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
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
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
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
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:
State College Study - PDF format
State College Study - Microsoft Word format
Legislative Testimony, November 20, 2001
For more information:
Contact at USM: Francis Canavan
Contact at MHEC: Walinda West