The University of Maryland System Board of Regents unanimously voted today to merge its Baltimore City and Baltimore County campuses.
The resolution approved by 16 board members today also asks Gov. William Donald Schaefer and state legislators to give the necessary approvals, which would probably include a bill in the General Assembly.
If approved, the combined school would be called University of Maryland Baltimore.
The new school would focus on the health sciences, life sciences, technology, social work, law and public policy.
One benefit of the merger is that the larger school, which would have more than 15,000 students, would qualify for more research grant money, said Regent Henry R. Lord.
The merger, however, would not lead to significant cost savings.
"It will be cost-saving over time, but we cannot present this as a cost-saving measure. It would be a mistake to assume that's the driving reason to do this," Lord said.
Other University of Maryland System presidents have expressed concern that the new school complement their functions, rather than simply duplicate them.
Otherwise, they said, the University of Maryland Baltimore could drain money from their schools.
The board today said that officials should develop a mission statement that deals explicitly with the relationships between UMB and other institutions in the University of Maryland System.
Regent Ann Hull said, "This really is a new institution."