Maryland Governor to Designate Morgan State as State’s ‘Public Urban Research University’

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is expected to sign a bill next week which could clear the way for Morgan State University to secure more state funding in support of an expanded institutional mission.

In an email to the campus community, Morgan State University President David Wilson wrote that a bill designating Morgan as “Maryland’s Public Urban Research University” will be signed on May 25, which he called the first recognition from state legislature of Morgan’s research activity.

“The State will also be signaling with the signing of this legislation that Morgan is Maryland’s only public comprehensive urban research university. This is a giant step forward for us. We are hopeful that funding will eventually follow to support our ascendancy as an economic, educational, and social development engine that will anchor Baltimore’s progress,” he wrote. 

Morgan is classified as a doctoral-granting, moderate research university by the Carnegie Classification for Institutions of Higher Education, and is the state’s flagship historically black institution. The State first designated Morgan as a doctoral-granting urban university in 1976, a mission which was reaffirmed in the Reorganization of Higher Education Act of 1988 with the additional stipulation that Morgan is “the state’s public urban university” with responsibility for undergraduate and graduate instruction, research, and service. Today, Morgan is the largest producer of African American doctorates in the State of Maryland  and one of the largest producers of African American doctorates in the nation.

Research designation was a point of emphasis in the lawsuit filed against the state by students and alumni of Maryland’s four HBCUs, which in 2012 was outlined in a finding of fact document detailing Morgan’s struggles to secure resources against nearby predominantly white Towson University and the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, which operate under similar public or metropolitan research missions. Recent legislation provides for the development of the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, UMBC and Towson, but makes no provision for additional funding to support further development of Morgan State’s research mission.

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