media, video, photos and news information, we hope to engage visitors and compel the community to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”

The new website, umdrightnow.umd.edu, contains up-to-date news releases and announcements, facts and figures about the university, a searchable database of faculty and staff experts, information highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD, additional resources for news media and other campus and athletics news.

“UMD RightNow is the place to go to find out all the things happening on and around campus on any given day,” said Crystal Brown, chief communications officer. “This website brings real-time news, events and information right to your fingertips.”

For more information and contact information for the Office of University Communications, please visit umdrightnow.umd.edu.

Agree to Disagree: Why Teams Perform Better with Divergent Perspectives

May 17, 2018
Contacts: 

Gregory Muraski, 301-405-5283

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Team members aren’t always going to agree with leaders’ goals and strategies — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In certain circumstances, having disagreement among teams, and the discourse that this disagreement elicits, can translate into success for certain types of teams who are tackling complex problems, according to researchers from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, and Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business.

The researchers studied multiteam systems (MTS) — or teams of teams — that take on complex projects or crisis situations, such as new product launch teams, natural disaster emergency response teams or major accident scene patient-care teams.

Multiteam systems are complex, and with so many teams involved conventional wisdom suggests it's best for all parties to agree on strategy and goals quickly. The researchers —  Trevor Foulk, assistant professor, University of Maryland, Klodiana Lanaj, associate professor, University of Florida, and John Hollenbeck, professor, Michigan State University — found otherwise. 

MTS are often structured with a leadership team that coordinates the actions of several component teams. Due to the complex nature of these systems, teams coordinate via planning and goal-setting, and receive their tasks from a leadership team. These large, complex interdependent teams have to plan for risk because they are dealing with high-stakes projects. They need to weigh the costs and rewards involved in any possible course of action to figure out which strategy to pursue. 

The research, which was recently published in the Academy of Management Journal, reveals that multiteam systems actually perform better — by engaging in less unwarranted risk behaviors and more aspirational behaviors — when component teams disagree with leadership teams about of how much risk the MTS should take. Foulk said this is likely because agreement may spark premature consensus, whereas disagreement causes all parties involved to express ideas, opinions, and concerns that may ultimately lead the team to consider better options.

“There is comfort in agreement and shared views, but the leadership team should be particularly wary of rapid consensus during the planning process because the research shows this can result in lower performance and lower aspirational behavior,” said the researchers.

They believe if leaders see team members agreeing too quickly, they should challenge their decisions to elicit different perspectives.

To keep people from simply going along with the leadership team, Foulk said leaders shouldn’t reveal their goals during the planning session. They should urge team members to speak up first and voice diverse perspectives during planning and goal setting, rather than too quickly agreeing on a strategy. Leaders also need to be patient because the benefits of different perspectives may take time to emerge, said the researchers.

UMD Study Uncovers Germ Cell Findings with Implications for Disease Research

May 11, 2018
Contacts: 

Samantha Watters, 301-405-2434

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A UMD-led, multi-institution team of researchers has discovered new mechanisms that dictate the development of germline cells — precursor stem cells that become either eggs or sperm depending on whether they end up in ovaries or testes. Their findings ultimately could help advance research to combat cancers, viral diseases, male infertility and other health issues.

Stem cells, types of undifferentiated cells that have the ability to develop, or differentiate, into specific cell types such as egg, sperm, muscle or nerve cells, are at the forefront of new knowledge for understanding and fighting diseases. However, the mechanisms by which stem cells, and particularly germ cells, differentiate are still incompletely understood.  Germ cells are the only cell type capable of passing genetic information on to the next generation.

Published in Stem Cell Reports, the new study examined in chicken germ cells, mechanisms that factor into germ cell development and gene expression. In particular, it looked at DNA methylation, an essential mechanism for environmental (epigenetic) impacts on cell differentiation. UMD Professor Jiuzhou Song, Ph.D., department of animal and avian sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and colleagues uncovered DNA methylation patterns associated with genes responsible for cancers and viral infections. 

Also discovered were markers in chickens used to identify male germ cells, uncovering how environmental factors-- epigenetics--affect these cells and providing significant insight into causes of and possible treatments for, male infertility in animals, including humans. These findings unlock possibilities for future animal and human health research in these areas, and also set the stage for chickens as a more prominent model organism for stem cell research. 

Stem cell research has applications for treating cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and even injuries. These cells can replicate and replace damaged tissue, so understanding their development is important to the future of this work. Epigenetic factors that affect the way genes are expressed, can also play a large role in cell and tissue development, and no studies have previously looked at the mechanisms at play in germline stem cell development and how epigenetics play a role. 

“From genome to phenome as it is called is a very complicated process for different gene networks to create the trait you see in an animal or human. The activity of key genes is the same or similar in common cell types, but the activity of other genes may differ completely among species, especially for the roles of stem cells,” explained Professor Songs. “Looking at these mechanisms helps to decode genes, understand complex traits, and develop future treatment plans to better understand animal and human health.”

