March 1, 2011

A Bold New Collaboration to Leverage UMB and UMCP Resources

Dear Members of the University of Maryland Community:

We are writing to inform you that the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today approved an innovative and structured collaboration between the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) called the University of Maryland: MPowering the State.

We are confident that this new collaboration between the state’s flagship and founding campuses will benefit both institutions, USM, and the state of Maryland. The new working relationship will leverage the resources of these two great universities to serve students better; attract even more exceptional faculty and researchers; and boost research, technology transfer and commercialization. This, in turn, will allow USM to better address Maryland's workforce needs and for UMCP and UMB to attract more research funding to the state.

Among the partnership’s components are:

  • Establishing the University of Maryland Ventures, which will take discoveries and innovations from campus laboratories to the marketplace.
  • Joining UMB’s and UMCP’s research efforts at their Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Montgomery County with new educational programs in health, law, human services and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), business, and the social sciences.
  • Creating a Collaborative School of Public Health that will span both campuses by combining the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at UMCP and the MPH Program at UMB.
  • Development of new educational offerings and activities including the University of Maryland Scholars Program, through which outstanding UMCP undergraduates will engage in research led by top UMB faculty.
  • Implementation of a process to facilitate joint appointments and joint grant submissions.

Implementation

This new collaboration will be led initially by a steering committee, appointed by and reporting to the UMCP and UMB presidents, that in turn will be accountable to the USM chancellor and Board of Regents for the success of the collaborative activities.  Implementation of the plan, which begins immediately, will require investment of funds from a variety of sources.

Background

The Board of Regents on December 9, 2011, charged us with developing the plan for this new collaboration between UMB and UMCP.  That board action resulted from a comprehensive six-month study of the advantages and disadvantages of merging the two universities in response to a Maryland Joint Chairmen’s directive. Based on the study, the board concluded that a structured collaboration between UMB and UMCP would yield more success than a merger.

This new alliance — University of Maryland: MPowering the State — provides a strong framework for UMCP and UMB to work together in powerful new ways that will advance both institutions, USM, our state and nation during these globally competitive and fiscally challenging times.

Sincerely,

Jay A. Perman, MD
President
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Wallace D. Loh, PhD
President
University of Maryland, College Park

William E. Kirwan, PhD
Chancellor
University System of Maryland