Not again! Over the past few years, we’ve been hearing a lot of merger talk concerning our HBCUs. The HBCU communities attention has been turned in the direction of Georgia, as a bill was created in late March to consolidate Fort Valley State University, Albany State University and Savannah State University, moving them to a system separate from the University System of Georgia. If that wasn’t enough Kurt Schmoke, former Baltimore mayor and University of Baltimore President, penned an op-ed that was published in the Baltimore Sun today proposing the merger of Coppin State University with his institution and Baltimore City Community College to create the “City University of Baltimore”.
Now, this seems rather reminiscent to the editorial in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that proposed the merger of Clark Atlanta, Spelman and Morehouse that set the internet ablaze back in March. However, this is a different monster. Remember Schmoke is a former Mayor and the current president of the university that he’s proposing merge with Coppin. Plus, he serves on the board of trustees for Baltimore City Community College.
He spoke on his idea in the op-ed, saying:
“I reach this conclusion after viewing higher education in Baltimore from a unique perspective. Having served as mayor of Baltimore, president of UB and chairman of the Board of Trustees of BCCC, I recognize that these institutions have a significant impact on the quality of life in the city and the state. The strengths of the institutions outweigh their weaknesses, but there are several ways in which a formal collaboration among these organizations would be mutually beneficial. Streamlining administrative functions, coordinating improvements in digital technology and eliminating duplicative academic programs are just a few of the benefits to be achieved.”
While this isn’t something that’s on the table that we need to kick against or protest, HBCU advocates and the Coppin community should be on the lookout for a move such as this in the near future.