Panel: Study merging U.Md. College Park, and Balto.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller proposed the idea at a Budget and Taxation meeting this afternoon.
The budget panel's vote would direct the Board of Regents to develop a merger plan by December 15, with an eye toward how the combination would enhance both institutions. "The plan should be developed in a manner that does not reduce but expands resources, assets and opportunities," according to the adopted budget language.
The full Senate would have to agree to the plan -- as would the House, which takes up the budget this week.
USM Chancellor Dr. William E. Kirwan floated the idea over a decade ago in speech when he left his post as head of University of Maryland, College Park. He said the two institutions "have complimentary rather than competing missions," according to transcript of the address.
Kirwan then noted that such a merger would enhance the university's national stature because the combined entity would jump in national rankings including for research dollars.
If the two institutions were merged, the new university would be 5th in doctoral degrees awarded, 3rd in faculty awards and 10th in total research expenditures (displacing Stanford), according to information provided to Senators on the Budget and Taxation Committee.