With its expanding population, rich base of military jobs and lack of a four-year university, Harford County is widely viewed as the next key frontier in Maryland higher education.
Morgan State and Towson University want to establish satellite operations in the county. Both say they can offer unique programs that perfectly suit Harford's need for technology-savvy, business-adept graduates. Both are coveted by county leaders.
Yet the two institutions, which have clashed over programs before, disagree over how the expansion should occur. And Harford officials say the months-long conflict is holding up progress on badly needed improvements to the county's educational offerings.
"Frustration is a mild word for what people here are feeling," says Dennis Golladay, president of Harford Community College. "From our angle, we want to serve students and serve them as quickly as possible, whether that comes from Morgan or Towson or anybody else. We wish there wasn't this squabble over turf that's actually ours."