Skip Navigation

Produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Subscribe Now
Campus & Community

Half-day Administrative Leave Offered to Mark Juneteenth

University System Employees Encouraged to Reflect on African Americans' Emancipation, Celebrate Black History

By Maryland Today Staff

Frederick Douglass statue

Photo by John T. Consoli

Frederick Douglass Square on Hornbake Plaza honors the Maryland statesman and orator who pressed for African Americans' emancipation. The university is granting administrative leave on Friday afternoon to mark Juneteenth, the anniversary of the liberation of the final enslaved black people in the nation.

University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman has authorized USM institutions to grant administrative leave Friday afternoon for employees who wish to mark Juneteenth.

The holiday marks the date in 1865 that the final enslaved African Americans in the United States, in the state of Texas, were freed. Forty-seven states, including Maryland, and the District Columbia now recognize the date.

Perman says employees "may pause for a moment, reflect on the fight for freedom and equality—then and now—and joyfully celebrate Black history and culture, Black resistance and resilience."

University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh announced in an email to the campus community tonight that UMD is offering administrative leave starting at 1 p.m. Friday. All classes between then and 5 p.m. are canceled. “We can also pause and reflect on Black Lives Matter and how America can more fully realize its founding ideals,” he wrote.

Loh added that Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Georgina Dodge is leading campus-wide planning to advance racial equity and address systemic disparities.

“This work is essential to strengthen our institution's diversity and inclusivity in areas such as curriculum, recruitment and retention, training and funding,” he wrote.

More information on these plans for action is forthcoming next week.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.