President Thompson of Coppin State University—One Year In

President Maria Thompson.   Courtesy of Coppin State University

President Maria Thompson.
Courtesy of Coppin State University

Coppin State University is one of the institutions in the University of Maryland System, located in northwest Baltimore.  President Maria Thompson is completing her first year in the office, and offers her reflections on Coppin and her year in her office.

On July 1, 2015, I assumed the position as Coppin State University’s 7th and its first woman president in the university’s now 116 year history.  Chancellor Caret and I share the same start day. His was a reunion with a system in which he had spent many years; mine was a beginning to my new life in Maryland.

It was roughly this same time last year, April 2015, as I contemplated the decision to accept my current post as president of Coppin State University, that the unrest in Baltimore’s West side unfolded.  CNN and other media outlets converged on Baltimore and showed the city and the location of Coppin’s campus in less than a flattering light.    Fortunately, I knew better.  As a graduate of Tennessee State, not unlike Coppin, an HBCU located in an urban setting, I knew the vital role of a strong anchor institution to serve students and the community. Continue Reading »President Thompson of Coppin State University—One Year In

The Multiple Faces of Academic Productivity

By Nelly P. Stromquist
College of Education, University of Maryland

We live in an era of wondrous inventions. Life expectancy has increased by 25 years since 1975.  Over the past two decades, we have decreased extreme poverty from 35% to 10% of the world’s population.  Our understanding of the brain increases every day.  Many of these positive developments are associated with research universities, and US universities rank among top in the world.  By 2014, however, close to 43 American states had announced major cuts to higher education due to insufficient public resources.  Ironically, chronic underfunding of public universities is forcing them to restructure themselves in ways that damage their missions and diminish the value of university professors. Continue Reading »The Multiple Faces of Academic Productivity

Competitive Chess at UMBC: The Legacy, The Future

By Dr. Alan T. Sherman
Director, UMBC Chess Program
Professor of Computer Science
sherman@umbc.edu

Entering the sixth and final round of the 1996 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship (Pan-Am) in Baltimore, with UMBC’s A and B Teams tied at five points, one point ahead of the rest of the field, a showdown between UMBC’s top two teams would determine the best college chess team in the Americas.  With that dramatic unique finish—covered by CNN Headline News—UMBC’s A Team won its first Pan-Am Championship, the foremost intercollegiate team chess championship in North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean.  From 1996 to 2012, UMBC won a record six national collegiate titles and ten Pan-Am championships.  UMBC is the only school to have qualified for every Final Four (top four USA schools from Pan-Am), for fifteen years from the Final Four’s inception in 2001 through 2015. Continue Reading »Competitive Chess at UMBC: The Legacy, The Future

Mind the Gap: Patterns in the Academic Careers of Underrepresented Minority Faculty

By Kimberly Griffin
Associate professor
Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education at the University of Maryland
and
Ellin Scholnick
Professor Emerita of Psychology
Chair,  President’s Commission on Women’s Issues

Despite significant increases in the diversity of undergraduate and graduate students in the United States, the underrepresentation of African Americans and Latinos among tenured and tenure track (TTK) faculty continues to be a challenge. According to the data collected for the IPEDS  (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System produced for the National Center for Educational Statistics) database of all U. S. degree-granting institutions, African Americans comprised 5% of TTK faculty and Latinos 4% in 2013. Similar national data have been reported over the past 40 years; the representation of African American and Latino faculty has marginally increased. Statistics also suggest that members of these two underrepresented groups travel different career paths from white and Asian faculty.  The percentage of white and Asian faculty who are associate or full professors far exceeds the percentages for Latino and African American faculty, and these differences are particularly pronounced for women. Continue Reading »Mind the Gap: Patterns in the Academic Careers of Underrepresented Minority Faculty

Voices: Leslie Harrison

Snowfields

And I wonder sprawled on the curved recurved back
of the hill the towers of clouded sky crushing the horizon
flat I want to know how to strip the griefstorm from the flesh
flense the spirit scrape it down to the clean bone unbreaking
make it take in stride another raw dawn these days of snow
on cold on frozen take in stride this place of glass and ice
this place knit stitched pierced by the shadows of all those
departed birds begin again to assemble linens pillows
blankets scarves the small soft comforts cushions cradles
learn how to lay me down in something other than danger
other than fury ice and risk learn to stop dropping this body
into snowfields making these empty shapes learn to stop
waiting for them to be filled

