Dr. Perman and other leaders update the UMB community on a number of initiatives and issues.
University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, held his Quarterly Q&A on April 10, updating staff, students, and faculty in attendance on a number of issues during the hourlong session in the Bressler Research Building’s Taylor Lecture Hall.
Perman kicked off the discussion by urging everyone at UMB to participate in the recent smoking survey, an initiative that grew out of concerns voiced at previous Q&As. The University wants to learn about the attitudes, behaviors, and expectations of smokers and non-smokers as it seeks to evaluate polices related to smoking on campus and tobacco cessation efforts.
“If any of you have not participated in the smoking survey, please do so,” Perman said. “And please give us as much information as you can in your responses so we can deal with an issue that many institutions and municipalities have faced: How to be cognizant of people who wish to smoke while taking care of others who believe it has no place at UMB.”
Among other issues:
- Perman followed up on his January Q&A, which focused on UMB’s efforts in the areas of Title IX and sexual harassment, by referencing the task force he has formed to study those issues and suggest policy improvements. He also reiterated that he’s in the process of forming a permanent group to advise him on women’s issues that would be similar to the University’s Diversity Advisory Council.
- Perman announced that UMB employees will be receiving a 3 percent cost-of-living increase, which was approved by the Maryland General Assembly during its recent legislative session and will take effect July 1.
- The president and Dawn Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president, gave an update on UMB’s efforts to replace the UM shuttle service, scheduled to end this summer. Rhodes said the University has compiled three replacement options and will be holding town halls April 22 (4 p.m., School of Dentistry, Room G310) and April 29 (11 a.m., SMC Campus Center, Elm Ballroom A) to get riders’ and non-riders’ feedback before making a decision on a new mass transit option.
- Regarding public safety, Perman noted that the UMB Police Department had instituted a new morning ride service to its Safe Walk/Safe Ride Program, and Chief Alice Cary, MS, announced that the department’s Campus Outreach and Support Team had received a $100,000 grant to aid its efforts in homeless outreach and community engagement. Cary also announced that the department’s Police Athletic/Activities League, a program in which officers mentor children from West Baltimore, would be expanding from two to five days a week.
- Courtney Jones Carney, MBA, director of the Office of Interprofessional Student Learning and Service Initiatives, detailed the introduction of an Intercultural Leadership certificate program through the Graduate School that will launch in fall 2019. She said the program is focused on inclusive leadership and the courses are designed to help people better understand how to communicate with diverse groups of individuals.
- Peter Murray, PhD, chief information officer and vice president, discussed the introduction of Webex, a video conferencing tool available to students, staff, and faculty. Murray also thanked those who have taken the required three-part cybersecurity training online and urged others to complete the courses before the May 3 deadline.