COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland has until Dec. 15, 2011, to develop a final plan to approve or reject the merger of the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore into a larger institution that would enhance each of the universities.
USM Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan said during the meeting, held at the University of Maryland University College Inn and Conference Center Sept. 9, that this is “a tight time schedule but believe me, the energy and effort underway in analyzing this matter is very impressive.”
The Maryland General Assembly called for study of the merger because of the potential benefits that a UMCP-UMB institution would bring to Maryland and the new institution’s faculty and students.
In the UMCP-UMB Merger Work Plan, the General Assembly explains that the “two institutions are complementary and have few if any duplicative programs.”
According to the Work Plan, UMCP is a flagship school with major programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, and the institution’s research component generated “over $545 million in fiscal 2010.” UMB, according to the Work Plan is also “Maryland’s only combined public academic health, human services, and law center. …there are no public flagship research institutions with the level of research carried out by UMCP that do not have a medical school and a law school as a formal part of the institution.”
Kirwan told the Regents that the study “exploring the pros and cons of merging College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the process for conducting that study… is well under way.”
The work plan, developed by the USM Office was approved by the Regents at its June 17 meeting, and lists 12 questions that need to be answered for the merger of UMCP and UMB to be considered. The questions cover quality of learning, ranking and administrative issues.
In his President’s Message of Aug. 8, 2011 UMCP President Wallace D. Loh said he supports the study, and encourages the USM community “to ‘think anew’ on how the flagship university in College Park, and the ‘founding university’ in Baltimore with its health sciences schools and law school, might come together in ways that will catapult both campuses to the top ranks of global universities…”
There will be two public hearings scheduled, giving the community an opportunity to share their thoughts. The first meeting will be at UMB on Oct. 21 from 3-5 p.m. The second meeting will be at UMCP on Oct. 28 from 1-3 p.m.