Failed Love Poem

She asks me to imagine my inner creature my monster
and what I picture is a bare branch old rough and roughly
horizontal black and sharp a little stark no buds no hint
of life no flower anywhere nor any hope of flower I was
trying to write a love poem a poem for you a gift however
useless already it was or might have been so listen
my inner creature is ancient is lovely as a Hiroshige print
is waiting black with rain waiting for the rainy day to turn
rainy night for summer to heel over into another winter
the inner creature in winter is etched in new snow scratched
by small claws where a chickadee puffs up for warmth
the snow in this instance might stand in for white paper
the way he created the moon as absence painted also snow
as fine gestures suggestions at the edges of empty space
my inner creature might it turns out be Japanese might
be alive or dead might well weather another winter
but my inner creature is not talking to you any longer
my inner creature is a little in love with birds with the small
winter birds the way they cling their habits of chirp and sky
my inner creature is a branch in winter and you are not
the snow not the sun most surely not the rain listen I was
trying to write a love poem a poem for you but my inner
monster loves instead even the most ordinary weather
loves the weather more loves it better

Sirens
I’m not Penelope married to faith married to waiting
bound in fine soft strands of silk dyed and stretched
in my world longing has teeth and fins has a taste
for blood longing is a room built entirely of knives
all edges facing in all points afire and also somehow
held to the vessel in my world sirens are the town criers
saying something’s happened and maybe to you saying
someone got too close to danger sirens are the past tense
of rescue meaning clean-up in aisle three where
the glass racks have fallen before the mast where the sea
rose up between the meat and the waiting where the bed
refused as usual to become the boat where the dead
drape and tangle in the rigging the sheets in the loom
and the sirens gather to wail flicker and shine they
gather together to sing of damage to sing us home

Poems © Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Towson University.  Her second book, The Book of Endings, is forthcoming from the University of Akron Press. Her first book, Displacement, was published in 2009. Recent poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Orion and elsewhere. More information, and links to published work, can be found at her website, leslie-harrison.com

In loco parentis Gone Loco

By Rod Jellema
Professor Emeritus of English

I saw notice the other day of how the English Department at the University of Maryland now handles matters of the use of alcohol on campus. It stirred up memories of my own tenure there. Back then, the idea of faculty in loco parentis—as stand-in parents—was already as rare as the Latin in which it’s couched. University president Curly Byrd, who had retired the year before I arrived, had eliminated the classics department, apparently satisfied that all such Roman stuff had been translated anyway. Latin would again be taught, whether mom and dad were advocates or not, but to a scant few elitists. Meanwhile the campus moved with history on its way toward near-riots, co-ed dorms, and binge drinking. Clearly a call for tighter supervision. Continue Reading »In loco parentis Gone Loco

Nurses Gain Ability to Practice to Full Scope of License

By Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor, School of Nursing, University of Maryland
Director, Interprofessional Education, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Last May, Maryland became the 21st state to allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to practice to the full scope of their licenses, thereby allowing patients to receive all of the services that APRNs are educated and clinically trained to deliver. Signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, the measure repealed a portion of the Maryland Health Occupations code that required APRNs to list a physician “sponsor” as a condition of licensure so that they could “collaborate and consult” on patient issues.  Continue Reading »Nurses Gain Ability to Practice to Full Scope of License

News and Notes

Biomedical Sciences Preprint Archive

New York Times science reporter Amy Harmon reports (March 15, 2016) on a nascent effort in the biomedical sciences to implement an electronic preprint archive, bioRxiv, modeled on one in the physical sciences, arXiv.org, where researchers rapidly post online preprints before journal publication, which can take months.   It also makes results available to individuals who cannot afford (either personally or via their institution) the cost of the journal. For several reasons, including policies (perceived or real) of prestigious journals, rapid electronic dissemination of research results in the biomedical sciences have been inhibited.   To date, only a minuscule number of preprints have been posted on bioRxiv, but it recently received a boost in credibility and publicity when three Nobel laureates separately posted results there. Continue Reading »News and Notes

Images: Bill Wolff

Artist Statement

When my children are my age, many animals and environments that I grew up thinking were among the most unique and beautiful on the planet will very likely no longer exist.

