The clinical terminology made it sound a lot less severe before. “Involved in a confrontation.” The Sun paper, however, just published more details.
“[A]ccording to court documents in a wide-ranging prosecution of Black Guerrilla Family gang members in Baltimore, [UM football player Wes] Brown told police that he was behind the wheel of a vehicle involved in the drive-by shooting last June at a birthday party for an alleged high-ranking gang leader.”
Brown was suspended at the time, but not charged because prosecutors were convinced (likely by Brown attorney’s, and possibly with influence from UM?) that the search warrant was not well supported. What did the search find? The handgun from that shooting which Brown stashed, among other things. It was in the course of handling that matter that police got the statement from Brown about his role as driver.
Brown is back with the team. Apparently UM’s standard is, so long as you’re not actually caught stashing a dead body, then you’re eligible to play for the Terps.
More great national publicity, just in time for the big push to yield top students for the entering fall class. (Not.) In our experience, the criticism heaped on Maryland by this author is well deserved. If anything, he is way too kind.
So many other vignettes about how our image is tanking. Changing planes this weekend, and waiting to board, a chance exchange with a Terp alum who had proudly brought his soon-to-be high school senior to visit campus on the canonical spring tour – but we’ll be lucky if they ever set foot again in the state, much less apply next fall. (We’ll guess this bodes poorly for alumni donations as well.) I was horrified at the detailed accounts of the most ridiculous treatment by Admissions staff. A tour of some Res Hall party aftermath, complete with vomit and other bodily fluids in the stairwells? Heavy emphasis on the athletic facilities (and the party, party, party opportunities associated with ‘big games’) but inability to answer basic questions about academics?
Another colleague from industry brought her son to the visit day last week but in conversation later, as I cheerfully asked how things went, the polite answer was we did a great job of recruiting for Georgia Tech’s engineering programs. One visit to College Park was sufficient to convince the Columbia resident that UM isn’t for him, and the parents are happy with this too. No evidence of scholarship, inability to connect the prospective student with anyone in his desired area (biomedical engineering) but hey, lots of balloons, cheering, focus on athletics, all under what sounds like a ‘challenged’ day logistically.
The neighbors in a nice Montgomery County subdivision. Three kids grow up together, go to public schools together, all get comparable track records and performance – but they can’t get in to College Park together. The growing reputation of our Admissions practices is that we have a capricious standard. When the kids all know who has what capabilities, then see the unfathomable decisions, they conclude that our decisions are based on something other than hard work and performance. They’d be right. The contempt these families have for UM is palpable. And the kids’ younger siblings are looking at Virginia schools.
Main Admin isn’t listening. At what point will the officials in Annapolis hear their constituents and do something?
The Diamondflack is starting to roll out Main Admin’s spin on upcoming construction changes due to the Purple Line. The messaging starts early, so they must know it is going to be bad. The article also overlooks little details like, the iconic M circle will need to be ripped out. But as the author suggests, they need to ease the public in on effects of President Loh’s political dealsmanship.
Our nomination for best inadvertent telling of the awkward truth: “University departments are just starting to be informed about the renovations. Department of Transportation Services Director David Allen said the department does not have enough information to know what changes it will have to make to its services.” (Yup – what better demonstration of how little shared governance we have here than decisions roll forth while campus stakeholders aren’t even told, much less consulted, about impact. This is indeed a 100% Wallace Loh affair.)
Then there is: “Greater access to public transportation could cut down on vehicle traffic, which is in line with this university’s sustainability efforts, … and might improve conditions for pedestrians around the campus.” And maybe someday our unicorns will fly. The models don’t project volume reduction because that isn’t the goal – in the best case scenario, they will hit the mark of increasing capacity at not much worse than the present level of congestion. Anyone who thinks otherwise should study the fine print very carefully.
Tracking the continued pattern of restaurant turnovers on Route 1, we observe that the Maryland Smokehouse is the latest victim. No explanation…. just locked doors and cleaned out interior.
What does this bring the number of failed businesses along Route 1 to? 6? 8? They come and go so quickly it’s hard to keep track.
… but area schools and many local governments are going out for the whole day. Whatever the merits of trying to keep business going here, being out of sync with the rest of the region means staff isn’t going to get much done on campus tomorrow whether or not we’re open. The only difference is that regard for our leadership is going to plummet faster than the temperature over night.
Today’s Washington Post carries an ‘after action’ description of what happened at UM with the Corcoran gallery project – or rather, what didn’t happen. While the writer doesn’t cast it as an overt slam against our campus leadership, he didn’t need to as the facts tell this story well enough.
President Loh and his administration handled this in much the same way as the other big changes to campus – top down, without consultation, heedless of consequences and poor follow through. Big 10, Purple Line, paved golf courses, wholesale replacement of STEM education degree programs – these are all from the same operation, and the only thing which distinguishes one from another is the pace at which the disastrous effects visit our door or the bills come due. With the Corcoran project, they got what they apparently wanted (a great press release about visionary moves) but then (judging from the article) gave next to no diligence in negotiation. They played the hand poorly and in the end were utterly blindsided at the outcome.
What’s worse is the effect in Annapolis. Each new surprise and its big costs to the state flagship erodes trust at the top. Again from the article, it was only a matter of days before the failure that President Loh was assuring legislators about smooth progress and prospects for success. Maybe he thought he needed that spin to get through budget hearings, but the reality is, legislators have long memories and longer knives. They’re seeing what his word is worth.
No matter whose fault or what happened to make things slip through, no elected official will want to be on record as voting to keep paying retail for these debacles – not in an election year. When constituents confront delegates and senators about the expensive and highly-visible failures of the last year, they won’t be happy to hear that their tax money will be used to buy more of the same. There has to be a reckoning. And when our campus is gigged in both budget and policy, there will be only one place to assign responsibility: the desk of our imperialist President Wallace Loh. After all, he never consulted the people in this community who he rules, so he has no place to lay blame.
A quick update you might not get from the campus about their data breach …
As of this morning, we were all told the other day, you can call Experian to find out directly whether our identity credentials were compromised and to sign up for coverage if so. However, not quite two hours into the day, calls to the number given by OIT’s Brian Voss — 866-274-3891 — do not go through. (“We’re sorry. All circuits are busy. Please try again later.”)
Apparently there is a lot of demand! Hopefully, this delay isn’t giving criminals a running start with our data, now a week or more out in the wild.
Campus leadership seems to like important-sounding press releases but is more than a little short on follow through, judging by the latest. The Corcoran Gallery, which had been the subject of grand announcements last year, is now no longer involved with Maryland. Instead, it will handle its uncertainty about the future by partnering with GWU.
Guess we missed any press release from Main Admin where they said “eh, we couldn’t make it work out.”