Letters to the UMB Community

Chancellor's Letter and Episodic Telework Reminder

May 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

As you may have seen, Chancellor Jay A. Perman's letter from today outlines guidelines and plans from across the University System of Maryland (USM) for COVID-19 recovery. As a member of USM's Return to Campus Advisory Group, I've met with other university-based leaders across institutions and all aspects of campus operations to work together to develop plans for Maryland's universities - and I am bringing ideas back to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

As it applies to UMB, our Recovery Task Force continues to guide efforts to restore our maximum capacity to teach, research, care, serve, and operate by taking incremental steps through near-, mid-, and long-term recovery. Across the University, teams are hard at work planning across 12 focus areas: University Health, Research, Didactic Learning, Experiential Learning, Co-Curricular, International, Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Communications, Campus Operations, and Community.

The focus area groups are taking into account all aspects of university life and operations, such as looking at IT infrastructure, fulfilling UMB responsibilities as an anchor institution, and supporting international programs despite travel restrictions. In addition, preparation for research, student experiential learning, and fall 2020 academic planning is well underway. Of note in the near-term, research and student clinical activities will be restarting on a limited and deliberate basis over the coming weeks.

As I shared May 15, episodic telework will continue for the vast majority of UMB employees through the summer. Please confirm with your supervisor regarding your work requirements, but remember that teleworking and staying home as much as possible makes us all safer.

Our recovery from COVID-19 is guided first and foremost by the need to keep the University community safe and healthy. Federal, state, and local COVID-19 health and safety guidelines will inform all aspects of preparations. We also continue to finalize the budget for the upcoming academic year. I have asked leadership to explore every opportunity where we might find financial savings so that furloughs are a last resort.

The plans we make require collaboration, accountability, and leadership from all of us. I invite you to share suggestions you may have for UMB's Recovery Task Force by submitting to the COVID Recovery Suggestion Box.

Within the next two weeks, I will share the next recovery planning update and will share a budget update when possible. Thank you for your continued dedication to UMB.

Sincerely,

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President


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