USM Board of Regents Approves Bold Collaboration to Leverage UMB and UMCP Resources

Will increase opportunities for students and strengthen state’s innovation economy

Annapolis, MD (March 1, 2012)—The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today approved an innovative and structured collaboration between the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP).  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.”

“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.”

Among the partnership’s components are:

  • Combining the research efforts at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research—a joint UMB-UMCP institute—at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Montgomery County with new educational programs in health, law, human services and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), business, and the social sciences. USG is one of the university system’s two higher education regional centers.
  • Creating a Collaborative School of Public Health resulting from combining the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at UMCP and the MPH Program in Baltimore.
  • Establishing University of Maryland Ventures to promote technology transfer and commercialization, taking discoveries and innovations from the campus laboratories to the marketplace.
  • Developing new educational offerings and activities including the University of Maryland Scholars Program, through which students from each institution will engage in research led by faculty at the other institution. 
  • Implementing a process to facilitate joint appointments and joint grant submissions.

“UMB and UMCP 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 UMCP 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.”  

“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 UMCP 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 UMCP, the state, the federal government, and private support.  To access a copy of the plan for University of Maryland:  MPowering the State, click here:

For more information:

  • Mike Lurie at USM Office, 301.445.2719
  • Ed Fishel at UMB, 410.706.3801
  • Lee Tune at UMCP, 301.405.4679