Penn state has vehemently refuted a media story claiming the university would do away with the Dickinson School of Law's two-campus operation by moving the programs from Carlisle to State College.
The story published in the Harrisburg Patriot-News Wednesday, whose headlines read, 'Penn State considering moves that threaten Dickinson School of Law's accreditation', also falsely claimed that the move would put its accreditation in jeopardy. But in reality, the law school has campuses in Carlisle and State College, and the American Bar Association accreditation reflects the entire law school as one entity.
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The School is reportedly undergoing some changes in the wake of Sandusky's Sex abuse scandal and those changes include several cost-cutting measures. The changes include breaking the contract signed in 2005 that requires the university to operate a three-year law school at campuses in Carlisle and State College till 2025.
According to Dean Philip McConnaughay, cost-cutting is necessary to confront a downturn in student applications, an issue that is being faced by the law schools across the nation.
An internal memo from McConnaughay lists three options:
- Stay the course and maintain full programs at both campuses.
- Eliminate the first-year program in Carlisle and require all first-year students to study in State College, and promote the Carlisle campus to upper-level law students
- Require all law students to spend one or more semesters of the three-year program in State College
Apparently, these changes being considered by the University were blown out of proportion and misconstrued by the newspaper report.
McConnaughay insists the plan is to continue operating the Carlisle campus. While suggesting changes that would cut the number of undergraduate law students in Carlisle, McConnaughay has proposed new programs for the Carlisle campus in advanced law curriculum and Penn State's School of International Affairs.
Trustees have not discussed changes proposed for the law school, although Penn State President Rodney Erickson is aware of options outlined by McConnaughay.
Reportedly, the Harrisburg Patriot-News is planning to run a correction on the front-page, Thursday.