Last month, a federal district court judge 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, the judge ruled, 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 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.
Now the state of Maryland and the four historically Black colleges have agreed to enter into mediation. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said that U.S. District Court Judge Paul W. Grimm will serve as the mediator between the state and the HBCUs.
Maryland’s four HBCUs are Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore