Coppin State University earlier this month announced a new initiative to give graduates of a nearby community college admission pathways and free tuition at the four-year HBCU. To most, the program appears an obviously overdue partnership which can benefit Baltimore City’s marginalized communities in great ways.

But to those of us high-level cynics of the University System of Maryland and its record mistreatment of HBCUs, the partnership is a point of real concern for a state actively doing all it can to avoid a potential $2 billion judgment for historic, federal discrimination against these schools.

Coppin and Baltimore City Community College have enjoyed for years partnerships to help students transition from technical to professional education. The free tuition plan comes just two years after Coppin launched a STEM development and sharing partnership with the University of Baltimore, a predominantly white former commuter school which has transformed into a four-year undergraduate and professional training powerhouse.  More…