Save the UMD Golf Course

Green space is just the beginning

August 22, 2013
by MGCC
Comments Off on Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013 6:24 AM
Friends of the University of Maryland Golf Course…good morning.

Thank you for being a Friend!

I am writing to provide an update to the note I sent on July 9.  Please recall the attachment to that note, i.e., a letter dated July 8 that the President of the University of Maryland, Dr. Wallace Loh, sent to Mr. Brian Gibbons, CEO of the commercial real estate developer firm Greenberg Gibbons.  In that letter, Mr. Gibbons is asked to decide whether or not to submit a formal proposal to the University of Maryland “to improve transportation connections to the campus and to repurpose some of the University golf course.”

Over the course of the last six weeks, a subcommittee of the Friends [the Maryland Golf Course Coalition [MGCC)] has been actively reaching out via face-to-face meetings and written communications to Dr. Kirwan (the Chancellor), Dr. Loh, members of the Board of Regents, local and state politicians, local community leaders, local business leaders, and others to outline why the University and neighboring communities value the course as not only a premier recreational venue for students, faculty, staff, its members, and guests…but, as importantly, as a valuable green-space.  The MGCC has produced the attached one-pager to highlight the attributes that make the course so dear to us.

What’s next for the MGCC?  Our efforts are intensifying.  We now have a website/blog … www.mgcc.us .  (And yes, it is a work in progress!)  We are scheduling more face-to-face meetings, e.g., one is scheduled later this month with Governor O’Malley’s Chief of Staff.  We are continuing to hone our message and preparing a media package, a presentation to the Board of Regents (not scheduled yet), and more content for the website.

How can you help?  I encourage you to reach out and express your views to those folks, like those mentioned above, who you view could help influence the decision makers.  Express why you feel the course is a valuable asset to the University community.  Also, when you visit www.mgcc.us note the “blog” feature, wherein you can post a comment.

Has Dr. Loh received the formal proposal from Greenberg Gibbons?  Not to the MGCC’s knowledge …HOWEVER…through our fact-finding and face-to-face meetings with local politicians and others who we consider to “be in the know”… the skids are being greased for a potential fast-track approval.

What about the recent press coverage of the UofMD’s Athletic Department’s financial struggles…as the UofMD has moved to the Big Ten Conference?   Is there a tie-in with Dr. Loh wanting to “repurpose the golf course?”   I leave that for you to form your own opinion.

Thank you for your support and for your personal efforts with regard to this urgent situation.

Respectfully,

Norm Starkey
2013 Chair, Friends of the University of Maryland Golf Course; Maryland Golf Course Coalition

August 13, 2013
by MGCC
Comments Off on President Loh 8-13-13

President Loh 8-13-13

http://www.umd.edu/hot-topics.cfm?topic=22341

August 13, 2013

Dear University of Maryland community:

I am pleased to inform you that the final report of the Commission on UMD and Big Ten/CIC Integration is available at www.president.umd.edu/B1G.  This report will guide our University’s transition into this athletic conference (on July 1, 2014) and its academic counterpart (Committee on Institutional Cooperation, on July 1, 2013).

Implementation of the Commission’s recommendations will (1) advance the excellence and reputation of UMD, (2) better support our student-athletes to perform at the highest level in their studies and in athletic competition, (3) ensure the long-term financial health of Maryland Athletics, and (4) allocate some of the Big Ten revenues to support UMD’s academic mission and need-based student financial aid.  I have accepted these four principles that undergird the Commission’s recommendations.

I highlight the following actions:

— Some of the new revenues expected from the Big Ten will provide our student-athletes with expanded support for academics, training, sports medicine, and nutrition.

— Some of these new revenues will be allocated to support the University’s academic priorities and student financial aid.  These allocations are expected to grow to at least $1 million annually.  Effective immediately, I have redirected $500,000 annually in other non-state revenues, previously budgeted for Maryland Athletics, to fund expanded mental health counseling services for all students.

— After Maryland Athletics achieves financial stability, half of its excess revenues will be used to repay its debts and the other half will be set aside to build its financial reserves.  This is to ensure that Maryland Athletics, which is a self-supporting enterprise, will never again be in a position where it has to cut teams.

— The men’s outdoor track and field team will be restored with the full allotment of scholarship support.

— The Commission left open the possibility of reinstating other teams in the future.  Any reinstatement review will be informed by the aforementioned principles of the Commission.

— UMD will produce high-quality academic, research, and athletic programming for the Big Ten Network that reaches some 80 million households in the U.S. and abroad.

There is more that I would like to do, and plan to do, to support athletics, academics, and student financial aid.  At this time, however, I am constrained by the Atlantic Coast Conference’s withholding of UMD’s rightful athletic revenues, which are the main funding source for our athletic programs.  Maryland Athletics now must borrow from other UMD (non-state) funds for operating expenses during our remaining time of ACC membership.  While I cannot comment specifically because litigation with the ACC is underway, I can say that our long-term planning has taken into account these issues.  I am resolved to shield our student-athletes from any permanent impact.

Joining the Big Ten is about academics as well as athletics.  I am pleased to report that many of our faculty, students, and staff are already participating in CIC programs on education, research, technology commercialization, libraries, student government, student affairs, and campus safety.  They have been warmly welcomed by their counterparts in this consortium of top-ranked flagship and AAU research universities.  Joining this “super-university” will advance UMD’s academic mission.

I am grateful to the 23 members of the Commission and to the additional faculty, staff and administrators who supported the Commission’s work during its six months of data gathering, deliberations, and public forums that resulted in the excellent report.  These members represent key constituencies:  University Senate, undergraduate and graduate student government, UMCP Foundation Board of Trustees, Alumni Association, Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Terrapin Club, and M-Club.  My special thanks to the co-chairs, Linda Clement (Vice President for Student Affairs) and Barry Gossett (vice-chair, University System of Maryland Board of Regents).

I welcome your comments at president@umd.edu.  Thank you for your continued support of the University of Maryland.

Sincerely,

Wallace D. Loh
President

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