Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has called for the establishment of a center in Baltimore for the state's top two public research universities to seek funding of joint projects — a step toward his eventual goal of "reunification" for the institutions.
The Calvert County Democrat also called for the Baltimore and College Park campuses to run more joint programs at the University of Maryland's Shady Grove campus in Montgomery County, indicating that he has not given up his long-term aim of merging the three under a single banner.
In an interview Thursday in advance of next week's convening of the General Assembly, Miller said he expects progress on establishing a Baltimore research center during the 90-day session that begins Wednesday. He said he hoped the university system's Board of Regents would create such a center on its own but indicated he would be willing to force the issue through legislation if necessary.
University system Chancellor William E. Kirwan said he doesn't foresee any conflict, because he and the campus presidents are mapping out a planned alliance that would include collaborations similar to those called for by the Senate president.