Federal judge rules on historically black universities in Maryland

October 10, 2013


Federal judge rules on historically black universities in Maryland

Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled that Maryland shortchanged the state’s four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by unnecessarily duplicating their programs at nearby predominantly white institutions.

In a ruling issued Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Judge Catherine Blake wrote that the duplication of academic programs was part of an earlier dual system of higher education in the state.

Blake said the practice puts the historically black universities at a competitive disadvantage and has “segregative effects.”

Blake also faulted the state for undermining unique, in-demand programs at HBCUs — such as Morgan State’s MBA program and Bowie State’s Masters in computer science — by establishing competing programs at other nearby universities, causing program enrollment to drop at the HBCUs.

The ruling comes after a six-week trial early this year.

The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Higher Education had sued the Maryland Higher Education Commission in 2006 on behalf of students and alumni from Maryland’s four HBCUs.

“We are elated,” said David Burton, president of the Coalition, in a statement. “The very reason the coalition was created was after the state undermined and duplicated Morgan’s MBA program. We sought to prevent the marginalization of the [HBCUs] and wanted them to have academic programs that are attractive to students and properly supported by faculty, facilities and other resources.”

Blake deferred judgment and recommended that the parties begin mediation to remedy the situation.


October 9, 2013

HBCU presidents believe court ruling could bring more resources

By Tricia Bishop
The Baltimore Sun

Presidents of the state’s historically black colleges and universities said Tuesday that a federal court ruling ordering remedies for persistent segregative policies in Maryland higher education could result in new opportunities and resources for their campuses.

“That could mean anything, it could mean Morgan could have a school of public health, it could mean Morgan could have a statewide center of nanotechnology,” said Morgan State University President David Wilson, adding that he was still reviewing the opinion to determine its short- and long-term implications.

The 60-page opinion, issued Monday in response to a 2006 lawsuit, found that certain high-demand specialty programs duplicated by traditionally white schools — a form of “separate but equal” — encouraged segregation among campuses by drawing students from the state’s black schools, which historically have been underfunded. To repair the situation, the opinion suggested mediation, new niche areas for black schools and the possible transfer or merger of some programs.

“For us, for Morgan, that could mean programs that could lead to the enhancement of” the university, Wilson said.

Leaders at the three other HBCUs — Coppin and Bowie state universities and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore — also said they were reviewing the opinion, but that they would be more than willing to entertain new prospects.

“If it actually comes to that, Bowie State University will look forward to being at the table to talk about ways that issue can be addressed in a way that’s the most advantageous to us,” said Bowie President Mickey L. Burnim.

“I hasten to add, however, that from the very beginning I think lawyers on both sides of the issue … indicated that they would very likely appeal if they weren’t pleased with the decision,” Burnim added. “So I guess I’m not assuming that this is the final thing we’ll hear on it and that things will move forward.”

In a statement from his spokeswoman Monday, Gov. Martin O’Malley said the state was “considering all of our options, including … constructive mediation.”

Maryland Secretary of Higher Education Danette Howard said in a statement issued Wednesday: “The State has supported the creation of new unique programs at all of our colleges and universities and is committed to avoiding unnecessary program duplication. The Commission and I are optimistic that all parties will be able to reach a successful conclusion and continue the good work of moving Maryland forward.”

The court ruling, handed down by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, is the latest development in a decades-long battle to rid Maryland of policies that favor traditionally white schools.

The state operated a segregated higher education system for more than a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court declared such “separate but equal” programs unconstitutional in 1954. And it lost gains it made in the 1960s and ’70s, when it allowed Maryland’s HBCUs to develop and offer “unique, high-demand programs” that “began attracting significant numbers of white graduates” by investing in traditionally white schools that then competed with the HBCUs.

“These investments included further duplication of programs at already existing [traditionally white institutions] and creating new public institutions in geographic proximity to existing [HBCUs], including UB, Towson, and UMBC,” Blake wrote.
Representatives for the University of Baltimore, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Towson University said they were still reviewing the decision and couldn’t comment on specifics Tuesday.
In a 2000 agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the state pledged to avoid duplicating programs, but the repetition continued.

Enrollment in Bowie’s master’s program in computer science fell “precipitously,” Blake wrote, after Towson replicated the program. A teaching program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County led to similar drops in those programs at Bowie, Coppin and Morgan. And enrollment in Morgan’s master’s in business administration fell after the University of Baltimore entered the system and offered an MBA in partnership with Towson.

In 1976, white enrollment at HBCUs was 18.2 percent. By 2008, it was 3.4 percent.
“A lot of white students are hesitant about going to a black college. What they will do is choose the white institution” if given the option, particularly if the white school has a better, newer campus, said Marybeth Gasman, a professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. “If you want [the HBCUs to diversify] then you have to allow them to create programs that are going to be a draw for a whole variety of people.”

