University System of Maryland

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University System of Maryland
Abbreviation USM
Formation 1988
Type Public education
Purpose educational oversight
Headquarters Adelphi, Maryland, United States
Region served
Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, Eastern Shore of Maryland, Western Maryland
Membership 12 universities, 2 regional higher education centers, and 1 research center [1]
William Kirwan [2]
Parent organization
Government of Maryland
Budget $4.99 billion (FY 2014) [3]
Staff 20,000 [4]

The University System of Maryland (USM) is a public corporation and charter school system comprising 12 Maryland institutions of higher education. It is the 12th-largest university system in the United States, with over 125,000 undergraduate, 43,000 graduate and roughly 13,000 combined full-time and part-time faculty. The system had its roots in 1963 when the Maryland General Assembly created the Board of Trustees of the State Colleges to assume control of five former state teachers colleges: Bowie State, Coppin State, Frostburg State, Salisbury State, and Towson State. Each campus had its own administrator. In 1970, the Maryland General Assembly established a five-campus University of Maryland network comprising the University of Maryland at Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of Maryland University College and was administered by former University of Maryland, College Park president Wilson Homer Elkins[1]. Each member school was in turn administered by its own chancellor.

In 1975, the University of Baltimore joined the Board of Trustees of the State Colleges System as an upper-division institution.

In 1976, the Maryland General Assembly changed the name of the Board of Trustees of the State Colleges System to the State University and College System of Maryland.

In 1985, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute was established.

In 1988, the current System was created from the merger of the five University of Maryland institutions and the six members of the State University and College System of Maryland under the name University of Maryland System. In 1997, its name was changed to the University System of Maryland. In 1999, the Maryland General Assembly transformed the system to the charter model.[5][improper synthesis?] The system headquarters are in unincorporated Adelphi in Prince George's County.[6]

The merger creating the University of Maryland System was directed by Governor William Donald Schaefer and was overseen by University of Maryland President John S. Toll, who then became the system's first Chancellor. The current Chancellor is William Kirwan. Chancellor Kirwan announced he was stepping down from his position on May 13, 2014. Kirwan will remain chancellor until a new chancellor has been selected by the University System of Maryland.[7]


″The mission of the University System of Maryland is to improve the quality of life for the people of Maryland by providing a comprehensive range of high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities; engaging in research and scholarship that expand the boundaries of current knowledge; and providing knowledge-based programs and services that are responsive to the needs of the citizens of the state and the nation.″ [8]

System members[edit]

Official name
(Previous name)
Official abbrev. Location Enrollment
As of Fall 2013
Carnegie Classification Founded Joined system References
Bowie State University BSU,
Bowie State
(for athletics)
Prince George's County
5,617 Doctoral/Research University 1865 1988 [9]
Coppin State University CSU Baltimore
Baltimore City
3,801 Master's University 1900 1988 [10]
Frostburg State University FSU Frostburg
Allegany County
5,385 Master's University 1898 1988 [11]
Salisbury University SU Salisbury
Wicomico County
8,204 Master's University 1925 1988 [12]
Towson University TU Towson
Baltimore County
21,950 Master's University 1866 1988 [13]
University of Baltimore UB Baltimore
Baltimore City
6,265 Master's University 1925 1988 [14]
University of Maryland, Baltimore UMB Baltimore
Baltimore City
6,382 Special-focus institution 1807 1988 [15]
University of Maryland, Baltimore County UMBC
Maryland-Baltimore County
(for athletics)
Baltimore County
12,870 Doctoral/Research University 1966 1988 [16]
University of Maryland, College Park UMD, UMCP
(for athletics)
College Park
Prince George's County
37,195 Doctoral/Research University 1856 1988 [17]
University of Maryland, Eastern Shore UMES
Maryland-Eastern Shore
(for athletics)
Princess Anne
Somerset County
4,433 Master's University 1886 1988 [18]
University of Maryland, University College UMUC Adelphi
Prince George's County
37,347 Master's University 1947 1988 [19]

Satellite campuses[edit]


Relationships with other schools[edit]

When USM was originally formed in 1988, Maryland's other two state-funded (i.e., public) 4-year institutions (Baltimore's Morgan State University and Southern Maryland's St. Mary's College of Maryland) opted out of the system and made separate funding arrangements with the state.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, although state-supported, remained outside the system because of its unique status as an institution jointly funded by Maryland and Virginia. It is a constituent of both the College Park campus and Virginia Tech, with its main campus at Virginia Tech.

The USM institutions with the words "University of Maryland" in their names are not satellite campuses of the University of Maryland, College Park. They are independent institutions within the university system.


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  5. ^ "Senate Bill 682". Bill Info-1999 Regular Session. Maryland General Assembly. 
  6. ^ "Contact/Visit Us." University System of Maryland. Retrieved on September 18, 2012. "3300 Metzerott Road Adelphi, MD 20783" - See also Directions to USM Office
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External links[edit]