USM Board of Regents Approves Scope of Independent Review of Response to Adenovirus Outbreak at University of Maryland, College Park
Baltimore, MD (June 21, 2019) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today approved the scope of an independent review of the University of Maryland, College Park’s (UMCP) response to the presence of adenovirus on campus during the Fall 2018 semester. On November 18, 2018, UMCP undergraduate student Olivia Paregol died of an illness related to adenovirus.
Today’s board action follows a May 30 request from Governor Hogan to study the issue. USM is in the process of finalizing the selection of individuals who will conduct the independent review. The review will be conducted by experts with specialties in areas of infectious diseases, public health and communication, and facilities management.
The USM review will focus on UMCP’s actions and communications relating to the presence of adenovirus on campus in Fall 2018. It will also focus on UMCP’s response to the presence of mold in campus residence halls during the same time period. The review will not assess any current or potential legal claims.
As approved by the regents, the review will be conducted under the following charge:
“A priority among the academic and administrative fiduciary responsibilities of the regents is overseeing enterprise risk management for every campus and center in the system. 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,” said board chair Linda Gooden. “Every aspect of the teaching, research and service mission of our system and institutions flows from providing an open, safe and healthy learning environment.
- Identify generally accepted protocols, policies, rules, regulations, statutes and/or other standards pertaining to incidents of adenovirus and mold on university campuses and assess the actions taken by UMCP in the Fall 2018 pertinent to these standards.
- Develop a comprehensive timeline of events between August 2018 through the end of the fall 2018 semester to include: dates of reported illnesses; dates of diagnoses of adenovirus; dates specific university officials were notified or otherwise became aware of such illnesses or diagnoses; and actions taken by the university leadership—including those associated with the University Health Center, housing, facilities, communications, and any other UMCP departments and/or individuals.
- Review UMCP’s response to the first reported cases of potential adenovirus-related illness and to students experiencing potential adenovirus-related illness thereafter.
- Review the University Health Center’s response and service to students experiencing influenza-like symptoms during the Fall 2018 semester.
- Review the University Health Center’s response and service to students experiencing upper-respiratory symptoms during the Fall 2018 semester.
- Review UMCP’s communication and coordination with public health agencies regarding adenovirus during the Fall 2018 semester.
- Review UMCP’s communication and coordination with hospitals and other medical care facilities regarding adenovirus during the Fall 2018 semester.
- Make recommendations, based on the investigation’s findings, with respect to protocols, policies and procedures, to enhance the safety and well-being of students.
“While we are still finalizing the names of individuals who will be conducting this review, I am especially pleased with the caliber of those under consideration,” Gooden said. “We expect this work to be thorough and independent, and that it will eventually inform health and safety policies at campuses throughout the system.”
Gooden said she expects to announce the names of the experts conducting the review for the regents by the end of June.
Contact: Mike Lurie