A coalition of HBCU students and alumni filed the lawsuit in 2006 complaining of current funding disparities — a claim Blake rejected — and the problem of duplicate programs. None of the schools themselves were parties in the suit, though its outcome affects them.

Gasman has long followed the court case and said she’s “very happy” with the opinion.
“Maryland is one of these states that has just been dragging their feet on this forever and has not done anything to reconcile the inequalities within the higher education system,” Gasman said. “I really think that it’s a good decision and it’s a sound decision, and I hope rather than having a kind of visceral reaction that the state actually will take it seriously.”

She envisions an investment in the HBCUs that would help them create new programs.

At the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, President Juliette B. Bell said she would welcome the opportunity.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to develop new, high-interest academic programs,” Bell said. She noted that UMES has been more successful than its sister institutions in attracting a more diverse population, largely because of a collaboration with nearby Salisbury University.

UMES is less segregated than the other HBCUs, with a 13.3 percent white population, and its programs are the least unnecessarily duplicated, Blake wrote.

At Coppin State University in Baltimore, President Mortimer H. Neufville said he would certainly consider additional funding and programming should it be presented, but that he is single-minded on his current task, which involves overhauling the institution to make it more successful.

The state’s HBCUs have the lowest graduation rates in Maryland, and several have struggled to maintain programs and facilities.

Burnim, at Bowie, was not surprised that segregation is still being discussed today, despite decades of progress in some areas.

“Our country, I think, had such an ingrained history of racism and segregation, mired in slavery and all of the aftermath from that horrible system, that it’s going to take us a while to move completely beyond that,” Burnim said. “One doesn’t have to look too far in any direction to see evidence of that past.”

Examples of program duplication
The “crowding” of Baltimore with four-year undergraduate institutions has worsened the unnecessary duplication of programs offered at historically black colleges and universities, according to a federal court ruling.

The ruling pointed out the expansion of the University of Baltimore, which began admitting freshmen in 2007 and continues to increase its undergraduate offerings.

Other examples of program duplication include:

•A joint UB/Towson University master’s of business administration program approved by the state in 2005, over objections from Morgan State University, which offers its own program. Citing enrollment decreases at Morgan, the Maryland Higher Education Commission made the decision despite advice from the attorney general’s office that it would be unnecessary duplication.

•Towson’s master’s degree in computer science, a program that was already offered at Bowie State University. According to the ruling, enrollment in Bowie’s program dropped from 119 in 1994 to 29 in 2008, while enrollment at Towson grew from 23 in 1994 to 101 in 2008.

•University of Maryland Baltimore County’s master’s degree in teaching, also offered at Morgan, Bowie and Coppin State University. Enrollment in the HBCUs’ teaching programs all dropped substantially between 2002 and 2008, according to the ruling.



Morgan State University

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Morgan State University

Morgan State University

Morgan State University

Morgan State University

Morgan State University

Morgan State University
Video: Morgan Sate University



Founded in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute by the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the institution’s original mission was to train young men in ministry. It subsequently broadened its mission to educate both men and women as teachers.

The school was renamed Morgan College in 1890 in honor of the Reverend Lyttleton Morgan, the first chairman of its Board of Trustees, who donated land to the college. Morgan awarded its first baccalaureate degree to George F. McMechen in 1895. McMechen later obtained a law degree from Yale and eventually returned to Baltimore, where he became a civic leader and one of Morgan’s strongest financial supporters.

In 1915 the late Andrew Carnegie gave the school a conditional grant of $50,000 for the central academic building. The terms of the grant included the purchase of a new site for the College, payment of all outstanding obligations, and the construction of a building to be named after him. The College met the conditions and moved to its present site in northeast Baltimore in 1917. Carnegie Hall, the oldest original building on the present MSU campus, was erected two years later.

Morgan College remained a private institution until 1939. That year, the state of Maryland purchased the school in response to a state study that determined that Maryland needed to provide more opportunities for its black citizens.

From its beginnings as a public campus, Morgan was open to students of all races. By the time it became a public campus, the Morgan State College had become a relatively comprehensive institution.

Until the mid-1960s, when the state’s teachers colleges began their transition to liberal arts campuses, Morgan State College and the University of Maryland College Park were the only two public campuses in the state with comprehensive missions.

As Maryland’s teachers colleges began to broaden their objective, Morgan and other like institutions, were placed into a state college system governed by a Board of Trustees.

However, in 1975 the State Legislature designated Morgan as a university, gave it the authority to offer doctorates, and provided for it to once again have its own governing board and renamed Morgan State University.

In 1988 Maryland reorganized its higher education structure and strengthened its coordinating board, the Higher Education Commission. The campuses in the state college system became part of the University of Maryland System.

