Don't dismiss UM merger

Why can't a University of Maryland partnership work out for College Park and Baltimore?

As an alumnus of the University of Maryland and a second-year law student at University of Maryland, Baltimore, I have some concerns about the potential effects of a merger between the universities in College Park and Baltimore. However, I question the idea that the universities cannot be merged because "the atmosphere is more mature" at UMB compared to UM. I also do not believe that integrating with UM's undergraduate population will somehow "dilute the distinct values" of the students at UMB ("UMB students 'blindsided' by merger proposal," March 15).

Both of these institutions have incredible atmospheres that empower their students to reach their full potentials. I want both Baltimore and College Park to have the best possible chance of continuing to attract top faculty and students for years to come. I believe that the distinct values of both populations of students can increase through a much stronger partnership between the two universities. Additionally, seeing this state's flagship university join most of the flagship universities in other states in including both a medical school and a law school would be encouraging.

The fact that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, an alumnus of both UM and UMB, backs the legislation in question is promising to me. I hope that its benefits and drawbacks both receive extensive and deliberate consideration by state lawmakers.

Michael Dowling, Baltimore

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