Neufville's first priority has been to balance the budget, he said, though he's also begun to reorganize academic areas. Two of Coppin's five schools — education, and arts and sciences — will merge in July, and other programs will be eliminated, he said.

"I believe that Coppin is doing a tremendous service to young African-Americans and we are a vital service to Baltimore and the state of Maryland," Neufville said, "and I believe with some renewed interest ... we can go a very, very long way."

Coppin at a glance

Total enrollment: 3,612

Full-time students: 72 percent

Undergraduates: 87 percent

Average age: 30

Baltimore residents: 45 percent

Pell Grant recipients: 69 percent

2nd-year retention rate: 64 percent

New freshman graduation rate: 15 percent

Transfer student graduation rate: 40 percent

SOURCE: Coppin State University