USM Board of Regents Establishes Special Review Committee on Coppin State University

Adelphi, Md. (Dec. 7, 2012) – The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents today approved the establishment of a special committee to conduct a comprehensive review of Coppin State University (CSU) and develop strategies to enhance the university’s future success.

The regents approved USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan’s proposal to establish the committee during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting at Coppin today.

The decision to create the special review committee comes at a transitional time for the Coppin State community. In October 2012, Coppin State President Reginald Avery announced that he will resign his position effective Jan. 22, 2013. The next day, Mortimer Neufville, who was interim president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore August 2011-June 2012, will begin serving as interim president. Neufville is a former executive vice president with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and current APLU consultant.

The committee will be chaired by Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, who has served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) since 1992. Hrabowski served as the vice president for academic affairs at Coppin State before first joining UMBC in 1987 as vice provost. The board asks that the committee complete its work by May 15, 2013.

"I am pleased that the board has approved the establishment of the special review committee for Coppin State,” said James L. Shea, chair of the Board of Regents. “The board's action today is the start of a thorough, deliberate process that we firmly believe will enhance the future of the university."

CSU has a number of successful academic programs and has received national recognition for its information technology infrastructure, a reflection on the hard work of the Coppin community under President Avery’s direction. However, Chancellor Kirwan and the board identified this leadership transition as an opportune time to focus on strategies to improve the institution’s overall performance.

“I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Hrabowski for his leadership role in chairing this important committee.” Kirwan said. “Coppin State University is an integral part of the USM and an institution with a proud history. This committee’s work will be critical in helping Coppin State move forward in the years ahead.”

CSU is an urban, comprehensive, historically Black institution with an array of undergraduate and graduate programs responsive to the needs of Baltimore City and the greater metropolitan region.

"Having spent my first 10 years in Maryland at Coppin State, I know how important that institution is to the population it serves,” Hrabowski said.  “I cannot think of another institution more critical to the future of Baltimore than Coppin State University, and I am honored to be working with them again."

The committee’s recommendations should address several items, including:

• Appropriateness of the institution’s current mission and vision statements, and its strategic plan;

• Effectiveness of the university’s enrollment strategies and its efforts to improve student retention and graduation rates;

• Appropriateness of the academic program focus;

• Actions needed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative operations and student services;

• Role of shared governance in institutional operations;

In the course of its review, the committee is expected to engage all constituencies at CSU, internal and external. The committee also will study the demographic and societal trends that impact CSU now and in the future.

For more information about Coppin State University, visit

List of Members of Coppin State Special Review Committee

Official Charge of the Coppin State University Special Review Committee


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719