The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today approved an innovative and structured collaboration between the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Called University of Maryland: MPowering the State, this new working relationship will leverage the resources of the two universities to serve students better; attract even more exceptional faculty and researchers; and boost research, technology transfer, and commercialization.
"The regents see University of Maryland: MPowering the State as the kind of 21st-century organizational model needed for today's fast-changing, fiscally challenging, and globally competitive environment," said Board Vice Chair Patricia S. Florestano. "We are pleased with the vision, creativity, and innovative thinking that led to the development of such a forward-looking plan."
"UMB and UMD have complementary research strengths. Under the aegis of the University System of Maryland, we are establishing this special new working relationship so that we can magnify the scale and impact of our education, research, and commercialization," says UMD President Wallace Loh. "The state of Maryland has recognized that improving tech transfer is a critical need for its public university system. And the system has charged its campuses with making critical advances in this area."
Among the partnership's components are:
"This new partnership between these two great institutions will benefit students, faculty and researchers, and the entire state of Maryland," says USM Chancellor William Kirwan. "Leveraging the combined resources of our founding campus and our flagship campus will enable USM to address Maryland's workforce needs better. Moreover, it will help attract more research funding to the state and create opportunities to commercialize the substantial research both of these major institutions produce."
"This new partnership will help develop a generation of students focused on entrepreneurship, new business creation, and commercialization," says UMB President Jay Perman. "Just as students from the seven schools at UMB have learned to work together, now the students from both Baltimore and College Park will do the same. For example, UMCP students will be much more involved in UMB's life sciences programs and similarly, University of Maryland Carey School of Law students from Baltimore will work in the intellectual property law clinic at the Clark School of Engineering in College Park."
The Board of Regents on December 9, 2011, charged Kirwan, Loh, and Perman to develop the plan. 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 UMD would yield more success than a merger.
A Steering Committee, appointed by and reporting to Loh and Perman, will lead this new collaboration initially. Presidents Loh and Perman will be accountable to Chancellor Kirwan and the 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, including internal reallocation at UMB and UMD, the state, the federal government, and private support.
March 1, 2012