The 2018 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly started in early January and ended on Sine Die, April 9, 2018. The General Assembly acted on more than 3,100 bills, including hundreds of pieces of legislation that impact higher education, in general, or the operations of independent colleges and universities.
The operating and capital budget bills passed with bipartisan support in late March. The Maryland General Assembly voted to fully fund the Sellinger Program at $56.4 million. The legislature also provided $12 million in the State capital budget, to support capital construction and renovation projects at three MICUA member institutions.
Johns Hopkins University was awarded a $4 million State grant to support a $45 million renovation and addition to the Anne M. Pinkard Building, which houses the JHU School of Nursing (JHUSON). This project will create the capacity, functionality, and quality of space required for JHUSON's new graduate-level nursing education model.
Loyola University Maryland was awarded a $4 million State grant to construct a new 30,000 square foot academic building, named the “Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning,” adjacent to Beatty Hall on Loyola’s historic academic quadrangle. This new building, with a total cost of $21.6 million, will house several academic departments in the social sciences including Psychology, Speech Language Hearing Sciences, Sociology, and the School of Education.
Washington College was awarded a $4 million State grant to construct a new 21,317 square foot academic building that will house the Departments of Education and Mathematics & Computer Science. The project, which has a $10.7 million total cost, will incorporate a variety of teaching and learning spaces and student and faculty meeting spaces used to enhance the College’s goal to support integrative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary learning.
During the legislative session MICUA hosted Independent Higher Education Day (IHED), a day-long event on February 28, 2018 to celebrate the State's commitment to independent colleges and universities. The event was punctuated with the presentation of the 2018 Presidents’ Award to Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. The Presidents’ Award is presented sparingly to a few noble leaders who have made exceptional contributions to independent higher education, who have stood up for college access and opportunity, who understand the importance of student choice, and who know the value of knowledge.
Sixteen presidents and former presidents of Maryland’s independent colleges and universities along with over 150 students and campus leaders joined in the celebration.
“Speaker Busch has been a true champion for investments in higher education–public and private,” said Roger Casey, President of McDaniel College and Chair of the MICUA Board of Trustees. “The State of Maryland is well served by his effective statesmanship and commitment to the values Marylanders hold dear.”
Students also attended a presentation on the legislative process and a briefing on both the Sellinger Program and the MICUA Capital Grant Program.