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

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is It Possible That AMSL Doesn't Move To Florida In Summer 2009?

Is it possible for Tom Monaghan to change his mind once again and to decide to NOT move Ave Maria School of Law to Florida, at least not next summer as currently planned? Would Monaghan and the Board of Governors really break their promises to current and incoming students at AMSL that they will be attending a school in Florida come August 2009? After the chaos of recent years, after so many faculty and staff have either left or been removed from the school because of not wanting to go to Florida, would the school decide to stay in Michigan after all, at least for the time being?

It might not be that far-fetched. There are rumors at the school saying that this option has at least been considered by the administration. We know the economy is bad and that the Ave Maria housing market is terrible. Remember, this past spring, the Board of Governors decided not to move to Ave Maria University but instead to move to the Naples Vineyards campus "in light of the declining national economy and the high construction costs resulting from the rising prices of raw materials." It's possible that Monaghan and the Board of Governors could use the same excuse to not move to Florida but to stay in Michigan. (No doubt, the press release from the school would say that the law school is still moving to Florida, but that the move has only been temporarily delayed due to the economy.)

Also, if you remember, before the Vineyards announcement in April 2008, the school delayed breaking ground on the planned law school building at Ave Maria University for months and months. At the time, one of the excuses given for the delay was that the planning was not complete with building permits to obtain and building specs to meet. In hindsight, it looks suspiciously like Monaghan was waiting and not wasting money on breaking ground if he didn't have to. In order to move to Vineyards, building renovations are required in order to make the facility suitable for a law school. As of a few of weeks ago, the administration was saying that renovations had not yet started because the school still had to get the necessary building permits, etc. Have the Vineyards renovations started yet? And if not, might the delay be Monaghan waiting and not wasting money on renovations if he doesn't have to?