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UMB President Dr. Jay Perman Is Holding Town Hall Sessions to Answer Your Questions

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

 Dr. Perman answered questions submitted online beforehand, as well as those asked by attendees.

On September 20, 2010, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay Perman, MD, held the first in a series of Q&A sessions with students, faculty and staff at the SMC Campus Center. Dr. Perman took questions from the audience, and also answered queries that had been submitted online.


Campus safety was on the minds of many, only days after a shooting inside Johns Hopkins Hospital, and following an online news story that erroneously characterized UMB as a dangerous campus based on FBI statistics. Dr. Perman reassured those in attendance about the campus’ safety and called on UMB Police Chief Antonio Williams to explain the misleading crime statistics that led to the story. Chief Williams said the FBI statistics included the surrounding neighborhoods and not just the campus itself.  In fact, said Chief Williams, the UMB campus is an “oasis of safety.”


As for the incident at Hopkins, “we have experienced people in place here to deal with that kind of situation,” Chief Williams assured the group, adding that his officers are trained to handle a variety of scenarios that might threaten campus safety. “These police officers are the best, and we are fortunate to have such professional officers here,” said Dr. Perman. “I am not naïve, I know things happen, but I believe we are in very good hands.”


Also helping to make the campus safer is Dr. Perman’s initiative to connect the campus more with the community that surrounds it. ”I am driven to make a difference in this community,” said Dr. Perman, who has already met with leaders of local churches, charitable groups and neighborhood improvement associations. “Our neighbors provide a very important piece of the learning we provide to our students.” By helping to improve the lives of our neighbors, Dr. Perman hopes the campus will become an integral part of a revived West Baltimore where people feel safe to shop, dine and live.


Developing collaborative efforts between all UMB schools is of great importance to Dr. Perman. “We have to do more to assure that even as we grow our individual schools, we are also looking at more ways to work together,” he said. “We need to leverage each other so that the sum of the parts is greater than the individual parts.”


Dr. Perman assured the crowd that he would be visiting all of the schools, institutes and programs, to see what each has to contribute. “It’s important for me to get out there and see what you’re doing,” he says. “It’s my job to get out there and brag on you all.”


Other topics on which Dr. Perman touched were the campus’ green initiatives; a soon-to-be-revealed branding campaign to help distinguish UMB from other University of Maryland institutions; the importance of civility; and how he is working to improve communication within and across all UMB schools.


Dr. Perman’s next Q&A is scheduled for October 18 from noon until 1pm at the Pharmacy Hall Addition. To submit questions for his consideration, please visit http://www.umaryland.edu/president/feedback/index.html.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine
Caelie Haines
Manager, Public Affairs
(410) 706-7508

 Chief Antonio Williams talked about campus safety.

 Attendees had the opportunity to ask anything of the president.

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