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Volume 6 | Issue 4

December 2022

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Feature Article

The 120 Initiative: How UMD Plans to Tackle Gun Violence

By Dylan Lewis

This past summer, UMD’s President Darryll J. Pines and Gregory Washington, president of George Mason University, launched a new research initiative targeting gun violence not only in our DC-area community, but around the United States. The initiative is composed of university leaders in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, and is entitled the 120 Initiative, a reference to the more than 120 people who die on average each day from gun violence in the US.

Such an initiative is a timely endeavor: America is facing an epidemic of mass shootings and other gun violence. President Pines was inspired to action on this issue after the many devastating mass shootings earlier this year in places like Buffalo, Uvalde, and Highland Park. Just last month a hate crime at an LGBTQ night club in Colorado Springs, CO left five people dead and more than nineteen others injured, while another mass shooting took place at the University of Virginia, in which three people were killed and two others were injured. Numerous studies and statistics address how such acts of violence are uniquely an American problem and are only becoming increasingly prevalent.

As institutions that are home to experts in a wide range of areas such as gun violence, public and mental health, education, and technology, universities are especially well-positioned to address the serious challenges facing our society. Although gun violence is a heavily politicized and sensitive issue, President Pines believes that we must come together with other universities and their leaders through our shared values when trying to tackle the great challenges of our time. Members of the Consortium hope to address the problem of gun violence with attention to education, training, and safety. “Human behavior has to change. That is a big challenge, and it takes time. We have to start somewhere,” Pines said in a recent interview. UMD—with its administration, faculty, students, and resources—certainly has a role to play in that change.

One of the UMD faculty members leading the 120 Initiative is Dr. Joseph Richardson, Jr., the Joel and Kim Feller Professor and MPower Professor of African American Studies and Medical Anthropology. Richardson is a leading scholar on gun violence and trauma whose work specifically addresses the ways that the healthcare and criminal justice systems intersect and impact the lives of Black male survivors of violence. For Richardson, the 120 Initiative is “pathbreaking, groundbreaking work” due to its scope and organization by the Consortium, and he believes it has real potential to generate actionable change locally and nationally. Richardson said some of the Initiative’s participants are already being invited as keynote speakers or participants to meetings, conferences, and symposia on gun violence around the country.

But the 120 Initiative’s broad community of leaders and experts also faces the challenge of  where to start and where to direct resources, given the high energy and passion surrounding this initiative. The key is not just to generate data and research on the topic, but also to create workable solutions. While they are still early in the planning phase, Richardson sees many possibilities for UMD’s explicit involvement in the 120 Initiative’s actionable solutions. For example, he suggested how UMD could offer opportunities and resources to people in the DC-area program People of Promise, which has identified as many as 200 people in the area most at risk of committing, or being victimized by, violent gun-related crime, and helps connect them to various support teams. For Pines, embracing education is key to producing actionable solutions. For example, education about the proper handling of firearms and how to safely store them can prevent many incidents of accidental violence.

This month, the 120 Initiative members are meeting to discuss some of their upcoming plans. Pines says they are also organizing a workshop for 2023 that will bring together experts from around the country, not just 120 Initiative participants, to talk about active programs dedicated to reducing gun violence. Pines also noted the recent establishment of the Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction in UMD’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice as another way that UMD is driving these discussions.

To see the UMD Libraries’ resources on the 120 Initiative, visit this site:

Participating institutions include: American University, The Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, The George Washington University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, Marymount University, Montgomery College, Northern Virginia Community College, Prince George’s Community College, Trinity Washington University, University of the District of Columbia, University of Maryland, University of Maryland Global Campus, and Virginia Tech.

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Create a Record of Your Achievements with Faculty Success

December Update

2022 Annual Activity Reporting

The 2022 reporting cycle will open on January 17, 2023 and conclude March 17, 2023. Chairs, directors and deans will have until March 31, 2023 to complete their reviews and approve faculty-submitted annual reports. 

All tenured and tenure-track (TTK) faculty members must complete an annual report of their research, teaching, and service activities so that the University may meet its state- and University System of Maryland-mandated reporting requirements. For the second year, Librarian faculty will be reporting their annual activities using Faculty Success in their FMARF report.  

This year, all benefits-eligible Professional Track faculty (PTK) will be able to participate in 2022 Annual Activity Reporting using Faculty Success and Workflow. These PTK faculty members will be included in the Workflow setup in Faculty Success and will receive all of the annual reporting communications. Individual units will make the determination as to whether annual reporting is required of their PTK faculty or not.

And remember: you don't have to wait until January 17, 2023 to get started on your 2022 Annual Activity Report! The system is always available for you to add new activities or update information. Get a head start on your activity data today by using the Interactive Annual Activity Report tool to review, edit and add activities that will be included in your 2022 annual activity report. This short demonstration video gives you an overview of the tool and how to get started using it. Note that while this report is not the version that will be submitted in Workflow, it does help you prepare more efficiently, ensuring that accomplishments are documented in the right sections without the need to hunt for the correct activity data screen.

Leveraging Faculty Success Data

With several years’ worth of faculty activity data in Faculty Success, some units on campus are finding that Faculty Success can support their accreditation self-study preparations. The platform maintains report templates for a number of accrediting bodies, including AACSB, HLC, ABET, CAEP, and CCNE. These reports mainly draw on data already available in Faculty Success, added as part of their annual activity reporting. Where needed, additional data fields or activity screens can be added to the platform to ensure full coverage for a particular report template. 

Faculty Success supported the School of Public Health's Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) accreditation work in 2021.  Currently, the team is working with the School of Engineering to support their Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) program evaluations. Learn more about the School of Engineering's use of Faculty Success in this effort.

If your unit is interested in leveraging Faculty Success data for an upcoming accreditation process, please contact the Faculty Success team to discuss your needs.

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Volume 6 | Issue 4