University of Baltimore Law School professor tests positive for COVID-19.

John Bessler, professor at the Angelos Law School at the University of Baltimore, with his wife U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in their home state of Minnesota. Photo credit: Jim Mone, AP

The Baltimore Sun reported on Monday that Dr. John Bessler, a professor at the Angeles Law School at the University of Baltimore, has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest and most deadly strain of the coronavirus. This makes the first confirmed case within the University of Baltimore.

“He is exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person,” writes his wife, U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar in a statement released earlier today. “Now he has pneumonia and is on oxygen but not on a ventilator.”

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Members of the university community were notified about this case through an email from President Kurt Schmoke.

“The professor was last on campus on March 11. We are working to ensure that anyone on campus who was in contact with this person can take appropriate steps to self-isolate for a two-week period and stay alert for possible symptoms,” said Schmoke. Furthermore, he encouraged UB community members to “as much as possible, stay away from other people in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.​”

Klobuchar writes that her husband quarantined after the earliest signs of symptoms. She has also stated that since they have been apart for two weeks and that since she is outside of the 14 day window, she will not be tested.

Students at the University of Baltimore are returning to classes being held online this week and for the remainder of the upcoming semester.

For anyone who may have been exposed, President Schmoke writes, ” Self-observation is an important first step. Be alert for symptoms. If you feel feverish or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during the self-observation period, you should take your temperature, self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or the local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.”

Leonard Robinson is editor-in-chief of the UB Post.

MICA Mondays: Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones is a senior at MICA studying painting. His art, inspired by his love for sports, draws on experiences from himself and other athletes to include perseverance, injury, defeat, and triumph.

MICA Mondays is a project of the UB Post (University of Baltimore) showcasing the talent and work of students and alumni of the nearby Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) released every Monday during the fall and spring semesters.


Produced by: Benjamin Kahn and Jeff Dominguez

Host: Benjamin Kahn

Edited by: Jeff Dominguez

UB Online Degree Ranks 5th in Maryland

University of Baltimore has catered to non-traditional students by offering primarily evening and distance learning courses ever since the founding of the university in 1925. Technological advancements have allowed for this legacy to continue with cheap, high quality online degrees. 

These efforts have been recognized as the University of Baltimore is the 5th best online degree in the state, according to rankings from the SR Education Group. This ranking is compared to nearby universities like University of Maryland, Towson University, Stevenson University, and Frostburg.

Factors considered in this ranking include tuition cost and median earnings of program graduates. The annual tuition at the university is $7,014 with median earnings of program graduates around roughly $75,500. 

Degrees offered online through the University of Baltimore include bachelor degrees in business Administration and general Business, graduate degrees in data analytics and financial performance. 

This year’s rankings remain identical to 2019 rankings but show a slight improvement from 2018. In 2018, the university ranked #8 among colleges in Maryland. 

Kenny Lyle is a contributing writer to the UB Post.

The New UB

Welcome to “UB Should Know…”. Here, you will find a variety of different debates, discussions, and interests that you and your fellow peers are passionate about. Topics from art museums closing down to scientific breakthroughs to conspiracy theories can be discussed here between up to four people, not including your moderator. If you wish to be a part of the next edition of UB Should Know… please feel free to contact The UB Post at editorinchief.ubpost@gmail.edu


With a new creative platform, a re-designed logo and a reimagined strategic plan, the University of Baltimore looks to strengthen its position in the market and usher in a new era.

The University of Baltimore is still the same institution at its core, delivering Knowledge That Works to the nontraditional student: the first-generation college-goer, the career changer, the adult learner. Since 1925, UB has supported students who are dedicated to making a difference and driven to succeed; these same students have gone on to become pillars of the legal community, innovative entrepreneurs, public policy leaders and influencers in the creative writing, design and technology communities.

But while the heart of UB hasn’t changed, the marketplace has. Much like many other institutions, UB has struggled in recent years to differentiate itself among the competition and to confidently communicate its invaluable contributions to the city, state and region. And that’s where a new brand comes in.

