After previously planning to retire in the wake of several athletic department scandals, University of Maryland president Wallace Loh reversed course Wednesday, announcing that he would serve in his role for the 2019-20 academic year before stepping down. “For eight years, I have been honored to serve the state’s flagship institution as the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and alumni have propelled Maryland to new heights,” Loh said in a statement provided to The Diamondback, Maryland’s independent student newspaper. “The (UMD board of regents) discussed with me having a smooth transition of leadership, and we mutually agreed upon a retirement date of June 2020. With all of Maryland’s supporters, I look forward to what we will accomplish together.” MORE: A timeline of the events that led to Jordan McNair’s death Loh has been sharply criticized for overseeing an athletic department racked by claims of improper conduct. An independent report released Sept. 21, 2018, found Maryland trainers mishandled the care of football player Jordan McNair, who died of heatstroke suffered at a team workout last summer. A separate independent commission report released in October outlined instances of verbal abuse from coaches toward football players and found Loh should bear “some responsibility” for ongoing athletic department dysfunction. Loh reportedly wanted to fire former football coach DJ Durkin immediately after the October report, but the school’s board of regents wanted to keep Durkin and made it clear to Loh he needed to reinstate the coach in order to keep his own job. (The regents only have the power to dismiss Loh; all other personnel decisions are delegated to Loh). Rather than taking a stand against the regents, Loh followed the board’s recommendation before changing his mind the next day under public criticism and dismissing Durkin. Soon after, ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and prominent Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt called for Loh to leave immediately rather than delay his announced retirement until this summer. “It seems like everyone went into cover-your-own-ass mode and the worst type of crab-in-a-bucket behavior imaginable,” Van Pelt said on the network. “My question is, given their roles in this, how can Wallace Loh and athletic director Damon Evans remain? It feels as if there has to be a complete cultural reset.” The university’s provost and every academic dean signed a letter dated Nov. 1 asking Loh to not retire and instead continue his presidency indefinitely.