PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Penn State University announced plans Monday to merge with the Dickinson School of Law, acquiring the one major professional school it has long lacked, university officials said.
By merging with an existing school rather than creating one, Penn State will broaden its curriculum without adding to the already overwhelming number of law school graduates in the state, said John A. Brighton, Penn State executive vice president and provost.
Penn State's Board of Trustees will consider the merger proposal at a meeting in State College on Friday. Dickinson's Board of Trustees approved the merger Saturday.
The new school would be named The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University on July 1, and the two schools would merge officially in 2000, Brighton said.
The Dickinson law school will remain in Carlisle. Founded in 1834, the law school became independent from Dickinson College in 1890. It traditionally ranks first or second among the state's seven law schools in the percentage of graduates who pass the Pennsylvania bar exam.
Under the merger, the law school would introduce a joint degree program, allowing students to earn a masters of business administration from the business school while earning a law degree.
Dickinson Law School Dean Peter G. Glenn said the merger offers the law school access to Penn State resources, such as technology and its library collection.