As the state’s public higher education system, the University System of Maryland (USM) reaffirms its long-standing commitment to supporting and nurturing a culture of diversity, inclusion, and fairness on every one of our campuses. This is a principle I embraced when I served as president of San Jose State University, Towson University and the University of Massachusetts System, and I will continue to emphasize as USM Chancellor.
During recent months, we have seen an elevated profile for issues related to race and ethnicity, here in Maryland and across the country. The challenges before us are not simple to address, yet they are critically important to our future. Over the years, student activism at our colleges and universities has helped to fuel the civil rights movement, advanced women’s rights, supported equality for the LGBTQUIA community, and highlighted injustice in South Africa and elsewhere around the world. But to be truly effective, this activism must give rise to discussion and dialogue consistent with our core academic values of freedom of thought and expression, allowing us to move forward constructively.
To that end, I will be working with the USM Board of Regents’ Workgroup on Diversity and Inclusion and the Presidents to strengthen ongoing efforts in support of these goals and values, providing a comprehensive approach to address critical concerns and issues constructively and productively.
The workgroup will engage every constituency within USM’s shared governance matrix in an open dialogue, bringing together administration, faculty, staff, and students in an inclusive, collaborative, proactive, and constructive process for the common good.