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Health, education, jobs, and common unity at UMD


March 27, 2020


 
Dear University of Maryland community,
 
On Wednesday, March 25, at 1:30 AM, the U.S. Senate and House leadership, together with the White House, agreed to inject $2 trillion into the economy -- the largest stimulus package in our nation's history. The Senate and House passed the bill and today the President signed it. It provides aid to businesses, health care providers, state and local governments, education, and individuals through direct grants and expanded unemployment insurance.
 
The fact that the Federal Government acted on a remarkable scale, and with rare dispatch, indicates the gravity of the current health crisis and the potential economic peril. COVID-19 is a threat to people's lives and to their livelihoods. Nationwide, wide swaths of the economy have been shuttered to slow the spread of the pandemic. As a result, unemployment claims have soared to higher levels than during the Great Recession of 2007-09. This "stimulus" helps ease the financial pain of people and businesses until the economy recovers.
 
COVID-19 has also caused enormous financial challenges for higher education as a result of decreased revenues and increased or new expenses. Because universities cannot plan on substantial help from state government, and none of the previous Federal supplemental bills provided relief for universities, the national higher education associations -- American Council of Education, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and others, comprised of presidents of the member institutions -- advocated for a $50 billion relief package.
 
The initial Senate proposal for the stimulus package included only $6 billion for higher education. Therefore, colleges and universities, including UMD, actively lobbied their congressional delegations for the additional funding. The stimulus package now includes $30 billion for education: $13 billion for K-12 schools; $3 billion for discretionary use by Governors to support education; and $14 billion that goes directly to public and private post-secondary institutions -- less than what the higher education sector sought, but more than what the initial Congressional proposals included.
 
How much each college or university receives from the $14 billion pot is determined by a complex formula that considers the total number of full-time enrolled students, so the greater the enrollment, the more the funding. It also considers the number of Pell grant students at an institution, so that Federal funds are deployed to help those with the most financial need. Moreover, half of the Federal funding must be awarded as emergency grants to students. The other half is to reimburse institutions for lost revenues and for new or increased costs related to the pandemic. The U.S. Department of Education will implement the allocation of funds to the educational sector.
 
On behalf of UMD, I want to express our gratitude to members of our congressional delegation for supporting this economic lifeline for higher education.
 
The top priority of the University continues to be the health and safety of all members of our community. The University must also carry on its educational, research, and public service missions, and do so in accordance with public health guidance. We are also sensitive to the financial concerns of members of our community as a result of this public health crisis.
 
This spring semester, the University's lost revenues, new expenses (e.g., the move to an online learning and working environment), and lost productivity (e.g., continuing to pay the salaries of many employees who cannot work on campus and are in jobs that cannot be performed by teleworking) add up to an estimated $80 million. Based on initial projections using data analytics, the amount that UMD can expect to receive from the Federal stimulus package will be much less than the lost revenue and the foregoing expenses to date.
 
The stimulus package could limit the overall impact of the pandemic to a brief, though severe, disruption of economic life. Meanwhile, it is important that the solidarity of our University community remains strong, that we recognize we are all in this together, and that we do our utmost to take care of each other -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and economically. These are the values that inform our financial management during this once-in-a-lifetime crisis. They also define who we are as the University of Maryland.
 
Be well and stay safe.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Wallace D. Loh Signature
 
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland
 
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About

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 388,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.

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Academics

Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 200 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 


The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.

Arts

At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

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Athletics

Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

Our Commitment to Student-Athletes

At the University of Maryland, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students is paramount and resolute. For our student-athletes, that means both on and off the field.
The University of Maryland is committed to accountability, transparency, and fairness and is working to ensure our program upholds the values of our University.
Learn more about our commitment.

Student Life

The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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Coronavirus Updates:
We have worked diligently to develop and enhance plans for reopening our campus while prioritizing the health and safety of our community members. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students have collaborated in work-groups and teams to create and maintain a physically distant, yet academically and socially rich environment for the fall semester. Our plans continue to be coordinated with state and county health officials, with additional guidance provided by the University System of Maryland. Latest 4 Maryland Updates

Terps are bold, smart, curious and proud. We do good, in our communities and out in the world. We are fearless. And we are always looking to expand our ranks. Interested in becoming a University of Maryland student? This is where to start.

 

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