Citing health challenges and opportunities to return to her hometown of Nashville, TN, Coppin State University President Maria Thompson has announced her plans to resign this summer.
In a letter to the campus community, Dr. Thompson outlined her commitment to continuing work in the areas of attracting non-traditional students and partnerships with community colleges and corporate partners to advance the university as a key workforce development resource in the Baltimore-Metropolitan area.
“Since becoming president in 2015, I have been constantly grateful for the ongoing and close collaboration of the faculty and staff which has contributed greatly to all that we have accomplished to enhance the educational experience for our multi-generational student population,” Dr. Thompson wrote. “Never has what Coppin offers been more needed, not only here in Baltimore and the State of Maryland, but for our nation, as one of the most historically important HBCUs with an unqualified commitment to academic excellence, community impact, and service. In the spirit of our namesake – Fanny Jackson Coppin – our students come from many walks of life and work to improve their personal prospects through higher education so that they, in turn, can improve the prospects of others.”
The Tennessee State University alumna is credited with ushering Coppin into new agreements for community college transfer student degree completion, and an emphasis on resource-building for non-traditional learners.
She will step down in June, becoming the third HBCU presidential departure in Maryland following the retirements of former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim in 2017, and former UMES President Juliette Bell in 2018.