A federal judge has ruled that the state of Maryland has made it difficult for its four historically Black universities to succeed by permitting nearby predominantly White universities to have similar and competing academic programs. The presence of competing programs at predominantly White institutions siphons students away from the HBCUs, making it more difficult for the Black universities to succeed financially. Judge Catherine Blake wrote in her ruling that the state “offered no evidence that it has made any serious effort to address continuing historic duplication.”
The case was originally filed in 2006 by students and alumni of the state’s four historically Black colleges and universities: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. After several attempts at mediation, the case was heard last fall.
The judge did not order specific remedies to solve the problem and urged the universities to enter into mediation. She suggested that “the transfer or merger of select high demand programs” to HBCUs would be a solution.