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

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Latest From the AMSL Transition Team

This was sent by Dean Milhizer to the Law School Community this morning. He sent it as a word document to all. (I anxiously await Advocatus and Casimir's witticisms regarding this latest communication.)

Dear Law School Community:

Please find below an update regarding the activities of the Transition Team.

A display containing floor plans and watercolor renderings of the new facility in Florida was set up in the second-floor hallway near the elevator, before students departed for the summer. The plans incorporate several significant changes to the facility based on input from faculty, staff, and students during the design process. A box for suggestions and questions is included as part of the display. We continue to receive constructive questions and recommendations regarding the new facility. Those addressed to us by name have received a personalized response.

Two frequently asked questions about the display and our answers to them are set out below:

• In the watercolor rendering of the new building, why does the sign in front of it say “Ave Maria University?” What does this mean regarding the Law School’s affiliation or attachment to the University? Has something changed? Nothing has changed regarding the relationship between our Law School and the University. The two will remain separate legal entities with separate governing boards. Because the Law School will occupy a prominent site near the entrance to the campus along the main thoroughfare, we would expect that some sign announcing the entry to the University campus would be located somewhat near the Law School (the perspective of the drawing distorts distance, however, as preliminary plans have the University sign located hundreds of yards away from the Law School). In any event, the Law School will have its own prominent signage. While the matter of signage was initially raised during the design meetings, this involves a level of detail that would not be directly addressed as part of the initial facility design and construction process. Any signs appearing on renderings in the display are simply notional.

• Regarding the timing of the display, why was it posted before final examinations were completed? Couldn’t this be distracting to some students? The display was set up as soon as possible after the completion of a series of design group meetings, which resulted in several substantial changes to the plans for the facility. To set up the display earlier would have been premature and not nearly as informative. To wait until after final examinations to set it up would result in the information being unavailable to most students, many of whom had previously expressed interest in the facility plans. This would have been inconsistent with the Transition Team's goal of providing prompt, accurate, and useful information about the relocation. Accordingly, we believed that the preferred course was to set up a display that allowed those who were interested to view it and those who were not (or would find this to be distracting) to ignore it or defer viewing it until a later time.

Regarding another matter, the Law School continues to work with the Foundation to develop and finalize a package of relocation and other possible incentives for faculty and staff. It will be announced to the community once this is determined in a more concrete form.

The Transition Team encourages questions and suggestions regarding the relocation and transition process. These can be emailed to the Transition Team at transitionteam@avemarialaw.edu.

Because of commencement, final examinations, and other events and demands of the previous few weeks, the monthly meeting of the Transition Team scheduled for May 21 was cancelled. The next meeting of the Transition Team is scheduled for Monday, June 25.