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UMB's Decision to Open in the Wake of Citywide Unrest
To the University Community:
I know many of us were shaken by the events in our city last night. The violence and destruction of property were extremely painful to watch, and our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors and all who are suffering.
I've heard from employees concerned about their own safety and about the University's decision to open today. I appreciate those concerns. Baltimore remains under a state of emergency, and we expect heavy police presence in the city. In fact, National Guard troops are here on campus, stationed at the University of Maryland Medical Center to ensure the safety of patients and first responders being treated at Shock Trauma.
Our UMB Police Force is in close contact with their colleagues from the Baltimore Police Department. Together, they are monitoring the situation carefully and responding as quickly as possible to changing circumstances. As always, students, faculty, and staff should exercise caution on and around campus and heed any alerts issued by UMB Police.
I understand that this hardly seems like "business as usual." And while our city is particularly challenged this week, I submit to you that repairing the hurt in our community—helping to calm the unrest and address the systemic issues that cause it—is, in fact, our business. I know that many of you work here, or go to school here, precisely because you want to help solve the problems that have plagued this city for many years.
The situation in Baltimore is changeable and unpredictable. We don't know how long the turmoil will last. But to the extent that we can be open without compromising the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, we will be open. By the same token, when the decision is made to close the University, it is because we value your safety first and foremost, the safety of our police and security personnel, and the safety of our neighbors.
We will continue to monitor conditions carefully, and we will communicate all decisions to you as soon as they are made. Please look for emails throughout the days ahead from school and University leaders.
I know how committed you are to helping Baltimore heal. We have an extraordinary opportunity right now to be a force for good in our community. I look forward to working with you to be just that.
Jay A. Perman, MD