University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has outlined new academic, athletic and financial goals that will go into effect when the school moves to the Big 10 athletic conference -- and he said the expected revenue has already enabled him to reallocate $500,000 to improve university mental health services.
He has been outspoken over the need to improve access to mental health services in the wake of a murder-suicide involving students earlier this year.
The family of the shooter, a 23-year-old graduate student at Maryland, told police that he had suffered from an unspecified mental illness and had been taking medication for at least a year before the shooting.
"There are lessons to be learned, policy questions to be discussed and changes to be made," Loh told the crowd gathered at a vigil in the wake of the shooting.
Expected revenue from the Big 10 will also be used to improve athletic facilities and services for student-athletes; increase student financial aid, and reduce the university's outstanding debts, Loh said Tuiesday.
"Some of these new revenues will be allocated to support the University's academic priorities and student financial aid," Loh wrote. "These allocations are expected to grow to at least $1 million annually. Effective immediately, I have redirected $500,000 annually in other non-state revenues, previously budgeted for Maryland Athletics, to fund expanded mental health counseling services for all students."
In addition, the university will also be able to restore the men's outdoor track and field team "with the full allotment of scholarship support," Loh wrote.
Other previously cut teams may be reinstated in the future, he said.
The Terrapins are scheduled to officially join the Big 10 on July 1, 2014.