The epigenetic markers identified in this study are unique to chickens, which are an up-and-coming animal model that is in many ways ideal for the study of epigenetics, stem cells, and developmental research.

“Most people still think of mice when they think of animal models that support animal and human health research. But regulatory elements are quite similar between the chicken and human genome. In fact, the genetic similarity between a human and a chicken is about 60%. The development of chickens is rapid, easy to see, and easy to manipulate, making them very unique compared to other animal models. They are ideal for developmental and stem cell research because you can easily observe egg growth and the development process in real time,” says Song.

Song said he is devoted to this animal genetics work, with its connections to human health in mind, but is also thinking about the broiler chicken industry and overall animal welfare. “This work provides a deeper understanding of developmental mechanisms in chickens that lead to healthier chickens and humans,” said Song. “The applications and need for epigenetic stem cell research is great, and chickens are a great model for this work.” 

                                                  

 

 

 

 

Former Vice President Al Gore to Deliver Speech at UMD’s 2018 Spring Commencement

May 11, 2018
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – More than 7,500 University of Maryland students will receive their degrees at the spring 2018 commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2018. 

This year’s spring commencement will feature an address from former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore. University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh will also take the podium to congratulate the graduates and Michelle Sauer, graduating with a B.A. in English language and literature, and secondary education, will deliver the student remarks. 

WHO: 

  • University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh
  • Former Vice President Al Gore
  • Student Commencement Speaker Michelle Sauer
  • Class of 2018 University of Maryland Graduates

WHEN:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

  • Processional – 12:20 p.m.
  • Ceremony – 1 p.m.

*Media check-in will begin at 11 am. Media should arrive by noon prior to the processional*

WHERE:

Xfinity Center, University of Maryland, College Park
Xfinity Center is located on Paint Branch Dr. near the intersection of Paint Branch Dr. and Route 193 (University Blvd.) Click here for directions. 

PARKING/CHECK-IN:

To ensure parking and access to the commencement ceremony, media must RSVP by May 18 to mediainfo@umd.edu. Upon RSVP, further parking instructions will be provided. 
Risers and a mult box will be available to media.

LIVE VIDEO STREAM:

The ceremony will be streamed live on the University of Maryland’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0ZOP5slg5k

 

For more information, visit www.commencement.umd.edu.

 

 

A New Model for Communication in Plant Cells

May 4, 2018
Contacts: 

Matthew Wright, 301-405-9267

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A UMD-led study published in the journal Science sheds new light on how plants communicate within cells using a protein that closely resembles a protein that in animals plays a role in communications between nerve cells.

May 4 Science CoverAlthough plants lack a true nervous system, previous studies have shown that plants need these proteins, called glutamate receptor-like proteins (GLRs), to do important things such as mate, grow, and defend themselves against diseases and pests.

In the current study, researchers working with pollen cells from a flowering weed native to Europe, Asia and Africa (Arabidopsis thaliana), found that these GLR proteins form the basis of a complex communication network inside individual plant cells. 

The research, which could inform many new studies of cell-to-cell communication in plants and animals alike, is featured on the cover of the May 4, 2018, issue of Science. Researchers from the University of Maryland, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal and the Universidad Nacional de Autónoma de México authored the study.

The similarities between the animal nerve proteins (glutamate receptors) and the similar GLR plant proteins suggests that the two proteins date back to a common ancestor—a single-celled organism that gave rise to both animals and plants.

“Why should plants have receptors like the ones that make neurons work? Our results support the idea that individual plant cells have a level of autonomy that animal cells do not,” said José Feijó, a professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at UMD and the senior author of the study. “Each plant cell has its own immune system, for example. And they have more communication channels to deal with the fact that they are stuck in place. Every flowering plant has more GLRs than animals have glutamate receptors. Our proposed model for plant cell communication suggests one reason for this abundance of GLRs.” 

Further progress toward decoding plant communication could result in reliable tests to diagnose diseases, nutrient deficiencies and other maladies in plants, Feijó said. Such measures could help to ensure food security, as climate change and other stressors begin to take a toll on major agricultural crops. 

Elaborating a two-protein process

The new findings suggest that GLRs rely on another group of proteins, called “cornichon” proteins, to shuttle GLRs to different locations in plant cells and to regulate activity of the protein within each cell.

With the help of cornichon proteins, GLRs act as valves that carefully manage the concentration of calcium ions—a vital aspect of many cell communication pathways—within various structures inside the cell, the study found. 

“Calcium concentration is one of the most important parameters inside all cells. It is so well regulated that it allows cells to encode information. Put another way, calcium is the lingua franca of cell communication,” said Feijó, noting that calcium is also vital to the function of animal neurons. “Our results suggest that GLRs play a role in this basic communication system in plants, and we also propose a mechanism for how the system works in plant cells.”

Feijó noted that there are some important differences between GLRs and their counterparts in animal neurons. 

