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Fraser Smith's Essay: November 29, 2012
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November 29, 2012
Two important figures in Maryland higher education appear to be forging a strong relationship with each other and with an important political figure. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
We don’t put the word “powerful” in front of his name for nothing. What Senate President Mike Miller wants he tends to get.
And why not? If you can’t shape policy, what’s the value of serving as senate president for a quarter century? Miller’s been in his lovely corner State House office since before the flood – and, of course, the state senate office building bears his name.
It wasn’t enough for him. In what many regarded as a cheeky move. Miller suggested a merger of UMaryland’s College Park and Baltimore campuses. It was resisted, publicly or privately, by many business and academic figures in Maryland. And it didn’t happen.
Insiders thought Miller mostly wanted to see the school of law moved from the city to his alma mater’s campus in College Park. That didn’t happen either.
Or not exactly. And not right away. In a recent Daily Record interview with the presidents of the two mayor university campuses, it looks like things are moving in Miller’s direction.
Dr. Wallace Loh president of the flagship campus at College Park and Dr. Jay Perman president of Baltimore’s professional schools say the senate president has a point. Said Loh, “there’s a crying need” for legal education in the DC suburbs. Perman called having some sort of UMaryland law campus near the district of Columbia DC “a great opportunity.”
Are we talking satellite campus? The two men offered no details, no date, nothing on size or possible location. Their clear musings are the news.
For those of us living outside the power-driven world of politics and higher ed, the news is also this: Senate President Miller is getting at least part of what he wants.
When you have political power and actual need converging, you are like to have action.
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