Letters to the UMB Community

New Dean of the School of Social Work

April 24, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to write to you today with good news, not only for the University of Maryland, Baltimore community, but for the larger community we serve as well. On July 1, the University of Maryland School of Social Work will have a new dean, Judy L. Postmus. Dr. Postmus is Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at the Rutgers University School of Social Work. She is also a nationally recognized scholar of violence against women and children.

Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to service and inclusiveness, a collaborative management style, and strength in decision making. I am confident that we have found the right person to lead our School of Social Work and guide our students, faculty, and staff through these challenging times.

I know you will read and hear more about Dr. Postmus in the coming weeks, but allow me to provide just a brief introduction to someone who will play such a large role in helping us meet the challenges we face and seize the opportunities as well.

Dr. Postmus began her tenure at Rutgers in 2006. She held prior appointments at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, the State University of New York at Albany School of Social Welfare, and The Union Institute in Miami, Florida. Her research has focused on the physical, sexual, and economic victimization of women.

Soon after arriving at Rutgers, she founded and directed the Center on Violence Against Women and Children, which works to eliminate physical, sexual, and other forms of violence against women and children and the power imbalances that permit them, through multidisciplinary research, education, and community engagement.In 2016, Dr. Postmus received a grant from the National Institute of Justice, within the U.S. Department of Justice, to create the Rutgers Violence Against Women Research Consortium.

Dr. Postmus says she has always wanted to help those who are oppressed based on race, gender, and class, and sees her new role as a return to those roots. She began her service work with at-risk youth and their families in Liberty City, Florida, an environment where racism and poverty were rampant, and violence erupted in response in this disenfranchised community. After earning her MSW in 1990, she worked at Miami Bridge, a runaway and homeless youth shelter in Miami, and then as Executive Director of the Domestic Abuse Shelter in the Florida Keys.

I want to thank Dean Richard Barth for his tireless work these past 14 years. His leadership, scholarship, and dedication set a very high standard for all who serve this university and this community.

I also want to thank everyone who participated in our comprehensive national search, the search committee, its leaders Dean Donald Tobin and Interim Provost Roger Ward, and everyone who met with the candidates and provided meaningful input and feedback about the candidates and the search process.

Our goal was to find a new dean who demonstrates the ability to be an effective champion for the role of social work and its programs throughout the state, and harness the strengths and commitment of the faculty, staff, and students to be catalysts for a compelling vision of the future of social work at UMB. I am confident that we have succeeded in that with the appointment of Judy Postmus.

Sincerely,

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President


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