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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why Isn't a Two School Option Being Considered?

So, we know that the Falvey Report has been submitted to the Board of Governors. This report presumably demonstrates the possibility of Ave Maria School of Law's long-term viability in Michigan without funds from Tom Monaghan or the Ave Maria Foundation. We know that the school will continue to have students and faculty should it remain in Michigan. Therefore, the school's continued existence in Michigan without Ave Maria Foundation money is possible.

We also know that Tom Monaghan wants to start a law school in Florida as part of his university. Fine. The current plan is to close Michigan and open Florida. In terms of costs, this is effectively no different than starting a new Florida school from scratch: there is a need for new buildings, for new faculty, and for new students.

So if you don't have to give any money to the Michigan campus, why close the Michigan campus? A two-campus school or a two-school affiliation would double the exposure of Ave Maria Law, would double the legal contacts, would double the job and externship opportunities. There is no doubt that students going to the Florida campus would benefit from the successes of the Michigan campus, and vice versa. (See, for example, the Naples News article.)

I know that this two-school option has been mentioned before. It was part of the Alumni survey that came out a few months ago. I know that it was mentioned to Deans Read and White during their information-gathering sessions. Unfortunately, Deans Read and White did not consider it in their feasibility study and I have not heard anything from Dean Dobranski or the Board of Governors indicating that they're considering the possibility.

Is the two-campus option being considered, and if not, why not?

I won't be at the upcoming Alumni meeting with the Board of Governors on Wednesday, December 13, so I implore those of you attending to ask the Board of Governors whether the two-campus option is being considered.

NOTE: As is my practice sometimes, I reserve the right to edit and delete comments. I want a substantive and reasonable debate, and those comments which detract from that will be modified. I will NOT edit because I disagree with an opposing position. In fact, I welcome opposing viewpoints: I want to hear from the other side why my concerns aren't apparently being addressed.