Special Meeting of USM Board of Regents (June 11, 2019) - Statement from Board Chair

Contact: Mike Lurie, USM Communications Office
410 576 5748

Comments from Chair Linda Gooden—Call with USM Regents

(Adelphi, Md.) June 11, 2019—During the public session of today’s special meeting of the Board of Regents via conference call, board chair Linda Gooden made the following remarks.

The USM Board of Regents is entrusted with the fiduciary responsibilities for the state’s public higher education system, which includes 12 academic institutions and three regional higher education centers.

Key among the academic and administrative fiduciary responsibilities of the regents is overseeing enterprise risk management for every campus and center in the system. And no element of this management effort is more paramount than the health, wellness and safety of our students, faculty and staff—this is our Number One priority. Every aspect of the teaching, research and service mission of our system and institutions flows from providing an open, safe and healthy learning environment.

Today’s special meeting of the Board of Regents has been called to discuss a framework and scope of the Board’s investigation of adenovirus on the UMCP campus in 2018 and the tragic death of Olivia Paregol.

Since the fall, the board and Chancellor have received several updates from UMCP President Wallace Loh and his team on a number of issues, including the spread of mold in residence halls, the adenovirus outbreak, the campus response to both, and the death of undergraduate student Olivia Paregol.

On May 30, 2019, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan sent a letter to the Regents raising concerns about a perceived lack of urgency and transparency shown by UMCP officials both before and after Ms. Paregol’s death. As the Governor has requested, the Board will undertake an immediate and full investigation into the Fall 2019 adenovirus outbreak at UMCP. We have begun to plan for this investigation, hence today’s meeting. Once planning is complete, we will provide public update on next steps.

On behalf of the regents, Chancellor Caret and I yesterday met with the Paregol family and expressed our deepest condolences. During that meeting we were also able to discuss with them our upcoming efforts to conduct a thorough investigation.

I thank all of you for being present on this call under a compressed timeline and look forward to our discussion and our moving forward on this matter of great importance for our entire system.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu