Feb. 20, 2016

I Love Morgan State University Please Don't Mess With It Now

From the President of My University this afternoon:
 
February 20, 2016
 
Dear Morgan Family:
 
I'm writing to give you a very brief update on the state of our FY17 State Budget Request, based on what we know at this point, and on what you might have been reading in the media.
 
As you know, as soon as I discovered that funds were not appropriated to Morgan by Governor Larry Hogan in his FY17 Capital Budget to enable us to build a new facility on campus to replace the Montebello Complex, I raised serious objections. After all, during last year's legislative session, we were successful in getting the General Assembly to appropriate $1.6 million to us to start designing this building. We requested another $7 million from the state this year to continue moving this project forward, with an eye toward breaking ground on this new building in late 2016 or early 2017--with an anticipated move-in date in mid-2020. The total projected cost of the new building will be approximately $80 million.
 
The Governor's initial capital budget proposal included no support for this project this year. Instead, the Governor had proposed over $400 million to build a new jail in Baltimore City. Needless to say, I expressed strong views that an investment in Morgan should be the top priority, not a jail.
 
After having several meetings over the last few weeks with Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford (who has been very supportive of Morgan), and with numerous elected officials to make our case for restoration of these funds, the Governor decided this past Thursday to postpone the jail project and to restore those capital funds to us. We thank the Lt. Governor and our elected officials, particularly the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus, for their support.
 
Therefore, we will now move forward with our design work on the new building, which will be located on the corner of Hillen Road and East Cold Spring.
 
I also want to inform you that we had a very good Senate Budget hearing on yesterday on our Operating Budget, and are looking forward to our hearing in the House of Delegates this coming Monday afternoon.
 
At the end of this process, I'll communicate with you again to inform you of what additional appropriations will be coming our way. We are anticipating more funds for student financial aid, and fringe benefits, and possibly funds for a merit pay plan.
 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
Kind regards,
President Wilson
 
David Wilson
President
Morgan State University
 
Now we know that Hogan and Rutherford seemingly can be reasoned with. "We don’t need additional jail cells we need to ensure that we find ways enhance human brain cells"; Dr. Wilson. If only our communities had understood the significance of the past off year state election we wouldn’t be in this position of re-establishing programs or positions already confirmed as worthy.
 
However, we as a black disengaged didn’t participate in the electoral process. So we got exactly what our apathetic turnout equated too. This republican administration that is "not aligned too built our institutions of gain but focused on building those institutions that deliver our communities so much pain.”
 
I'm pleased Dr. Wilson that you and your administrative team were able to press forward our agenda with the Hogan group in this instance. But the reality is that this cut cutting group will continue to find ways to slash those communities that purport to benefit black communities throughout the state of Maryland. It is my belief that they will forge ahead eventually with penal institution development plans in Baltimore City. We may have won this battle but in the next three years we must be cognizant and resilient to stages of plans that will contain projects that positively affect our communities. Especially those projects presented by institutions like Morgan State University so critical to our community's progressive growth.
 
Much Love To Morgan State University but the road ahead will be a rocky one and we as a united community must not back down.