Baltimore International College to Merge with Stratford University

The board of trustees of Baltimore International College has signed a letter of intent to merge with Virginia-based Stratford University, a move the board chairman hopes will end an accreditation crisis that threatened to close the downtown culinary college.

"We have much in common," said Baltimore International Chairman Charles Nabit in explaining the proposed merger, which was announced Monday. "Our missions are very similar. Our student bodies are very similar in terms of drawing from an urban population. There’s almost a 100 percent overlap in terms of identity and interest in culinary education."

Stratford President Richard Shurtz agreed that his existing culinary program is similar to the one offered at Baltimore International. He said his university is perfectly equipped to address the problems cited by a review panel that voted to strip Baltimore International of its accreditation by Aug. 31.

"What we add is a lot of focus on staff development," Shurtz said. "How do you measure how well students think critically, how they solve problems, how well they write? We can enhance their programs in those core areas."

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