Today during Senate Budget and Taxation Committee budget discussions Maryland Senate President Mike Miller proposed that the Board of Regents (BOR) conduct a study of the merits of merging the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and the University of Maryland Baltimore. Those of you who have been around for a long time know that this idea has surfaced from time to time over the years. I agree with Senator Miller on the importance of collaboration, and we will, of course, be fully cooperative in providing input to the BOR’s review process.
I am writing because I do not want you to be surprised or distracted by this announcement. You know that I have stressed the importance of close and meaningful collaborations with College Park and in fact throughout the University System of Maryland. It is my opinion that a strong, functional relationship with UMCP will make us – and them – better. At the same time please recall these words from my inaugural speech: “We should not, and cannot, ignore meaningful, real differences as people, as professions, as distinct institutions. In my view, we should celebrate and leverage uniqueness.” I continue to espouse both tenets: the dual importance and compatibility of interconnectedness and uniqueness in this matter.
Our strategic plan website carries the banner “Redefining Collaboration.” It seems to me that we have effectively staked out our strong intent to define and participate in meaningful partnerships as we create a vision for the future of this university. I want you to be aware of Senator Miller’s request to the BOR, yet at the same time I do not want it to be any kind of distraction as we move forward here at the University of Maryland Baltimore.
I will provide you with more details as I receive them.
Jay A. Perman, MD