According to Victoria Reid, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at UB, “It’s important to take a step back every so often and take a hard look at how we’re communicating who we are, what we do and how we do it. This ensures we are accurately conveying how we serve our students, our communities and the value UB brings to the marketplace.

“To remain known and competitive in the higher education market, we needed to tell our unique story and re-establish UB as the University of first choice for students who are committed to a college education and driven to succeed in a modern society,” Reid continued.

With support from Kurt Schmoke, UB president, and Darlene Brannigan Smith, B.S. ’78, MBA ’80, executive vice president and provost, Reid assembled a core brand team of faculty, staff and students from across the University. Reid also brought on Ologie, a Columbus, Ohio-based branding firm known for its work with other institutions such as Oregon State University, West Virginia University, Northwestern University and the University of Arizona. Together, the core brand team and Ologie led and executed an in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of the perception of the UB brand and, based on the resulting data, rebuilt the UB brand from the ground up.

“The University of Baltimore is responding to the same pressures that many universities face today, and in doing so, may have lost sight of the things that made it so very distinct,” said Doug Edwards, associate strategy director for Ologie. “After our first visit to campus and speaking with the UB community, it was immediately clear what made this place so special.”

THE PROCESS

Through two online surveys, Ologie and the core brand team examined the results of more than 2,000 respondents from the internal community—current students, faculty, staff and alumni—and the external community, including prospective undergraduate and graduate students, high school counselors and community college advisers from Maryland and neighboring states, potential employers and friends of the University.

The research, conducted over several months in fall 2017, uncovered three brand pillars that support UB’s core value proposition. This framework serves as a platform for crafting communications about the impact UB has in the community, for promoting the University’s world-class academic programs and faculty and for further solidifying UB’s place in the market.

Brand Pillars:

•Nontraditional University: “We believe that ambition, hard work and resilience are the truest indicators of success. So we create a different kind of experience—one that welcomes anyone committed to a college education. And we make it possible for them to achieve success in their life, every day.”

•Urban Location: “We believe that the best way to prepare for the demands of the modern workforce is to fully immerse yourself in it. So we’re seamlessly integrated into the city and plugged into its cultural undercurrents.”

•Access to Transformation: “We believe that the greatest sense of accomplishment is found in confronting challenges to arrive fully at ones highest potential. So we take opportunity out into the community, to pave avenues for others to max out their talents and achieve their every goal.”

Core Value Proposition:

The University of Baltimore Forges Engaged Citizens of a Modern Society: “We believe that a UB education drives social progress, upward mobility and a thriving economy. We equip learners with the knowledge and fortitude necessary for a successful next step, in whichever direction that step may be.”

With these themes in mind, Ologie developed distinct creative platforms to help convey—verbally and visually—UB’s brand story. The firm presented two creative platforms and new logo options at meetings to gather feedback from the larger UB community. With this feedback, along with input from the Student Government Association and the staff and faculty senates, Ologie and the core brand team combined elements of both creative concepts to form the final platform that would become UB’s new brand and visual identity.

“This [effort] isn’t about us bringing a brand to the community,” noted Paul Davis, executive creative director at Ologie. “It’s about rallying and helping cultivate the authentic story of this University. The process [of] developing this new expression was collaborative on purpose. It truly is a brand built by the UB community for the UB community.

“[UB] has a lot of impressive stories and makes a huge impact throughout the region,” he continued. “The brand helps bring that to life. It’s time for this University to authentically and confidently tell its story.”

LAUNCHING A BRAND

On March 29, 2018, UB revealed its new brand and visual identity, which included a robust messaging strategy and the new UB logo. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the UB community attended a town hall session in the UB Student Center’s Wright Theater

The UB brand story powerfully conveys the experience the University creates—and it starts with a big, confident idea: “Here, knowledge works. Make no mistake: Even if you don’t know our name, you know us.”

