The University of Maryland’s assistant vice president for human resources is stepping down from her job, the university announced in an email Tuesday morning.

Jewel Washington, who joined the university in February 2015, is leaving to become the chief human resources officer at the University of Texas at Arlington.

For the past six years, Washington has participated in contract negotiations with the union that represents university workers. The university’s relationship with the union has come under fire over the past several months, as workers worried about the school’s reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic and housekeepers became sick when working in hot buildings over the summer.

The union filed a complaint with the State Higher Education Labor Relations Board over the summer, alleging unsafe working conditions during the pandemic.

Rythee Lambert-Jones will replace Washington on an interim basis beginning Feb. 1, according to the email. Lambert-Jones has more than 30 years of experience in human resources in higher education, including her current role as a human resources director at this university.

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