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March 21, 2011

Panel: Study merging U.Md. College Park, and Balto.

A senate budget panel voted to ask the University System of Maryland to consider fusing campuses in College Park and Baltimore into a mega-university that would surpass Stanford and Yale in some higher education rankings.

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.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 5:14 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: 2011 legislative session


This would be great. As a law student at UM-Baltimore, I think combining the professional school of UMB and undergrad and graduate programs of UMCP will strengthen both campuses in providing a sense of community and a possible networking opportunity for students and alumni.

Most of us from a certain age (before Willie Don wrecked the Trustee system that was in place) consider them already fused along with UMBC, UMES, and the defunct UM in Germany (I think it was Munich). The greatest mayor in my lifetime turned out to be the 2nd worst governor (Marxist is the worst so far) and helped to take away some of the competition whereby schools had to do a better job of arguing for funding. The current UMS model is a joke and more of the schools should be left to fend for themselves.

hope he said "complementary"...

Terps85, the reason you call our president a "Marxist" is because you really want to call him the n-word but know that it's socially unacceptable. Please go take a long walk on a short pier.

I know this will not be posted, so I'll be frank. Commenting on these 'blogs' is useless and generally I won't even read something that isn't allowed commenting because readers only get one side. Please put stories out on the main pages, not in blogs.

I'm not sure anonymous is reading the same article or comments.

Anonymous, Terp85 was talking about William Don Schaefer, not President Obama. I don't get your comment? And, this is an interesting idea. My daughter is an undergraduate student at UMB after being turned down by College Park. And my husband and I are both College Park graduates. Needless to say, although my daughter didn't have the best community college grades, I was hurt when she wasn't accepted at CP. It would be ironic if she ended up with a degree from a combined UMCP and UMB.

So, the outgoing chancellor thought that this would be a good idea because the move would game those ridiculous education rankings? UMB and UMCP are two very different institutions, and should embrace their distinctness. Is it really worth creating a "mega university" just for the temporary boost in prestige that may come with some minor jumps in the rankings?

Wouldn't this be a return to the way the institutions were before the University System of Maryland? For a long period of time UMCP and UMB were the same institution with the same president (called chancellor then).


UMB does not offer undergraduate courses. That is through UB, also in the Maryland family, though. I do not think UMCP would be merging with UB, another undergraduate institution. The plan is to merge with the graduate/professional programs of UMB.

Kevin is exactly correct. It's no coincidence that Miller represents PG County. UMCP will be the winner in this merger. I just hope my next UMB diploma doesn't have some other school's name on it!!

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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