College funding request altered

Panel adds $12 million to report to governor for UMBC, UMAB

January 12, 1999|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

The task force studying the future of the state's system of higher education will recommend additional funding for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Those schools were overlooked in the flurry of activity as the task force wound up its work in the days before Christmas with calls for specific funding increases for the University of Maryland, College Park and Towson University.

But in the draft of its final report, the task force suggests an additional $7 million for UMAB and $5 million for UMBC. The report is expected to be given to Gov. Parris N. Glendening tomorrow.

"Upon reflection since our last meeting, I am concerned that our funding recommendations do not adequately address the urgent funding needs of [UMAB] and UMBC," Adm. Charles R. Larson, the retired superintendent of the Naval Academy who chaired the task force, wrote to its members.

"I believe we should not miss a rare opportunity to `jump-start' budget enhancement for the Baltimore area research center" which comprises UMAB and UMBC, Larson wrote in a letter that accompanied the 40-page draft of the task force report.

"If we do not do this, I am concerned that the unique needs of these institutions may be lost on those responsible for implementing this report," Larson wrote. His letter asks task force members to comment on the draft report, but few, if any, changes are expected in the final version.

In its final meeting two days before Christmas, the task force approved the additional funding requests of two school presidents who were among its members -- $29 million for UMCP over the next two years requested by UMCP President C. D. "Dan" Mote Jr.; and a minimum of $5,000 in state funds for each full-time student, the request of Towson University President Hoke Smith that would bring his school $5.8 million next year.

Though its general recommendations on funding formulas would have led to increased funding for UMBC and UMAB, no dollar figure was included in the task force's original recommendation.

"I sincerely believe that the intention of the task force was to give additional support to all campuses across the board," said UMBC president Freeman A. Hrabowski III. "I am pleased that there is a recognition for the expense of a school that emphasizes technology and science like ours. A degree in engineering is more expensive than a degree in English."

David J. Ramsay, president of UMAB, agreed.

"I'm delighted," he said of the recommendation for additional funds. "Not only is there a jump-start this year, but a very complete understanding that in terms of funding, a research campus like ours is very different from an undergraduate campus."

Pub Date: 1/12/99

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