Morgan State University and St. Mary’s College of Maryland were the only public baccalaureate-granting institutions authorized to have their own governing boards. The legislation also strengthened Morgan State University’s authority to offer advanced programs and designated the campus as Maryland’s Public Urban University.

Source: Morgan State University

Bowie State University

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Bowie State University

Bowie State University
Video: Bowie State University



Bowie State University is an outgrowth of the first school opened in Baltimore by the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People, which was organized on December 15, 1864 to engage in its self-appointed mission of offering educational opportunities that the state failed to provide for its Black citizens. The first school, offering courses in the elements of education, was opened on January 9, 1865 in the African Baptist Church located on the corner of Calvert and Saratoga streets. The first courses in normal education to train teachers were offered at the same location in 1866. The facility was woefully inadequate to house both schools, In 1867, with the aid of a grant from the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Quakers of England and others, the Baltimore Association purchased from the Society of Friends a building located at Courtland and Saratoga streets for the relocation of its normal school.

The Baltimore Normal School received occasional financial support from the City of Baltimore beginning in 1870 and from the state since 1872. In 1871, it received a legacy of $3,500 from the Nelson Wells Fund, established before Wells’ death in February 1843 for the Wells Free School with the similar intent of providing for the education of freed Negro children in Maryland.

On April 8, 1908, at the request of the Baltimore Normal School Board, which desired permanent status and funding as an institution for the education of Negro teachers, the state legislature authorized its Board of Education to assume control of the school. The same law re-designated the institution as Normal School No. 3. Subsequently, it was relocated on a 187-acre tract in Prince George’s County in 1911 and by 1914 it was known as the Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie.

A two-year professional curriculum in teacher education which started in 1925, at Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie, was expanded to a three-year program in 1931. In 1935, a four-year program for the training of elementary school teachers began and the school was renamed Maryland State Teachers College at Bowie. In 1951 the college expanded its program to train teachers for junior high schools. Ten years later, a teacher-training program for secondary education was instituted.

In 1963, a liberal arts program was started and the name was changed from Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie to Bowie State College.

In 1970, Bowie State College was authorized to grant its first graduate degree, the Master of Education. A significant milestone in the development of graduate studies at Bowie State was achieved with the Board of Trustees’ approval of the establishment of the Adler-Dreikurs Institute of Human Relations in 1975. Currently, the University offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs across a broad range of disciplines and doctoral degrees in educational leadership and computer science.

On July 1, 1988, Bowie State College officially became Bowie State University, a change reflecting significant growth in the institution’s programs, enrollment and service to the local area. On the same day, the University also became one of the constituent institutions of the newly formed University System of Maryland.

In 1995, Bowie State University won an 11-year $27 million award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration/National Science Foundation to become one of only six national Model Institutions for Excellence in science, engineering and mathematics. This award significantly strengthened the institution’s academic infrastructure and enhanced an already excellent computer science and technology program that continues to expand.

In 2005, Bowie State unveiled a supercomputer that had been built by faculty and students. It was the fastest supercomputer on any college campus in the state and the eighth fastest in the country. With this achievement, the University emerged as a leader among higher education institutions in computing power.

Among the nation’s leaders in teacher education, with continuous accreditation by the National Council of the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1956, Bowie State’s legacy of producing outstanding teachers and school administrators continues to grow with recent graduates including county and state Teachers of the Year.

Today, Bowie State University enrolls a diverse student body of more than 5,400 and provides them with rigorous academic programs and the individual support they need to be prepared to compete in a changing world.

Source: Bowie State University


University of Maryland- Eastern Shore

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University of Maryland Eastern Shore

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

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University of Maryland Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore had its origin on September 13, 1886. Initiated under the auspices of the Delaware Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Delaware Conference Academy was established in Princess Anne on that date with nine students and one faculty.

Records reveal that 37 students were enrolled by the end of the year. Subsequently, the institution bore the title of Industrial Branch of Morgan State College, still under the influence of the Delaware Conference. As originally operated by the Morgan State College under the control of the Methodist Church, the institution was known as Princess Anne Academy.

The State of Maryland, in operating its landgrant program at the Maryland Agricultural College at College Park, to which African Americans were not admitted as students, sought to provide a Land-Grant program for Afro-Americans and assumed control of the Princess Anne Academy, renaming it the Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Agricultural College. The arrangement was effected in 1919.

In 1926, the College passed into complete control and ownership of the State and the University of Maryland was designated as the administrative agency.

In 1948, the Eastern Shore Branch of the university of Maryland, popularly known as Princess Anne College, became officially Maryland State College, a Division of the University of Maryland.

On July 1, 1970, Maryland State College became the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

With the strong support of the Maryland Board of Regents, Systems Administration, and the faculty, UMES has developed an academic program above and perhaps more impressive than any other higher educational institution of its size in the East.

