Monday, July 03, 2000

Not surprising considering that one side was hiding its true intentions.

The Harrisburg Patriot
Copyright 2000

Monday, July 3, 2000

School of law joins PSU Dickinson deal becomes official

Jan Murphy
Of The Patriot-News

Dickinson School of Law and Penn State University had been living together so long that when their marriage became official, even the parents of the bridal couple failed to pay much attention.

The law school dean, Peter Glenn, is in Europe for the law school's international program. Penn State President Graham Spanier was at home in State College, awaiting his daughter's return from camp.

"The details [of the merger] have been in place for so long now that July 1 will indeed be uneventful for us," Spanier said last week. The 81,000-student university sought a merger with the independent private law school in 1997 to fill a gap in its vast academic offerings. The law school, which enrolls about 550 students, agreed to a three-year trial relationship before making the union official.

Since then, signs that the merger would be a good move for the law school became apparent, said Donald Taylor, a Wilmington, Del., resident who chairs the law school's board. Fund-raising is up fourfold. Applications have risen 36 percent in the last year, compared with a 3 percent increase at other law schools around the nation.

"The merger could not have been any smoother and a lot of that is thanks to the dean [Glenn]," Taylor said.

Penn State officials also credit Glenn and his staff for making the merger go off so smoothly.

"We knew before we began to proceed with plans for the merger that Dickinson School of Law was an institution with similar values and culture. ... We couldn't be more pleased," said Rodney Erickson, Penn State executive vice president and provost.

A prenuptial agreement hammered out between the two institutions guarantees the law school will keep its Dickinson name and its main campus will remain in Carlisle. It also allows the law school to retain its financial independence, preventing it from becoming a cash cow for the university.

Cumberland County President Judge George E. Hoffer, a 1966 law school alumnus, gave his blessing to the contract on May 24, clearing the way for the union to occur.

That left little to do July 1 at the law school that now officially goes by its married name: Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.

Saturday, May 27, 2000

In retrospect, maybe a future Bush crony and a disgraced coach weren't the best choice

The Harrisburg Patriot
Copyright 2000

Saturday, May 27, 2000

Merger with PSU suits Dickinson law grads Ridge, Paterno make case for successful union

Elizabeth Gibson
Of Our Carlisle Bureau

CARLISLE -- Commencement at the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University took a brief detour from solemnity yesterday for a symbolic nod to the near completion of the merger of the law school and the university.

Joe Paterno, Nittany Lions football coach, and longtime law school professor Louis F. Del Duca met midway across a stage to join two pieces of a giant replica of the law school's new signature mark.

?Two Italians going to try to put something together. If this works, anything's possible,?? said Paterno.

Some graduates said the special presentation added excitement to an already momentous day.

?It's a double whammy -- the year 2000 plus the merger,?? said graduate Jeff Addis of Connellsville.

?The Dickinson School of Law had and still has a great reputation as a law school. Now, the Penn State name can go on resumes and will be on diplomas,?? said graduate David Tshudy of Jonestown.

?Living and working in this community, the Penn State name goes a long way. The influence of the college is incredible,?? said graduate Christy Appleby of Hershey, who will work in the state attorney general's office of consumer advocacy.

Gov. Tom Ridge, a 1972 law school alumnus, called it a ?win-win situation. A marriage not made in heaven, perhaps, but in ivory towers.??

He told the 161 recipients of law degrees and 11 who earned master of law degrees that they will have the main role in shaping the 21st century.

In a technology-based industry, ?ultimately, you'll decide whose copyright is on it ... who has access to it ... who gets paid for it,?? Ridge said.

?You will be asked by scores of non-billable clients to help shape the community. Say yes?? to serving on committees, as youth sports coaches and in other volunteer roles, he urged.

The Rt. Honourable Lord Thomas Henry Bingham of Cornhill, lord chief justice of England and Wales, received an honorary degree in the ceremony held on the adjacent Dickinson College campus.

Bingham's selection recognizes the law school's international focus and the common law tradition his country shares with the United States, a college spokesman said.

Law school Dean Peter G. Glenn cited benefits of the Penn State alliance.

He said applications to the school have risen 36 percent in the last year, and donations from alumni and friends since 1997 -- when the three-year merger process began -- equal $9.5 million. Students have access to more computers, and joint degree programs have grown from one in 1996 to an expected seven next year.

?Our hopes have been more than amply fulfilled,?? Glenn said.

Some alumni have said they are unhappy about the merger, mourning the loss of the 166-year-old school's independence. The Dickinson board will drop its governing role and serve in an advisory capacity starting July 1 when the merger is finalized.

Penn State President Graham B. Spanier said yesterday that ?the cultures of Penn State and of the Dickinson School of Law are fully compatible.??
And Paterno, who was on hand for the graduation of his son G. Scott, said the partnership has filled a void.

?Many of us at Penn State have long looked forward to the day that the university would be complete with ... a law school,?? he said.

He cautioned, however, that the merger would bring slim hope for fulfillment of Del Duca's self-professed dream of starring in a Lions game.

?In my fantasies, I have played quarterback, halfback and most other positions on your outstanding teams,?? Del Duca said.

?I'm glad,?? Paterno said to the senior academic, ?they're fantasies.??