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UM president named in complaint over Big Ten move

UM president named in complaint over Big Ten move

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A teacher has filed a formal complaint against University of Maryland President Wallace Loh over the manner in which the school handled its move from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten.

Ralph Jaffe said he filed the complaint with the Maryland State Ethics Commission on Monday. Jaffe contends that Loh has not responded to his request to call an open-forum meeting by the Board of Regents, which approved the move to the Big Ten in a closed session before Loh finalized the deal on Nov. 20.

“I’ve gotten no feedback from Dr. Loh. He’s showed no remorse and is not willing to convene a new meeting,” Jaffe told The Associated Press.

Mike Lord of the State Ethics Commission says he was not allowed to confirm the filing of a complaint.

The University System of Maryland would not comment specifically on the complaint filed by Jaffe on Monday, but noted the Board of Regents has already acknowledged its violation of the state’s open meetings act in the wake of a ruling by Maryland’s Open Meetings Compliance Board, which said the regents broke the law with their closed meeting.

In spite of the ruling, the Board of Regents face no significant punishment. The regents have agreed to change their policies, but that doesn’t mean another meeting on the move to the Big Ten is on the horizon.

Anne Moultrie of the University System insisted in an email that “the Board was entitled to consider in private session those aspects of the Big Ten agreement that would have involved disclosure of confidential commercial or financial information.”

She also noted that “it is important to understand that according to the University System of Maryland policy, administration of intercollegiate athletics resides with the president of the university. In other words, the action taken by the University of Maryland … did not require approval of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.”

But Jaffe, a proponent for open government, continues his push for a new meeting.

“The problem is that this was done in secret, and it’s outrageous,” Jaffe said. “This is not personal. I’m sure Dr. Loh is a good person. But I’m a teacher, and I want to teach him a lesson about how to treat the public.”

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