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Friday, December 18, 2015

End of Semester Thank You!

Dear Campus Community:

On behalf of Chancellor Black, many thanks to those who were able to join us at the End of Semester Buffet.  Again this year, you were generous in your donations at this celebration and community fund raiser. You contributed $726.17 to the Union Gospel Mission, 266 pounds of food to Champ's Cupboard and 265 pounds of food to the CHUM Food Shelf. 

Thank you so much for your generosity. Have a wonderful end of semester.


Chancellor's Office and Dining Services

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chancellor Black's Message to the Campus

Dear Campus Community:

I hope you are having a good finals week and looking forward to a well-deserved break.  There are a few information items I wish to share with you as we wrap up the fall semester and look forward to next semester.  

I am making good progress identifying an interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and hope to have someone in place by the first of February.  I appreciate the feedback and suggestions I received about the interim appointment.  Based upon those comments and conversations I have had with the vice chancellors, deans, and the Faculty Council, I have decided to use the Registry, a national organization that identifies experienced senior leaders to serve interim appointments like ours.  I will seek someone who has the experiences and skills to address our specific UMD needs.  Since the promotion and tenure recommendations are due from the EVCAA by February 8. I have asked Dr. Andrea Schokker to complete those recommendations before she leaves her position.  I am also initiating a national search for a new EVCAA.  During the first week in January, I will send you additional information about the interim appointment and the search process.

You will see two lists of questions for faculty and staff related to our need to have robust discussions about UMD's strategic priorities and how to best position our campus for the future.  The faculty questions will be the main topic of conversation at a faculty town hall meeting January 14 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Kirby Ballroom and the staff questions will be discussed at a staff town hall meeting on January 21 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom.  These questions were developed with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee. We need a clear sense of how we will move forward and whether or not our current administrative and academic structures best support our strengths and opportunities.  Prior to the town hall meetings, I will send additional information about possible models for us to consider and additional information about the UMD budget. 

A separate set of questions was developed and shared with the UMD Student Association. I look forward to receiving their input in this important conversation, too.

Finally, I wish you the best during the semester break.  Unfortunately, I have to fly to Boston for a family funeral and will not be able to join you Thursday at the End of Semester Buffet.  I hope you will attend and take advantage of this opportunity to visit with colleagues across campus and have valuable social time together.  Thank you for all you do to make UMD an outstanding educational institution.  I especially appreciate the great work you do for our students.  I've had a number of meetings with students recently and they always impress me.   

Best wishes to you all!


Lendley C. Black

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Message from Chancellor Black regarding EVCAA transition

Dear Campus Community:

As you know, Andrea Schokker submitted her resignation as Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to me on Monday.  I wish to thank Andrea again for her service to UMD and for the many things she accomplished as Vice Chancellor.  She will continue to be an important part of our university community as a faculty member and researcher, and I wish her the very best.

I am moving forward quickly to identify an interim replacement for Andrea, and I will soon begin the process of conducting a national search for a new EVCAA.  My first priority is to find an interim who is a seasoned, academic administrator, and who can bring an experienced perspective to both the opportunities and challenges we face.  While my intent is to seek an external person, I will also consider a local interim appointment.

As we move forward and focus on clarifying UMD's strengths and opportunities, I am continuing to work with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee on a series of meetings with students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of next semester. More information about this process will be sent to you next week.

Meanwhile, I hope we will focus on how to move forward in a productive and collaborative manner.  We need to find better ways to have constructive conversations and keep professional disagreements from becoming personal, and resulting in hurtful behaviors.

Please let me know if you have comments or would like additional information.


Lendley C. Black

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chancellor's Message to the Campus

Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Like many of you, I have been moved and concerned by the acts of racism and senseless violence of the last several weeks happening around us in the world, across our nation, and close to home.  As a UMD community and as individuals, we are all impacted by these events.  There is undoubtedly a mix of emotions, fears, and opinions.

We are well aware that our community is not immune to the disparities, prejudice, and behavior that fuel these matters.  Here at UMD, Goal 2 is a core component of our Strategic Plan.  It states our desire to "create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice."  We have made good progress at integrating Goal 2 into our actions and activities.

Yet, we need to recognize and to support historically marginalized members of our community who still seek justice, or even feel threatened, right now. We must realize that we have a long way to go to reach the ambitious goal of a universally inclusive campus community.  Meaningful diversity work requires both community and individual commitments to change, and it requires us all to honestly self-reflect on our own prejudices and shortcomings. We should also be aware of where we are on our journey of understanding and support each other. Each of us should seek actions that we can take to respond to injustice and to make UMD a welcoming place for all.

I am writing you today to ask that we encourage healthy dialogue, that we listen to multiple perspectives, and that we continue to demonstrate our core values and commitment to inclusive excellence.  Universities are exactly where we should have these types of conversations.
We have a number of upcoming events that can help us, including this Wednesday, December 2 at 5 p.m. in Kirby Ballroom where Duke Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is presenting "Color Blind Racism: Racism Without Racists."

As well, anyone who has experienced racial or other types of discrimination are encouraged to file an incident report with Office of Student Conduct or the Office of Human Resource and Equal Opportunity.

The path to ensuring an inclusive, respectful, and supportive environment starts with me and with all of us.  We need to continue our commitment to equity, diversity, and social justice.  We need to continue to encourage open dialogue and learn from each other.  We need to continue to assess our campus climate and take action to strengthen it.

I ask you to join me and the Campus Climate Leadership Team on this journey.


Lendley Black, Chancellor

Campus Climate Leadership Team