Has Maryland Ended Its Dual System of Higher Education?

The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education is calling on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights not to remove Maryland’s system of higher education from federal oversight. The Maryland Higher Education Commission says that the state has spent $56.4 million to beef up the state’s four historically black colleges and universities. The commission claims that the state has eliminated “all vestiges of a dual higher education system that once existed in Maryland.”

The coalition, whose members include many members of the faculty at Morgan State University, the historically black educational institution in Baltimore, believes that the state needs to do more to create a more equal educational environment for African Americans.

Of Maryland’s four historically black colleges only the University of Maryland Eastern Shore has achieved any significant degree of nonblack enrollment. Blacks are 75 percent of the student body at the university. Blacks are more than 89 percent of the student body at Bowie State University, Morgan State University, and Coppin State University.

The state’s flagship University of Maryland at College Park is 12 percent black. Blacks make up 28 percent of the population in Maryland.