Today, we celebrate a historic milestone in the advancement of our university. Thanks to the generosity of more than 117,000 alumni and friends, I am proud to announce that we have reached our ambitious $1.5 billion goal for Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland, the largest and most successful campaign in our 165-year history.
It is with much pride that I share with you the exciting news that President Joseph Biden has nominated our very own Dr. Laurie Locascio to be the next Under Secretary for Standards and Technology in the Department of Commerce, subject to Senate confirmation.
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.
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.
From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Maryland has prioritized the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students. We have taken a cautious, data-driven approach, reacting quickly to outbreaks, and working closely with state and county health officials. And importantly, we have ensured that our actions have been timely and transparent. Our low positivity rate, coupled with strong compliance with university and county guidelines, gives us confidence to proceed with a measured resumption of on-campus activities.
Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a surge in anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S. The university offers messages of support and solidarity to the UMD community and beyond.
The University of Maryland is now inviting applications and nominations for the position of Senior Vice President and Provost to lead our academic enterprise. We will be pursuing a diverse pool of candidates drawn exclusively from within the University System of Maryland.
In the coming weeks, we will cross the one-year threshold since the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated remote instruction for the vast majority of our courses and telework for most of our operations. I want to thank all of you for your resilience and resolve during this challenging time.
I am pleased to announce the search committee for the university’s next Senior Vice President and Provost, who will be charged with ensuring excellence and diversity of programs, faculty, and students across the entire university as our chief academic officer.
I am writing to inform you that after eight remarkable years of accomplishment and service, Senior Vice President and Provost Mary Ann Rankin has informed me of her decision to resign from her position as Provost at the University of Maryland as of January 29, 2021. As a community, we owe a significant debt of gratitude to Provost Rankin for her vision, leadership and commitment to academic excellence during a period of steady ascent for our institution.