In coming weeks the University of La Verne Board of Trustees, with input from faculty and administrators across the University, will decide whether to shutter the College of Law forever.
Last week, the Board called on key University administrators and faculty to examine the Law School – which has struggled for years to maintain its American Bar Association accreditation, and also struggled financially –and consider financial exigency.
The University of La Verne is facing budget and enrollment shortfalls, which may continue because of a population dip among Generation Z-ers.
Budgetary belt tightening this year has meant number of classes offered across campus has shrunken, faculty and staff positions are going unfilled, and wonderful adjuncts have been cut loose.
A decision to close the College of Law would advsersely affect the nearly 200 students there, with the entire law school faculty and staff.
Such a decision would prompt a “teach out,” so the College of Law would stay open long enough for current students to complete their degrees.
Still, considering the financial state of the University as a whole, and the fact that the law school has struggled for so long – and lost tens of millions of dollars in the process – closing the College of Law may be a necessity to save the University’s other programs.
Maintaining the law school’s ABA accreditation has been expensive – and a net financial drain on the University’s budget.
If our University is looking at a long-term plan, dropping the College of Law will save La Verne more money that can go back into undergraduate programs.
If the Board of Trustees decides to discontinue the program entirely, enrolled students will have the option to complete their degrees and graduate before the College of Law is shut down.
Provost Jonathan Reed assured COL students at a town hall meeting last week that the University will still stand with them if the College of Law is closed.
This is unfortunate but it is also a necessary sacrifice to ensure the long-term financial stability of the University of La Verne. The Board of Trustees needs to make the right choice.