These gestural, biomorphic abstractions poignantly reflect both beauty and this sense of possible loss. The “heads” have been replaced by an open cone, a form which has evolved from an open mouth and which I have used in my work over the last ten years to as a quiet comment on consumerism. These sculptures are carved, hollowed and assembled from sections of wood with metal leaf on the surface, a variation of the traditional yosegi zukuri process that I studied in Japan. All of this wood was found and otherwise destined to be firewood. Each work is initiated with a chainsaw, jointed with chisel and plane, charred with a torch, scraped and sanded, leafed with metal, brushed with chemicals and then scraped and drawn on. Tool marks from every stage are visible atop the grain of the wood and are a conversation. The surface of the work tells its history. This is the truest way for me to recognize the trees that provide both the material and grounding for my work.

Bill Wolff is on the faculty, and head of the sculpture area, in the Art Department at Salisbury State University. He holds an MFA from Louisiana State University and an MA from the Tokyo University of the Arts. His website is www.billwolff.net

Photos © Bill Wolff

Bellow, 2012, 36”x18”x24”. Cherry, copper leaf.

Bellow, 2012, 36”x18”x24”.
Cherry, copper leaf.

O Ye, 2009, 126”x60”x60”. Camphor, copper leaf. Installation view at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.

O Ye, 2009, 126”x60”x60”.
Camphor, copper
leaf. Installation view at Tokyo National
University of Fine Arts.

Birdhouse, 2007, 78”x48”x48”. Ginko wood, copper plate. Installation view at Hirakushi Denchu Studio, Tokyo, Japan.

Birdhouse, 2007, 78”x48”x48”.
Ginko wood, copper plate.
Installation view at Hirakushi Denchu Studio
Tokyo, Japan.

Furrow and Eat the Young 2009, Furrow: 62”x120”x48”. Cherry, copper leaf. Eat the Young: 124”x40”x36”. Cherry, copper leaf. Installation view at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.

Furrow and Eat the Young 2009,
Furrow: 62”x120”x48”. Cherry, copper leaf.
Eat the Young: 124”x40”x36”. Cherry, copper leaf.
Installation view at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.

Dance, 2015, 18”x14”x12”. Cast iron on padauk base.

Dance, 2015, 18”x14”x12”.
Cast iron on padauk base.

Organ, 2011, 72”x120”x48”. Oak, Japanese maple, copper plate, copper leaf.

Organ, 2011, 72”x120”x48”.
Oak, Japanese maple, copper plate, copper leaf.

Flock, 2012. 30 Elements, each approximately 36”x24”x24”. Installation view of detail at Gallery CoExist, Tokyo, Japan.

Flock, 2012. 30
Elements, each approximately 36”x24”x24”.
Installation view of detail at Gallery CoExist, Tokyo, Japan.

Charge, 2014, 66”x40”x20”. Maple, aluminum leaf, graphite on steel base.

Charge, 2014, 66”x40”x20”.
Maple, aluminum leaf, graphite on steel base.

Why Is Science So Straight?

By Manil Suri

Author photograph by José Villarrubia

Author photograph
by José Villarrubia

Baltimore — Many years ago, over lunch at our university cafeteria, I came out as gay to a colleague in the engineer­ing department. “I didn’t realize you were so unconventional,” he said. I tried explaining to him that being gay was innate and had nothing to do with wanting to subvert convention, but he refused to retract his label. Looking back, perhaps he was correct.

For I had violated an unspoken con­vention of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics): the in­visibility of its L.G.B.T. members.

Continue Reading »Why Is Science So Straight?

Why College Park Doesn’t Lead in Computer Science Education

By Jim Purtilo
Computer Science

This article is planned for publication in a future Voice issue.

Advanced genetics enable crops to feed more people and reduce world hunger. New models of brain cells arm researchers to combat dementia, mental illness and neurological disorders at the most fundamental levels. “Big data” opens windows for understanding the past in ways that historians could never have won by classical methods, while educators exploit data analytics to uncover novel pathways to student success.

