Lawsuit Seeks $2 Billion for Maryland’s Four Historically Black Universities

The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education has filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The suit claims that the state has not done enough to end racial segregation at its state universities. The suit is seeking $2 billion in funding to upgrade campus facilities and to enhance educational programs.

Blacks make up about 30 percent of the population in Maryland. But African Americans are only 12 percent of the undergraduate student body at the flagship campus of the University of Maryland at College Park. In contrast, blacks make up 82 percent or more of all students at the four historically black student universities: Bowie State, Morgan State, Coppin State, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The plaintiffs include alumni and current students of the state’s four historically black universities. The universities are not party to the lawsuit. The trial, in federal court, is scheduled to begin in June 2011.