A Total of $577 Million Over 10 Years for Maryland’s HBCUs
Dear Morgan Community,
A resolution has finally been reached to right the past and ensure a more promising future for Morgan State University and our fellow HBCUs here in Maryland. I applaud the Maryland State Legislature for its passage of the HBCU settlement bill, therefore bringing an end to a 15-year lawsuit brought by the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education on behalf of Maryland’s HBCUs. The action taken by the legislature, with the passage of this bill, is the first significant step toward addressing the historic inequities within Maryland higher education.
More than a decade in the making, we’ve been patiently awaiting this outcome— a settlement that allows us to take solace in knowing equity matters in Maryland higher education. Speaker Adrienne Jones is to be applauded for her steadfast determination to bring this lawsuit to an end through legislation. She is a terrific leader and went into this year’s legislative session, unapologetically, with an agenda focused on helping the marginalized and the shortchanged. The HBCU settlement bill was the first bill that she introduced, and the impact of its passage will be felt for generations to come. I also want to thank Senate president Bill Ferguson, Senator Charles Sydnor, the entire Legislative Black Caucus, the entire State Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates, for understanding the importance of providing funding to institutions within the state that are primarily responsible for producing Maryland’s Black middle class.
As one of those institutions, Morgan is rapidly ascending among the most consequential and relevant public urban research universities in the nation. We have our sights set on reaching flagship status and becoming an R1, very high-research institution over the next 10 years. The funds that we will receive as a result of this settlement, will enable us to continue putting into place unique, high-demand academic degree programs to address industry needs and produce research that speaks to the urban condition and brings light to ways in which strategic investments can close the wealth gap and produce a higher quality of life for so many residents and neighborhoods within the urban space.
As I look back on the history and trajectory of higher education within the state of Maryland, I must say that the State, since its acquisition of Morgan in 1939 and established it as a public institution, has failed to adequately invest in the University. Instead, resources have been diverted to other universities that unnecessarily became Morgan’s competitors. Despite this and the inequities of the past we have endured and with the passing of this bill by the legislature, it sends a clear message that it is time for us to start the process of bringing equity to institutions in our state that have been neglected for far too long. Morgan will use these funds wisely and continue down the path of elevating itself to national and international prominence.
When the process has been finalized and this has officially been signed into law, I plan to hold a University-wide Town Hall meeting where I will lay out Morgan’s intentions for the investment of these new resources and look forward to your feedback.
David K. Wilson,