COPPIN: Although School in Need of President, No Merger Planned, according to UB President Schmoke

(BALTIMORE – February 13, 2019) – With the recent announcement that Dr. Maria Thompson is stepping down at Coppin State University, the beloved West Baltimore institution is once again at a point of hard-core decision making. While Dr. Calvin Burnett served as president of the Historically Black University (or HBCU) for 32 years, the school has struggled to keep a long-term leader ever since he left.

With that pending decision on who will lead Coppin, the school has at least two other issues worthy of attention. One is the graduation rate, hovering around 20%.

This factor catalyzes another question to be answered: Is Coppin merging with the University of Baltimore (UB). The logic follows that, possibly, Coppin should merge with another institution so as to become stronger and more viable.

In an exclusive exchange with former Baltimore Mayor and President of UB, Kurt L. Schmoke, it was revealed that there is no merger planned with UB.    

“The rumor about a Coppin/UB merger is incorrect,” said President Schmoke.

He added, “What we do have is a recently approved agreement from MEAC [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference] and the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] to allow UB students to compete with Coppin students in intercollegiate sports. Other neighboring universities around the country have received approvals such as this. Also, UB and Coppin offer a joint Masters’ Degree in Human Services Administration and we are exploring other joint degree opportunities. There are no plans to merge the two institutions.”

Named UB’s eighth president on May 14, 2014, President Schmoke also said, “One caveat. I don’t know if there has been any talk of a merger by either the court or the court appointed mediator in the Coalition (HBCU) lawsuit. I only know that neither I nor Coppin President Maria Thompson have proposed merging the two institutions.”