We have witnessed increasing incidences of transgender people publically harassed and ridiculed, and there has been an avalanche of anti-transgender legislation proposed in dozens of states. We are committed to increasing our support for our transgender and nonbinary populations and we oppose legislation or any other actions that would limit or diminish that support.
We are deeply saddened to see the devastating impact that COVID-19 is creating across India and other countries around the world. The University of Maryland community includes nearly 6,000 students and over 900 faculty members from across the globe. It is important to recognize and respond to the terrible impact that the pandemic is having on our international Terps, as well as their friends, families and broader communities.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of our new Senior Vice President and Provost, Dr. Jennifer King Rice, effective August 11, 2021. Dr. Rice currently serves as Dean of UMD's College of Education and has excelled at aligning educational resources with key initiatives to advance excellence, equity and social justice in preschool through graduate school.
I want to send a message of support to our international community members who have family and friends living in countries that are seeing a surge of cases and a lack of sufficient resources to fight COVID. We recognize that this must be very difficult to witness this struggle from afar and we extend our deepest sympathy to you and your loved ones. Here in Maryland, we are privileged to have an abundant supply of vaccines available, and I urge you to take advantage of that and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated is one of our best tools in the fight against COVID-19 to end the pandemic here and around the world.
University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman and the Board of Regents today announced that all eligible students, faculty, and staff who will be on USM campuses this fall, including UMD, are required to be vaccinated against COVID. We will, of course, comply with all federal and state laws in granting appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Additional details will be released in the coming weeks and months.
Earlier this morning, I had the personal and professional honor of a lifetime bestowed upon me as University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman and Chair of the Board of Regents Linda Gooden presided over my investiture as the 34th President of the University of Maryland.