Quarterly Board of Regents Meeting Results in Substantive Advancements for Morgan State University
Board Approves New Academic Degree Programs, Student Housing Resolutions, Land Acquisition and Leases, University Policies and More!
BALTIMORE — At its spring quarterly meeting, Morgan State University’s Board of Regents approved a significant number of proposed actions advancing the University’s goals while strengthening its positioning for success over the next decade and beyond. Among the substantive actions taken by the Board were approval of seven new, highly sought-after academic degree programs; measures to address student housing demands; off-campus space acquisition; and policies/plans to address cultural diversity, risk management and in-state residency classification for students. This was the first public Board of Regents meeting held on-campus in-person since the onset of the pandemic.
“In all my 10-plus years serving as Morgan’s president, this has by far been the most transformative and productive Board meeting,” said University President David K. Wilson. “The decisive actions taken by the Board will resonate for years to come, making Morgan highly competitive with any university in our nation and placing it among the top higher education destinations in Maryland. I commend the members of the Board of Regents for their ample support and foresight, envisioning not only where Morgan is going but also how we can get there. Make no mistake about it, we are Growing the Future and Leading the World.”
For the past several years, Morgan focused on the work of the future and the future of work, introducing a variety of innovative, new academic degree programs to attract students. Adding to the University’s unique and in many cases exclusive degree offerings, the Board cleared the path for addition of the following new programs:
School of Engineering
- Ph.D. in Computer and Electrical Engineering
- Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering
- Ph.D. in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Engineering
- B.S. in Sustainable Urban Environmental Engineering
College of Liberal Arts
- Ph.D. in Applied Sociology and Social Justice
School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences
- M.S. in Applied Neuroscience
School of Social Work
- Doctor of Social Work
During its last public meeting, held in January, the Board also approved the addition of a new B.S. in Cybersecurity Intelligence Management, offered through the School of Business and Management. Pending approval of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) for all the new programs, Morgan anticipates offering nearly 150 academic degree programs across its 11 schools and colleges.
- As the second step in the three-part process for Morgan to acquire a parcel of land (approximately 58.9 acres) from the City of Baltimore, the Board has unanimously approved the purchase of the former Lake Clifton High School and associated land located less than 1.5 miles from campus. The acquisition of this property will be significant in addressing Morgan’s landlocked position and its ability to expand beyond its current campus radius. The next step in the process, before the University will own the property outright, is to secure approval of the sale from the Board of Public Works. The University anticipates that this will occur in June. The vision for the property includes the development of a multipurpose convocation center, a research/innovation facility, graduate/family student housing, other educational facilities, and retail and mixed-use properties.
- To accommodate the addition of new academic centers at the University and to address the need for more campus office space, Morgan has been cleared to enter a 10-year lease with MCB Northwood, LLC for 11,605 gross square feet of space on the lower level of Northwood Commons, adjacent to the University’s West Campus. The Northwood Ground Floor Lease would house one of the three new academic centers recently launched at Morgan.
- The University will also enter a 10-year lease with the Maryland State Department of Education for 18,500 gross square feet located at the Workforce Technology Center, which is adjacent to Morgan’s South Campus. The leased space will be used to provide a workplace for Morgan’s Physical Plant staff, allowing for the demolition of their current location, the Washington Service Center, and construction of the University’s new Science Complex in the service center’s footprint.
- Morgan anticipates continuation of its historic enrollment by exceeding 8,500 students for the first time in University history, in the fall 2022 semester. This projected record enrollment will include both the second-year students who were admitted as one of the record number of freshmen in 2021 and the estimated number of freshmen beginning at Morgan in fall 2022. To meet the demand accompanying the enrollment forecast, Morgan has introduced a comprehensive strategy for student housing that will extend until 2030. Chief among the actions of the University’s housing plan will be the construction of three new residential facilities on campus by the fall of 2026 and the updating of all remaining legacy housing facilities over the next eight years. The first of the completed student housing projects will be the new Thurgood Marshall Residential Complex, which will begin housing students this fall. The plan also calls for the demolition of two legacy facilities: O’Connell Hall and the Thurgood Marshall Apartments.
- Since FY 2020, Morgan’s housing has foregone traditional housing fee rate increases to ease the financial burden on students and their families during the pandemic. Based on research of other Maryland public university housing rates, and for market consistency, Morgan has determined the need for a current increase. As such, the Board has approved for Morgan-owned housing facility rates to be increased by 4% for FY 2023 to meet the ongoing operating expenses and debt service requirements for current and future financing of the housing
- With the construction of the new on-campus facilities, as well as the anticipated enrollment increase, off-campus housing will remain a necessity. To proactively meet the anticipated demand for student housing, Morgan is negotiating several additional contracts/leases for off-campus housing with nearby apartment complexes. The housing providers identified to address the overflow of students offer units with amenities that cater to the modern college student and are currently being utilized by other universities in the area. An additional housing rate structure is being proposed for the off-campus student housing.
Policies & Plans
- Based on an assessment of existing diversity programs and new initiatives, and the results of campus climate surveys for staff, faculty and students, the University has developed its 2022–2025 Strategic Plan for Enhancing Cultural Diversity. With the new Cultural Diversity Plan, the University will ensure its compliance with Maryland law and continue its stride towards its diversity goals. Among the Plan’s targeted goals will be attracting and retaining a diverse faculty, instituting mandatory diversity training, tracking faculty progression, offering cultural diversity and/or conscious bias programming, celebrating diverse communities and increasing cultural respect and cultural responsiveness in pedagogies. Morgan welcomes and supports a broad diversity of people and ideas as essential to quality education in a global, interdependent society and provides equitable access to high-quality educational programs and meaningful employment.
- A revision was made to the existing Policy on Student Residency Classification for Admission and Tuition Purposes. For the University to maintain its qualification to receive payments for any students eligible for Veteran Affairs (VA) Education benefits, Morgan had to amend its policy to allow in-state tuition for anyone using transferred entitlement educational assistance under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program and who lives in Maryland (regardless of their formal state of residence) while enrolled in the University. In addition, the University sought to allow in-state tuition for students who have completed all service hours for an AmeriCorps Program in Maryland. The Board approved both measures.
- As part of a conscious effort to foster a culture of risk awareness that provides University leadership with the necessary information to make key decisions, Morgan is taking a comprehensive view of risk, with the establishment of a new Enterprise Risk Management Policy. This policy will provide the framework by which the University will maintain a systematic, organization-wide approach to proactively identifying, assessing and managing risks and opportunities that affect the University’s ability to meet its strategic, operational, reputational and financial goals and objectives; preserve its reputation for excellence; and provide a safe environment for the University community.
Established under Title 14 of the Education Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, the 15-member Morgan State University Board of Regents governs the actions of the University. The governor of Maryland appoints Board members for six-year terms, except for the student regent, who is appointed for a one-year term. The Board appoints the University president, who serves at the pleasure of the Board. The Board also sets admission standards; reviews and approves University policies and budgets; and establishes the regulatory framework within which the individual units operate. Action items for approval are advanced from the committees managed by the Board. These include the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, Finance and Facilities Committee and the Audit and Institutional Assessment Committee.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering nearly 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.