University of Maryland President Dr. Wallace Loh was asked about his relationship with coach Durkin. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Jordan McNair, the University of Maryland student who died of heatstroke this spring following football practice, and his family deserve justice and accountability from UMD leadership. So do Lt. Richard Collins III, who was killed on campus a year earlier, and his family. So do all UMD students, staff and alumni. President Wallace Loh and his administrators have consistently provided neither.
Alumni, player advocates and business reputation experts say the University of Maryland still has much work to do to restore trust with students and football fans in wake of coach DJ Durkin's dismissal.
University of Maryland president Wallace Loh announced that he will be leaving the university at the end of June 2019, after the Board of Regents shared their findings. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Jordan McNair's tragic death laid bare toxic football culture — but we also hope it will lay bare, and remedy, the pattern of negligence, disregard and disrespect for students propagated by President Wallace Loh.
We need drastic institutional change.
Last week, Provost Mary Ann Rankin and all deans praised Wallace Loh for "support[ing] and protect[ing] our students," and asked him to reconsider resigning. They're wrong, and some are complicit in Mr. Loh's toxic campus culture. A handful of Maryland politicians also have suggested President Loh should reconsider his resignation. We demand that President Loh recommit to his June 2019 resignation.
The University System Board of Regents must also institutionalize students in the process of appointing President Loh's successor and in determining all future presidents and university policies.
Finally, the state legislature must reconstitute the Board of Regents as a democratically elected body via a process in which students are central.
Beyond these initial steps, more must be done to make UMD a safe and nurturing institution. We remain committed to further action and organizing on behalf of our communities.
Karen Levenson, a major donor to the school of public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, has halted future gifts over how the University System of Maryland Board of Regents have handled the aftermath of Terrapins football player Jordan McNair's death.
The toxic environment at the University of Maryland can only be corrected through an exodus of the current leadership. Active student involvement in the appointment of administrators and policies will uphold the values of the University System of Maryland's flagship campus.
Katie Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Communication PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park. Sarah Eshera is a 2018 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.Multiple organizations representing graduate and undergraduate students contributed to this op-ed including: the African Student Association, the American Indian Student Union; the Amharic Language Society; the Beta Beta Chapter of Iota Iota Iota; the Chi Chapter of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha; Community Roots; the Coalition of Latinx Student Organizations; the Democratic Socialists of America; Fearless Student Employees; the Graduate Assistant Advisory Committee; the History Graduate Students Association Board; UMD Socialists; the Iota Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; the Latino Graduate Student Association; the Latinx Student Union; the Maryland Food Collective; MaryPIRG; the Muslim Alliance for Social Change; the National Pan-Hellenic Council at the University of Maryland; the Organization of Arab Students; the Phi Chapter of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity; Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society; Pride Alliance; the Prison Resistance Project; the Somali Student Association; Students for Justice in Palestine; the University of Maryland Associate Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma. National Sorority; and the Upsilon Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority.