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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