Today, the University offers major programs leading to the B.A. and B.S. degrees in 26 disciplines in the arts and sciences, professional studies and agricultural sciences. In addition, UMES presents 13 teaching degree programs and eight pre-professional programs, as well as an Honors Program designed in cooperation with the University of Maryland at Baltimore to prepare students for professional school study.

UMES offers graduate degrees in the following fields: Marine-Estuarine and Environmental Sciences at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels; Toxicology at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels, M.S. in Applied Computer Science, Guidance and Counseling, Agricultural and Extension Education, Physical Education, Physical Therapy and Special Education.

From its original building known as “Olney,” constructed in 1798, when George Washington was still alive, the University now has over 600 acres, 28 major buildings and 41 other units. Today the University offers not only a well-constructed and varied academic program, but a beautiful campus. It provides today’s student, through a versatile student life, an opportunity to develop into a well-rounded individual who is able to assume leadership in today’s society. As the University of Maryland Eastern Shore enters its second century, it continues with an even greater vigor; the extent of progress and the apex of quality continue to expand.

Long-term plans include expanding the curriculum for graduate study, new construction and renovation projects for classroom and administrative buildings, and an improved physical plant. With the continued expansion of UMES, the University will continue to increase its enrollment of in-state students, and move toward greater selectivity in admitting high school graduates.

Within the last decade, UMES has added 17 new degree-granting programs to its academic roster. Graduates of these programs often choose to remain on the Delmarva Peninsula, procuring careers in their areas of professional study, to benefit the region, particularly the Lower Eastern Shore. The prediction is that this local enrichment will continue as more students enroll in the University’s programs of business and economics, physical therapy, hotel and restaurant management, poultry technology and management, and computer science. Likewise the outlook is good for the sciences, agriculture, liberal arts and graduate programs.

As the Eastern Shore continues to gain in productivity and recognition, UMES will continue to serve the needs of the industries and people around it. UMES is the only four-year institution on the shore to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science, the University has long been known for providing professional training in the key regional industries of hospitality management, and the management of commercial poultry and swine operations.

The newest programs on the UMES campus also look toward current and future needs of the Eastern Shore. Airway Science, Law Enforcement and Rehabilitation services have all been recently added to the University’s offerings. Greater course offerings during evening and weekend hours have also been developed, allowing a greater segment of the local population to enhance themselves and their communities through post-secondary education.


Coppin State University

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Coppin State University

Coppin State University

Coppin State University

Coppin State University


Coppin State University was founded in 1900 at what was then called Colored High School (later named Douglass High School) on Pennsylvania Avenue by the Baltimore City School Board who initiated a one-year training course for the preparation of African-American elementary school teachers. By 1902, the training program was expanded to a two-year Normal Department within the high school, and seven years later it was separated from the high school and given its own principal.

In 1926, this facility for teacher training was named Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of the outstanding African-American woman who was a pioneer in teacher education. Fanny Jackson Coppin was born an enslaved African in Washington, D.C. She gained her freedom, graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio, and founded the Philadelphia Institute that was the forerunner of Cheyney State University.

By 1938 the curriculum of the normal school was lengthened to four years, authority was given for the granting of the Bachelor of Science degree, and the name of the Normal School was changed to Coppin Teachers College.

In 1950, Coppin Teachers College became part of the higher education system of Maryland under the State Department of Education, and renamed Coppin State Teachers College. Two years later Coppin State Teachers College moved to its present 38-acre site on West North Avenue.

In acknowledgment of the goals and objectives of the College, the Board of Trustees ruled in 1963 that the institution’s degree-granting authority would no longer be restricted to teacher education. Following this ruling, Coppin State Teachers College was officially renamed Coppin State College, and in 1967 the first Bachelor of Arts degree was conferred.

In 1988, the Coppin State College became part of the newly organized University of Maryland System (now the University System of Maryland.)

Coppin State College’s first president was Dr. Miles Connor, who was appointed in 1950. The institution’s second president was Dr. Parlett Moore, who was appointed in 1956. Dr. Calvin W. Burnett was appointed as Coppin’s third president in 1970. Coppin’s fourth president, Dr. Stanley F. Battle, was appointed on March 3rd, 2003. Dr. Reginald S. Avery was appointed as Coppin’s fifth president on January 14th, 2008. Dr. Mortimer H. Neufville was appointed as Interim President, on January 22, 2013.

Fulfilling its unique mission of primarily focusing on the problems, needs and aspirations of the people of Baltimore’s central city and its immediate metropolitan area, Coppin State College took over nearby Rosemont Elementary School in 1998, and is the first and only higher education institution in Maryland to manage a public school. Rosemont Elementary is located in the Greater Rosemont Community, an area adjacent to the Coppin State University.

Coppin State College was officially renamed Coppin State University on April 13, 2004.

Source: Coppin State University

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