Achievements like these capture the public’s imagination as people tune in to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) like never before. This is especially true of young people weighing career choices, which puts a spotlight on STEM education. What’s the preparation to ride that tech wave? Every day brings a wider variety of topics we might study, but there’s one constant. The savviest consumers of STEM education all seek a solid foundation in computation. Continue Reading »Why College Park Doesn’t Lead in Computer Science Education

“Certainly necessary, but not sufficient”

By Joseph Auslander
Mathematics, Emeritus

DougFrederick Douglass statue at Hornbake Library Credit: John T. Consoli/University of Maryland

Frederick Douglass statue at Hornbake Library
Credit: John T. Consoli/University of Maryland

Several recent events on our campus have prompted me to think about some aspects of the history of the University of Maryland during my lengthy tenure here.

I came to Maryland in 1962. This was some years after the “Curly Byrd” era, but there were still some vestiges of it present. Ours was still very much a “southern campus.” For example, it was a noteworthy event when there were African American teaching assistants in the classroom, and there still were some departments that resisted it. And there was widespread housing discrimination in the area. Continue Reading »“Certainly necessary, but not sufficient”

Return to South Africa

By Dr. Johannes (Jannie) Botes
Associate Professor
University of Baltimore
Program on Negotiation and
Conflict Management

Dr. Jannie Botes Photo Courtesy UBalt

Dr. Jannie Botes
Photo Courtesy UBalt

The Fellowship

In the fall of 2014, I was honored to receive a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) award and spent four summer months in South Africa at the beginning of 2015.  I obtained a sabbatical from the University of Baltimore (UB) while teaching at the University of Stellenbosch, my alma mater.  I was also doing some research on South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) that is supposed to remedy a host of economic and societal problems by 2030. Continue Reading »Return to South Africa

A Conversation: Art, Art History, the Phillips…

Last October, the University of Maryland and the Phillips Collection announced a formal partnership.  The Faculty Voice invited Meredith Gill, the Chair of the Department of Art History and Archaeology, and  W.C. “Chip” Richardson, the Chair of the Department of Art, to discuss the implications of the affiliation for their departments, and the broader role of the arts at the University.  The conversation was recorded and has been edited for length and clarity.

FV What does the affiliation with the Phillips Collection mean to your departments?  What effect does it have?

MG Well, I think the first thing to say is that this is not simply a partnership that will have ramifications and very positive impact on the Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Department of Art but also on the campus more broadly. Continue Reading »A Conversation: Art, Art History, the Phillips…

Effectiveness and Efficiency at the University

By Dr. Donald Spicer

In addition to articles by faculty, The Faculty Voice occasionally publishes other articles which may be of general interest to the faculty. Dr. Donald Spicer is Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO of the University System of Maryland.  Public information about this initiative, including additional links, is available at: The USM “E&E 2.0” Initiative. The Faculty Voice welcomes responses to this article, and may publish some in future editions.

What are University System of Maryland (USM) institutions to do when state support is at best flat, raising tuition puts stress on students and their families, and all stakeholders—students, faculty, and legislators—have rising expectations regarding improving quality and access to higher education? The solution proposed by the USM Board of Regents (BOR) is to use available resources more effectively and efficiently, freeing up resources for new priorities. Continue Reading »Effectiveness and Efficiency at the University

News and Notes

Gender Effects on Authorship Credit

Recent research indicates that in some academic disciplines, the gender of one’s coauthors can have a significant effect on one’s career.  Justin Wolfer, in the Jan 8 online NY Times, summarizes the work of Heather Sarsons for her Harvard dissertation in economics (in a deliberately solo-authored paper):  “[In economics], [w]hen women write with men, their tenure prospects don’t improve at all. That is, women get essentially zero credit for the collaborative work with men. Papers written by women in collaboration with both a male and female co-author yield partial credit. It is only when women write with other women that they are given full credit. These differences are statistically significant… The bias that Ms. Sarsons documents is so large that it may account on its own for another statistic: Female economists are twice as likely to be denied tenure as their male colleagues.”  Wolfers supplements with some anecdotes, and refers to an earlier article of his documenting such a bias in the wider sphere, such as news coverage.  Sarsons notes the effect seems to be discipline dependent; she finds no such effect in the field of sociology, for example, and a couple of conjectured explanations are offered. Continue Reading »News and Notes

