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Maryland's Wallace Loh is a leader with character

In a reversal, Dr. Wallace Loh will remain University of Maryland president through June 2020. (Ulysses Muñoz, Talia Richman / Baltimore Sun video)

It pains me to see a dedicated and respected leader like Univesity of Maryland President Wallace Loh inaccurately portrayed in The Baltimore Sun (“Loh’s return marks sad day for University of Md.,” Jan. 31). In response, I would like to offer a counter-argument to your letter writer, R. Buterbaugh. While he is unimpressed with Mr. Loh and distraught about the extension of his term as president of the University of Maryland, I feel that the situation is not being accurately viewed from a holistic vantage point.

While I am a proud alumnus of the University of Maryland, I do not automatically bestow high esteem to any of the listed “leaders.” I believe that everyone needs to be fairly measured by the actions they take before they can earn our respect. There was nothing previously exhibited by Mr. Loh that significantly impressed me. However, he earned my respect by the way he carried himself throughout the investigation of the very unfortunate circumstances that led to the death of Jordan McNair.

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There is no “playbook” that can be referenced to handle such a situation. It takes determination, candor and humbleness to piece together an appropriate response, and Mr. Loh showed this in spades. He took responsibility (rightly or wrongly) for what happened on his watch, crafted an investigative framework that was as thorough and open as one could reasonably expect, and took thoughtful action when those around him (namely, the University System of Maryland Board of Regents) would not such as the firing of the head football coach. He did not hide behind any excuses, or try to sweep this incident under the rug.

Mr. Loh is a true leader and the real loss is to College Park would be losing someone with his character.

Sean Heitt, Timonium

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