WALLACE LOH: A
The front half of this academic year proved less turbulent than the last, with the university coming off a controversial differential tuition vote, protests calling for University Police to return military-style weapons to the U.S. Defense Department and heated forums regarding official’s handling of a racist, sexist email sent by a former fraternity member. That’s not to suggest Loh didn’t have a rough go of it at times this semester, particularly when it came to renaming Byrd Stadium. Regardless, he made the right call in recommending the change, demonstrating the same commitment to creating an inclusive campus he showed in establishing the President’s Student Advisory Council on Diversity & Inclusion earlier in the semester. Combined with a banner few months for fundraising and development, Loh’s semester earns top marks.
In an elections season that saw unprecedented division in the city government, the Student Government Association’s fall semester proved considerably less conflict-ridden. The SGA made headway on a number of student life and academic issues, most notably advocating in-person sexual misconduct training, strengthening the funding appeals process and throwing its support behind the Byrd Stadium name change. On another front, an SGA-authored bill protecting state interns from harassment and discrimination went into effect, a victory for the university’s student governing body, its constituency and young people statewide. With a semester left in SGA President Patrick Ronk’s second term, this editorial board eagerly awaits more legislative accomplishments to come.
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT: B
As the Terrapins football team entered a 2-4 tailspin, fan and booster club ire directed at then-coach Randy Edsall reached its boiling point. In a stark about-face from June, when it signed him to a three-year extension, the athletic department booted Edsall, letting offensive coordinator Mike Locksley ride out the rest of a 3-9 season. While the decision might’ve been a forgone conclusion, the haphazard manner in which Edsall’s termination played out cast Athletic Director Kevin Anderson in a less-than-favorable light. (Anderson, to his credit, apologized to Edsall for the department’s handling of the situation, but the damage was already done.) He staved off any further criticism by hiring former Michigan defensive coordinator DJ Durkin, though. And with Terrapins basketball coach Mark Turgeon’s squad still figuring into the postseason conversation, the pressure’s finally off Anderson — at least for a while.
TITLE IX OFFICE: A
In the year since the university established its Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct and named Catherine Carroll its first Title IX officer, administrators and students alike have seen unprecedented progress in combating sexual assault on the campus. The university expelled a record three students for sexual assault in a one-year period from July 2014 through June 30, and it’s investigating more reports than ever before — all with an office that’s still understaffed and lacking resources. With a look at the office’s first annual report, it’s clear the university still has a ways to go in ensuring all complaints are handled in timely fashion, but thanks to Carroll and her staff, it’s finally turned the corner.