Maryland's largest public research campuses will share a school of public health, collaborate on new programs in Montgomery County and make joint efforts to convert research to business as part of a strategic alliance approved Thursday by the state university system's governing board.
The alliance is the child of last year's study of a proposed merger between the campuses in Baltimore and College Park. The Board of Regents rejected the concept of a full merger in December, saying the difficulties of combining two complex operations would outweigh the benefits of combined research.
They instead called for targeted alliances that would take advantage of College Park's strengths in the sciences and engineering and Baltimore's strengths in medicine and law. The regents asked the presidents of each campus and Chancellor William E. Kirwan to deliver a specific plan by March 1.
Though the merger debate revived longtime tensions between Baltimore and the Washington suburbs, both presidents said they're eager for a closer relationship between the campuses.