These few words aim to convey the core of what UB has to offer and how it impacts not only the students that graduate from its programs but also the communities served by UB alumni. Even if some people aren’t familiar with UB by name, they are likely familiar with the successful outcomes produced by UB, its fac- ulty, students and alumni, and the breadth of UB’s reach. “UB’s re-freshed brand identify builds on the ambition, hard work and resilience of our nontraditional students; the seamless integration of our urban location into student learning, fac- ulty scholarship and community engagement; and [the idea] that a UB education drives social progress, upward mobility anda thriving local economy,” Smith said of the effort. “

In short, the new brand identity will allow us todevelop and execute a robust marketing and communication plan to tell the UB story in a bold,meaningful way.”

Together with the new strategic plan, the new brand will help UB: elevate UB’s academic reputation and perception attract more best-fit students, staff and faculty take ownership of UB’s urban location create a consistent message and story inspire support for UB’s future.

“UB must leverage its strengths if we are to effectively differentiate the University, grow enrollments and achieve financial stability,” Smith explained. “Developing a unique brand proposition that resonatesin the mar- ket and positions UB as the region’s premier professional, career-focused education is a keystrategy in our new strategic plan.”

Over the course of the next several months, the UB community will witness the brand activation phase including updated internal communication, environmental pieces and marketing and advertising. A brand ambassador program will give selected students, staff and faculty the tools and knowledge theyneed to help champion the new UB brand.

As part of a comprehensive toolkit for the UB community, the University’s Office of Marketing and Creative Services is developing a new online web presence that includes guide- lines for implementing the brand. This information will be available shortly at www.ubalt.edu/brand. In addition, the Office ofMarketing and Creative Services is seeking sub- missions from the UB community of stories—standout students, alumni, programs, initiatives, etc.—that can help illustrate the new brand. Submit your ideas to marketing@ubalt.edu.


 

Taking Back Our Campus

By Shae McCoy – Contributor

 

Like an orphaned child, University of Baltimore’s students are left on their own to cope with the loss of programs and campus resources that have been helping them throughout their college career, such as the counseling center. It is not a secret that the University, its employees, and students have been taking hit after hit since 2016. Low enrollment caused the University to unveil furlough plans. These plans claimed the jobs of several employees and eliminated the positions that were unfilled. As of February 2018 the furlough has ended. This was only foreshadowing for things to come.

There is a huge disconnect between the Administration and Students. This disconnect was witnessed during the budget town hall meeting back in February. During this meeting, led by school president Kurt Schmoke, the voices of students and administration both rang out throughout the Moot Courtroom. Talks of budget cuts has everyone on edge. Most importantly the students, who pay tuition every semester just to find out programs are being cut for the sake of the dollar. This has broken the traditional school spirit and affected the sense of unity that was once so effortlessly spread amongst the campus. Now, we are scrambling to figure out how to pick up the pieces.

After the meeting concluded, one can question whether student happiness and well-being is a priority. We learned about the 19 departmental budget reductions. We learned about the new proposed budget which included 115 million in budget revenue, 114 million in spending, and 1 million for reserved contributions. We learned about the 5 year plan, the hiring freeze and the list goes on.

What about the students?

Student affairs contributes to most of the student activities on campus. Even though this is true, students will be taking another punch to the gut with 30 percent of Student affairs being cut, the proposal to make cut downs with campus recreation and wellness, and as mentioned before, the counseling center. Student fees contribute to student affairs and if enrollment is down, so are the fees. The utilization of the counseling center declined 18 percent since 2017 and served less than 150 students. While the numbers make sense, the attitude toward a solution doesn’t. Campus Recreation and Wellness play an enormous part in helping fellow students and faculty on campus by building up their employees for their professional careers outside of school. The counseling center, the one sure place students could go when they were dealing with the stress of the semester or anything outside of school. Students appreciated that face to face interaction and assurance that someone is actually there to assist them.

In place of the counseling center, there is temporarily a 24/7 phone and internet therapy line that students would contact in the event that they needed counseling. Once the service is utilized the student is pointed to a local provider. Does the mental health or amount of happiness for students even matter at this point? There were talks of not only closing the recreation center but cutting 31 student ambassador positions because students aren’t learning anything by working in these positions.

