The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, will add several innovative technical and vocational programs to its curriculum this fall and increase its enrollment by about 12 percent.
These are the first steps of a new state plan to revive the campus, which has been characterized in recent years by low enrollment, increasing racial imbalance and high state per-student expenditures.
The new state plan, which has been under study and development for almost a year, calls for the addition of 600 students to the current 900 at IMES's campus in Princess Anne by 1984. State education officials are hoping that students from across the state will be attracted by new career-oriented programs in hotel-restaurant management, construction management technology, and poultry technology and management, which UMES will offer exclusively among state schools.
The long range plan, approved by the State Board of Higher Education Wednesday, also calls for $10 million in new construction during the 1980s. Each building project will have to be approved by the board in future meetings, however, and state officials are already saying that part of the construction plan - state-funded dormitories for the new students - will probably be voted down.
State Higher Education Commissioner Sheldon Knorr said yesterday that the new plan is designed, in part, to reverse a trend of racial imbalance at the school which now has an enrollment that is about 77 percent black.
Knorr said that the black enrollment at UMES has increased 4 percent in the last four years, despite a state integration plan submitted to the federal Health Education and Welfare Department in the 1980s that projected a black enrollment of 60 percent by 1980.
Miller said increases in funds collected from student tuition and fees due to the expanded enrollment should pay for the new programs and decrease the state per-student spending at the school, which was $3,900 last year, one of the highest figures in the Maryland college system.
By contrast, the state's per-student funding at the University of Maryland at College Park was $2,000 last year, while Salisbury College, which state officials had considered merging with UMES, had an allocation of $1,600 per student.
The most expensive new programs next year will be the hotel and construction management courses, Knorr said, which have been budgeted for $188,000 and $284,000, respectively. However, the only increase next year in the state's current $4.5 million allocation to the school will be a proposed $125,000 in planning funds for construction of new buildings for the two programs, Miller said.
In addition to the new programs approved yesterday, the higher education board approved last month a new program for UMES in environmental science and a master's course in education, and will consider programs in health and medical technology for final approval during the next several months, Knorr said.
The university also has been encouraged to develop an honors program in prelaw, premedicine, predenistry, and other areas, Knorr said.
UMES president Dr. William P. Hytche said yesterday the honors programs will be designed to ensure that students would automatically be admitted to state professional schools if they successfully complete it. He said that school officials hope to begin advertising the new honors course to potential students and faculty next January, and to put it in operation for the 1979-80 school year.