African Women in the Past Five Decades

By Gloria Chuku
Professor of Africana Studies and Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Professor Gloria Chuku

Professor Gloria Chuku

*Part one of this article appeared in the last edition of  The Faculty Voice

Economic Sphere

The critical role of women in the economic growth and development of Africa in the past fifty years cannot be overemphasized. A majority of African women engaged in farming, informal sector street vending and petty trading, paid domestic work, house work and care-giving duties, and trans-national trade. Generally, African women worked longer hours than men but owned or received disproportionately less than them. The bulk of their work remained unpaid and poorly remunerated in spite of long working hours, a situation which had resulted in the feminization of poverty. In agrarian economies of Africa, women remained the primary cultivators. At least 70 percent of African rural women were involved in agriculture with concentration in food production and processing. Using simple, time-consuming and laborious implements, women spent more time in agricultural activities, either in their farms or husbands’ or in both; yet many of them lacked access to land, training, appropriate technologies and other agricultural resources. In order to supplement their subsistence production and whatever financial support they received from their husbands, some of the women also engaged in seasonal or casual wage labor in agro-industries in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mozambique, and Nigeria, processing such crops as cocoa, cotton, corn, rubber, and palm oil and kernels. African women were therefore as crucial in export and raw material production as they were in the food sector. As men moved into agro-industrial and large-scale agricultural production, utilizing modern technologies and improved techniques, the majority of African women remained at subsistence and small-scale production with old rudimentary and time-consuming implements. This disparity has informed some to suggest that men’s monopolization of advanced technologies and access to capital and resources has increasingly marginalized African women in agricultural production and diminished their economic independence. But what is vital here is the reality of social stratification and differentiation at the household, village and societal levels and the imbalances in power relations which privileged men in terms of access to the means of production and the control of surplus or profit that came from added incentives to produce. While men controlled the means and benefits of agricultural production, African women were never excluded from productive labor nor did their workload decrease; rather male discriminatory practices denied women the opportunity to maximize their potential and the fruits of their labor. Continue Reading »African Women in the Past Five Decades

Images: Art and Art History at College Park

Art History’s Michele Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture: Panel discussion—Comic Books and Graphic Novels as Literary and Visual Forms

Art History’s Michele Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture: Panel discussion—Comic Books and Graphic Novels as Literary and Visual Forms

2105 Faculty Exhibition, University of Maryland Gallery

2015 Faculty Exhibition, University of Maryland Gallery

Professor John Ruppert. “Three Orbs.” Aluminum chain-link and stainless steel. 12’ by 16’ diameter, 2006. Installed at The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.

Professor John Ruppert. “Three Orbs.” Aluminum chain-link and stainless steel. 12’ by 16’ diameter, 2006. Installed at The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia.

Professor W.C. Richardson. “In the Neighborhood.” Oil and alkyd on panel. 30” by 30”. 2015.

Professor W.C. Richardson. “In the Neighborhood.” Oil and alkyd on panel. 30” by 30”. 2015.

Professor W.C. Richardson. “In the Neighborhood.” Oil and alkyd on panel. 30” by 30”. 2015.

Professor W.C. Richardson. “In the Neighborhood.” Oil and alkyd on panel. 30” by 30”. 2015.

2015 Faculty Exhibition. From left to right: Brandon Morse, Patrick Craig (sculpture), Matt McLaughlin, W.C. Richardson.

2015 Faculty Exhibition. From left to right: Brandon Morse, Patrick Craig (sculpture), Matt McLaughlin, W.C. Richardson.

Art History’s Michele Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture: Professor Meredith Gill leads students through the Sistine Chapel.

Art History’s Michele Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture: Professor Meredith Gill leads students through the Sistine Chapel.

Works from 2015 Faculty Exhibition. From left to right: Hasan Elahi, Justin Strom, Emily Conover, Patrick Craig.

Works from 2015 Faculty Exhibition. From left to right: Hasan Elahi, Justin Strom, Emily Conover, Patrick Craig.