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

Monday, April 28, 2008

National Law Journal Article About Vineyards Move

The National Law Journal has an article today on the recent announcement concerning Ave Maria School of Law's plans to move to the Vineyards campus in Naples instead of Ave Maria Town. The tone of the article is very interesting and is one that I haven't seen before: the article stresses the financial woes facing AMSL and speculates that the school's failure to sell the naming rights for $20 million is a cause of the school moving into "modest digs."
Ave Maria School of Law, apparently unable to sell naming rights to its planned new building in Ave Maria, Fla., will instead move to an older building in nearby Naples.

According to the Naples Daily News, Ave Maria made the stunning announcement in a press release April 17. The school cited "declining national economy and ongoing high construction costs due to the rising prices of raw materials" as reasons for the change in location.

When the school started by Domino's Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan first announced in February 2007 it was moving from Ann Arbor, Mich., to the town Monaghan was starting in southwest Florida, the plan was to relocate to a posh new building. Drawings of the new school were even released.

The first signs of financial woe came in December 2007 when Ave Maria announced it wanted to sell naming rights to the building for $20 million to fund construction.

Apparently, there have been no takers. Instead, according to the press release, the school will move into modest digs -- the former Ave Maria University temporary campus 35 miles away.
I don't think that "AMSL is in desperate financial need" is the type of impression Monaghan wants to be giving to the ABA these days.

UPDATE: Picking up on the National Law Journal story, the Wall Street Journal law blog reports on Vineyards and makes the same point: AMSL couldn't find a buyer for the naming rights, is strapped for cash, and now needs to move to an older campus. The WSJ law blog also states that AMSL was "compelled to change deans this month after U.S. News ranked it in the lowest tier," which unfortunately isn't true. I wish that there would be a change of deans because of the poor U.S. News ranking. That would then show that the Board of Governors is serious about improving the ranking. But alas, the Board of Governors is still content with the terrible job that Dobranski is doing.