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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ave Maria lawsuit dismissed by judge

From today's Ann Arbor News...

Ave Maria moving suit dismissed
Saturday, October 8, 2005
BY CATHERINE O'DONNELL News Staff Reporter

A lawsuit aimed at slowing or preventing Ave Maria College's move from Ypsilanti to Florida has been dismissed by a Washtenaw County judge.

Rev. Neil J. Roy, then-academic dean but now a professor at the college, sued the school and its board of trustees in September 2004, alleging that transferring money and assets from the college to Ave Maria University in Florida would imperil the college's accreditation and its students' abilities to receive government financial aid.

"We are obviously very pleased with Judge Connors' decision. From the beginning of this case, we have maintained that it was without merit and that we would prevail,'' said Paul R. Fransway, a lawyer for the college.

Roy could not be reached for comment.

In an order issued Sept. 8, Judge Timothy P. Connors ruled that both the college and the university have received sufficient accreditation that students may receive both financial aid and academic degrees. Also, said Connors, the university and the college have almost identical mission statements.

Transferring operations to the university would give the school a permanent home, thus furthering its mission, said Connors.

Connors concluded Roy provided no evidence that the board wanted to injure the college or committed willful abuse.

Groundbreaking for Ave Maria University is scheduled for November, said spokesman Branden Blackmur. Founded and largely funded by Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan, the school will be built about 50 miles northeast of Naples, Fla.

According to Blackmur, initial classes at the new campus will be held in fall semester 2007. This past year, Monaghan said Ave Maria College will remain open until spring 2007. Ave Maria University has 445 students; Ave Maria College, 49.

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