It would have combined two of the biggest research campuses in the state. But Friday, the Maryland University System Board of Regents unanimously struck down a proposal to merge the University of Maryland College Park with the University of Maryland Baltimore.
Instead, the regents said the two campuses should work towards what they called a “strategic alliance.”
“The board is convinced that maintaining these two exceptional institutions as separate entities is in the best interest of the state,” the regents said in a report.
The merger was strongly supported by state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who argued that combining the research fund-raising of two campuses that both draw more than $500 million a year would put Maryland in the top 10 in the country for research funding.
It would also have given the University of Maryland College Park access to the law and medical school’s at the Baltimore campus. College Park remains one of just a few state flagship universities without a law or medical school attached.
But the regents pointed out that a merger would also cost money, and at a time when the state has few resources to spare.
"A merger, to be successful, has to have unified support across the two organizations," University System of Maryland Chancellor William Kirwan told the Baltimore Sun. "And we didn't have that."