Letters to the UMB Community

Task Force on Sexual Harassment

To the UMB Community: 

At my Quarterly Q&A on Jan. 17, dedicated to Title IX compliance, I committed to appointing a task force to independently examine issues of sexual harassment and discrimination at UMB. This Task Force on Sexual Harassment will assess our capacity to respond effectively to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct; identify and prioritize areas of needed improvement; recommend actions and interventions that will promote a culture of respect, civility, and safety; and recommend an accountability and monitoring framework that can be used to evaluate our ongoing performance as it relates to Title IX education and compliance. 

I'm pleased to announce that this task force has been assembled. I thank all those who have agreed to participate, including School of Pharmacy Dean Natalie Eddington, PhD, FAAPS, FCP, serving as faculty chair; Deputy Accountability Officer Susan Buskirk, DM, MS, serving as administrative chair; andStephanie Suerth, director of education and outreach in the Office of Accountability and Compliance, serving as task force coordinator.

Following is the task force membership:

  • Patty Alvarez, PhD, assistant vice president for student affairs  
  • Toni Antalis, PhD, professor of physiology, School of Medicine 
  • Vineet Dhar, BDS, MDS, PhD, clinical associate professor and chair, Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry
  • Leigh Goodmark, JD, professor of law, Carey School of Law 
  • Nivedita Hegdekar, student, School of Medicine
  • Matt Lasecki, SPHR, associate vice president, Human Resource Services
  • Ann Mech, JD, RN, director of legal affairs, School of Nursing 
  • Megan Meyer, PhD, MSW, associate dean for academic affairs, School of Social Work 
  • Russell McClain, JD, associate professor of law and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, Carey School of Law 
  • Tricia O'Neill, JD, assistant vice president for academic affairs  
  • Susan Wolfsthal, MD, professor of medicine and associate chair for education, School of Medicine; residency program director, University of Maryland Medical Center

Representing the University senates are the following members:

  • Faculty SenateDeborah Eisenberg, JD, professor of law and director, Center for Dispute Resolution, Carey School of Law
  • Staff Senate: Rachel Beaudry, MSW, senior program specialist, Institute for Innovation and Implementation, School of Social Work
  • Student Senate: Nicole Hays, student, School of Medicine 

The task force will meet over the coming months and issue a report to me this summer. I will, in turn, share with you this fall the actions we will take to strengthen UMB's response to sexual harassment and misconduct and promote a University culture in which all feel valued, respected, and safe.  


Jay A. Perman, MD


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