Maryland’s four historically Black state universities have been involved in drawn-out litigation that remains unresolved after 13 years. The HBCUs – Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore – filed the case against the state of Maryland in 2006, on the grounds that the state failed to remove systemic barriers that led to segregation in Maryland’s higher education system. These claims included that the state failed to provide proper funding to their respective schools and also allowed predominately White Maryland institutions to create new degree programs that were duplicative of programs at HBCUs.
In 2018, Maryland Governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. said he was willing to dedicate as much as $100 million over 10 years to Maryland HBCUs to settle the lawsuit. This amounted to $2.5 million a year for each of the four HBCUs, an amount the plaintiffs though was grossly inadequate.
In early September, Michael D. Jones, an attorney for the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, as the HBCUs are known in court filings, revealed that the universities would be willing to settle the case for $577 million “spread over a reasonable time period.”
Now Governor Hogan has made what he says is a “final offer” of $200 million spread over 10 years, or $5 million per year to each of the four HBCUs.