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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Email Sent Today From Dean Dobranski on Behalf of the Board of Governors

Dear members of the Ave Maria School of Law community:

We would like to thank the faculty, staff and alumni who shared their views on the Feasibility Study and the issue of a potential relocation during this past week. These meetings provided us with additional helpful insights and further issues and perspectives to consider.

As many of you know, we have recently had several lengthy meetings with constituent groups and received a significant amount of information and opinions relating to a potential relocation. In these meetings, many have stressed the importance of our decision and how profoundly it will impact the lives of those who care so much about our School. We understand and appreciate this.

As we consider a potential relocation, it is vital that we continue to hear directly from the people who would be most affected by this decision. For that reason we continue to welcome and invite your input. As you may know, meetings will be held in January so that Governors may meet with students and alumni who reside in the Washington, D.C. area. Dates of both meetings will be publicized in the very near future. The Board also continues to encourage members of the community to provide us with comments via e-mail. Such communications should be forwarded to us through Dean Dobranski.

We look forward to continued constructive discussion as we consider the important question of a potential relocation.

Please accept our best wishes for a joyous Christmas.


Board of Governors

UPDATE: This communique was sent later in the day via .pdf by the Dean:





DATE: 12/21/2006

For obvious reasons, many current students and alumni have expressed a strong interest in learning what took place at the recent meeting of the Board of Governors. I write to update you and to explain what is next on the Board’s agenda as it relates to a potential relocation of the Law School to Florida.

First, the Board did discuss the issue of a possible relocation, but it did not make a decision on that matter. No firm date has yet been set for the next Board meeting. What is clear is that before such a decision is made the Board has to understand fully the extremely complicated financial issues that accompany such a decision. At the Thursday, December 14 meeting, virtually the entire day was spent analyzing financial documents relating to the development of the Town and the University and to the Law School if it were to relocate.

The Board has appointed a financial subcommittee and retained an attorney, who was present at the December 14 meeting, to help in its examination of these complicated financial issues. More analysis and deliberation will be needed before the Board has a complete picture of the financial implications of a potential relocation to Florida.

I understand the pace of this process has been frustrating to many of you. I have heard from many of you, and Board members tell me they have as well, that a decision sooner rather than later is preferred. I agree. However, the Board cannot perform the necessary due diligence without carefully and responsibly considering all elements of a potential relocation.

In the meantime, there are several things that will be happening in the weeks ahead that you should know about. First, I, and the other Board members, continue to seek your input on the Feasibility Study and the issue of whether it is in the best interests of the Law School to relocate. Specifically, I continue to have an open door policy. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to stop by each afternoon to provide such input. No appointment is necessary.

In addition, I will continue to accept written correspondence to myself and to the Board regarding the Feasibility Study and the issue of whether it is in the best interests of the Law School to relocate. E­mail submissions are acceptable as well.

One or more Board members will be here in January to meet with students and receive their input. There will be a group meeting with all students who wish to attend and an opportunity for one­on­one meetings with any student who wishes to speak privately.

Also in January, some Board members will be in Washington, D.C., where our largest contingent of alumni outside Michigan are located, to meet with alumni there and receive their input regarding the Feasibility Study and the issue of a potential relocation.

As they continue to consider the wisdom of a potential relocation, Board members will travel to the future site of Ave Maria Town and the University in January for a site visit. They will also meet with leaders of the bench and bar in the area.

As many of you know, Board members were here at the Law School on Wednesday, December 13 to meet with Senior Staff and alumni to get their input on the Feasibility Study and a potential relocation. On Thursday, the Board welcomed faculty members into the Board meeting to share their views on a potential relocation.

As the Board considers this important question, I ask for your patience and your prayers that the correct decision is made and that the Law School emerges from this process stronger than it was before.

A blessed and Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year to all.