To begin with, glutamate—the most common neurotransmitter in the human brain—does not play a major role in the plant system. Also, while glutamate receptors are known to sit on the outer surface of animal neurons, some of Feijo’s earlier experiments suggested that GLRs might instead be located on various structures inside plant cells. 

“This would be the only way to consistently explain the results we were getting,” Feijó said. “Our results suggest that GLRs are indeed redistributed to other compartments inside plant cells, forming a complex network that cooperates to regulate calcium concentrations and enable calcium signaling. This is a novel insight that opens completely new avenues to understand calcium signaling in plants.”

Feijó and Michael Wudick, a postdoctoral researcher in cell biology and molecular genetics at UMD and lead author of the paper, suspected that plant cells use a specific mechanism to control the locations of GLRs throughout the cell. This led Wudick to investigate cornichon proteins, which are linked to the activity of glutamate receptors in animals. 

In their experiments with Arabidopsis pollen cells, Feijó’s team found that cornichon proteins actively shuttled GLRs from one location to another within the cell, enabling various compartments inside the cell to maintain different calcium ion concentrations. Cornichons also act as gatekeepers for GLRs, switching the receptor molecules off and on like a valve in response to changing conditions inside the cell. 

Feijó also noted that a deeper understanding of GLRs could reveal new insights into animal glutamate receptors and their defects, which could be the cause of some neurodegenerative conditions. 

“Some researchers have suggested that neurodegeneration is caused by over-active glutamate receptors. This is not settled, but there are some conditions in both humans and dogs that have been linked to mutations in glutamate receptor genes,” Feijó said. “It is possible that our model could help investigate these conditions. The advantage is that our protocol is very easy to use.”

This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (Award Nos. MCB 1616437/2016 and MCB 1714993/2017), the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Award Nos. PTDC/BEX-BCM/0376/2012, PTDC/BIA-PLA/4018/2012, SFRH/PD/70739/2010 and SFRH/PD/70820/2010), the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (Award No. 220085), and the Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Award No. IN-203817). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations.

 

 

 

UMD Renews Commitment to Comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

May 3, 2018
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland will begin implementation on the recommendations of the Joint President Senate Inclusion and Respect Task Force, renewing and expanding its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Task Force’s recommendations, endorsed by the University Senate and approved by UMD President Wallace D. Loh, include a comprehensive diversity and inclusion initiative that centers on nine key areas: university values; prevention and education; hate/bias incident response; centralization; communication; evaluation and assessment; free speech and freedom of expression; current policies and guidelines; and resources and implementation. 

"We can and will make our campus more inclusive and respectful of every person's human dignity," said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. ​"We'll do this together, based on our core values of excellence and equity, on our commitment to civil discourse and academic freedom, and with the additional resources needed. The job of implementing the recommendations of the Joint Task Force belongs to all of us." 

“All public universities are wrestling with balancing the rights of free speech and academic freedom with the values of diversity and inclusiveness. The task force has carefully crafted a cutting-edge conduct policy, free speech statement, and values statement that we believe protect all of those rights and values,” said Lucy Dalglish, one of the three co-chairs of the task force and dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. 

“It was vitally important for us to listen to a variety of voices from our campus community. These rich conversations were incredibly valuable and directly informed our recommendations to create a more inclusive and respectful campus,” said Warren Kelley, another co-chair and assistant vice president in the Division of Student Affairs.

Key highlights of the task force recommendations include: 

  • Adopt a university values statement that will be ingrained into the culture of the university and the experience of all members of our community. Values outlined in the statement include building a community that is: united, respectful, secure and safe, inclusive, accountable, and empowered and open to growth.
  • Approve the proposed Policy on Threatening and Intimidating Conduct, which would prohibit "threatening or intimidating acts motivated in whole or in part because of an individual or group's actual or perceived protected status."
  • Adopt a statement on free speech values, which outlines the importance of promoting and protecting free expression, while considering the consequences that may result from hate speech. 
  • Conduct biennial climate surveys of faculty, staff, and students to better understand individual experiences in a variety of dimensions. The results of the university’s first campus climate survey, which took place in February 2018, show that while the majority of respondents feel welcome at the university, there are differences based on one’s racial or other personal identification. The survey’s findings can be found here.
  • Develop a comprehensive prevention and education initiative on diversity, inclusion and respect for faculty, staff and students consisting of a blend of mandatory and voluntary programming. 
  • Develop a comprehensive communication strategy that centralizes resources and prominently disseminates information related to equity, diversity, and inclusion to the entire campus community in a manner that is transparent, timely, and sensitive to all constituents. 

The President’s Office has directed campus leadership to begin working on the recommendations immediately. Some of this work is already underway or builds upon existing efforts, while other items will take longer to plan and implement.

To view the Task Force’s full report, visit: https://go.umd.edu/inclusion-respect-recs

 

Pages

Fearless ideas campaign event with marching band
May 14
Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland will support the university’s future with investments in students and... Read
May 17
UMD study explores disagreement translating to success in complex projects or crisis situations. Read
May 11
Research opens the door for future stem cell research in chicken models. Read