Press Release - Study Calls for Revitalization of Coppin State College

September 25, 2001

Study Calls for Revitalization of Coppin State College

A study team established as part of an agreement between Maryland and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has recommended that the state make a major commitment over the next 10 years to revitalize Coppin State College.

The recommendations are contained in a report to the University of System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). John S. Toll, president of Washington College and former chancellor
of the USM, led the study team.  In submitting the report, Toll said, "the steps called for must be taken if Coppin is to flourish and to make its proper contribution" to higher education in the state.

The team notes that Coppin has a particularly important mission to supply higher education where it is most needed. The proportion of Coppin students who need federal financial aid is the highest of any USM campus and a much higher proportion of its graduates become employed in the City of Baltimore as teachers, nurses, police, social workers, and other essential professionals. "Coppin not only provides critical employees for Baltimore," said Toll, "it is the bulwark for an especially challenged section of the City."

The report recommends major improvements in Coppin's facilities and increased operating funds to make up for the fact that Coppin has fallen far behind every other USM campus. According to the report, for fiscal years 1990-2001, Coppin received capital funds equal to $699 per full-time equivalent student, compared to $5,015 for Towson University, which received the second lowest amount, and an average of $16,144 for other Maryland four-year public institutions.  Enhanced operating budgets are also needed to correct past funding deficiencies, strengthen academic programs, improve information technology, operate additional facilities, and accommodate a 34 percent increase in enrollment.  "In effect," Toll continued, "the next 10 years at Coppin must make up for 20 years at other campuses."

The agreement with the Office of Civil Rights calls for the USM Board of Regents and Coppin State College to consider the findings and recommendations of the study team as Coppin's operating and capital budgets are prepared. MHEC is to assist in the development, approval and strengthening of new or existing academic programs at Coppin.

USM Board of Regents Chairman Nathan A. Chapman, Jr. said members of the study team will present the report at the Board's October 5 meeting. "We thank the study team members for their hard work and look forward to discussing the report with them. We intend to carefully review and consider their recommendations."

Karen R. Johnson, Secretary of Higher Education, echoed Chapman's sentiments.

"The findings of the report are dramatic and deserve every consideration," said Secretary Johnson. "In the end, the report will lead to equity, giving Coppin State College equal footing with other institutions and enhancing educational opportunities for future generations of Coppin students. I commend Dr. Toll for his leadership on this critical project."

MHEC will receive a presentation from Toll at its September 26 meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. in the Joint Hearing Room of the Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD.

Other members of the study team are Howard W. Bell, Jr., president and co-owner of Bell & Trice Enterprises, Inc.; Elnora Daniel, president, Chicago State University; Mark DeBandi, area engineering director, Nortel Networks; Robert Esposito, president, Robert J. Esposito AIA, Architect and Planner; Barbara Henley, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, University of Illinois at Chicago; Joyce Payne, D.C. director, Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges at the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges; and Charles G. Tildon, Jr., retired president, Baltimore City Community College.

The complete report is available on the Web:

Coppin State College Study - PDF format

Coppin State College Study - Microsoft Word format

Legislative Testimony, November 20, 2001

For more information:
Contact at USM: Francis Canavan
Phone: 301/445-2722

Contact at MHEC: Walinda West
Phone: 410/260-4511