This is how you can tell that the current “leaders” at the University are out of touch with the student body. This is deeper than just voicing concerns and hearing feedback. This is about maintaining the unity and spirit of the University of Baltimore. There was so much “coming together” talk during the Budget town hall, but it appears the students are living out that phrase more than administration. Brandon Thomas, a student for Campus Recreation and Wellness took the initiative to revive the unity that has been fading away. Campus Recreation and Wellness teamed up with the Student Government Association and started Thursday Night Basketball in light of the Budget Town Hall meeting. Every Thursday students come to play basketball with free food provided, even though resources are limited. When asked the purpose, Thomas said with pride that this reoccurring event is in place to “show that student services are important.” The student ambassadors volunteer their time to serve food, which demonstrates integrity throughout the student body.

During these nights no one from the administration has come to witness the greatness, yet they speak for the students and decide what’s not working for us.

Is the dollar more important than the academic atmosphere for students?

The key to student wellness and happiness is not in the bank, it’s in the heart.

 

Images courtesy of Shae McCoy

Come visit the Global Affairs and Human Security Student Association

Have you ever thought about traveling the world, becoming a diplomat, or helping those that are less fortunate than you? If you have, then you should check out the Global Affairs and Human Security Student Association (GAHSSA). GAHSSA is a student run organization at the University of Baltimore that is “dedicated to exploring international affairs related to global health, socio-political events, economic issues, transnational problem solving, global governance, and issues effecting human security.” In order to fulfill this mission, GAHSSA has implemented a guest speaker series that provides international affairs experts, from around the world, with a venue to express ideas and discuss global topics. So far, GAHSSA’s guest speakers have included former US Ambassador to South Africa, Princeton Lyman, and Middle East media commentator Alireza Jafarzadeh.

A few months ago, GAHSSA’s latest guest speaker, Ambassador Lyman, stood in front of a large group of undergraduate and graduate students and explained his many experiences in South Africa and South Sudan. Before providing details about his time in South Africa, Lyman gave some background on the political situation, explaining that the US civil rights movement was occurring at the same time as the South African apartheid movement, which enabled each movement to feed off each other, in turn, creating a “symbiotic” process to promote change. Lyman also explained that, around this same time, the US congress placed economic sanctions on South Africa, in order to punish the South African government. These sanctions were passed after much disagreement and political drama which involved President Ronald Reagan vetoing the proposed bill, against the will of the US State Department, and congress eventually overriding Reagan’s veto.

Lyman went on to explain that these legislative activities going on in the background contributed to a particular atmosphere in South Africa, a distrustful atmosphere that made Lyman’s job a lot harder. This distrust of the US government, among both the ant-apartheid movement and South Africa’s white government, was a result of the US government’s flip flopping on economic sanctions and other foreign policies. Ambassador Lyman explained that due to the atmosphere in South Africa, Lyman and other members of the State Department not only had to help resolve the overarching conflict in South Africa, they also had to resolve these trust issues. Lyman went on to speak about how a transition process was eventually facilitated in South Africa and how this led to an increase in US credibility in the region.

In regards to Lyman’s involvement in South Sudan, Lyman explained that he was sent to South Sudan to ensure that the Sudanese followed through with a peace agreement they made with people in surrounding regions. During this time, Ambassador Lyman and other diplomats had to deal with changing US positions and had to settle several other issues, including setting boundary lines and establishing a currency.

The guest speaker session closed with comments and questions. Students from across the university asked several interesting questions, one of which was why does the US intervene in some international conflicts but not others? Ambassador Lyman answered this question by explaining that the US usually only involves itself in areas where it has a strategic interest.

If you want to learn more about interesting international topics, such as South Africa and South Sudan, or if you just want to get firsthand knowledge from global experts then be sure to check out GAHSSA.

GAHSSA is even expecting to have another guest speaker come to the University of Baltimore this upcoming semester, so be on the lookout for flyers and emails about GAHSSA’s next guest speaker.