Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Group seeks Dickinson commitment to Carlisle

Centre Daily Times
(c) Copyright 2005, Centre Daily Times. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Group seeks Dickinson commitment to Carlisle; Complainants want to ensure that PSU law school stays put


By Anne Danahy CARLISLE -- A complaint filed Thursday in Cumberland County Court aims to stall an agreement between The Dickinson School of Law and Penn State that allows for a two-campus law school.

G. Thomas Miller, a member of Dickinson's board of governors and one of the complainants, said Monday that they want to halt enforcement of the agreement until it is modified to guarantee the school will stay in Carlisle.

"We wish to see a much longer commitment to maintaining the Carlisle campus of the law school than the university has proposed," he said. "They only want to guarantee 10 years in Carlisle. We don't think that's a long-term commitment."

In addition to Miller, board member Leslie Anne Miller and emeritus member Tom Monteverde filed the complaint. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18.

On Jan. 15, the board of governors voted 17-14 to approve an agreement with the university that allows for a campus at University Park in addition to the current one in Carlisle. The agreement says the university would keep the Carlisle campus open for at least 10 years, and university officials have said there are no plans to close it.

Dickinson's board of governors had planned to meet the last weekend in February to sign the final agreement on the two-campus plan, but now is holding off on scheduling that meeting until after the hearing, a law school spokeswoman said.

The law school and Penn State became affiliated in 1997. Under the agreement, the law school's board of governors has final authority over the school's location. The new agreement replaces the board from 1997 and includes the appointment of a new seven-member board.

The Penn State board of trustees approved the two-campus deal Jan. 21. The university plans to spend as much as $40 million to renovate the Carlisle campus, including $10 million from Penn State.

University spokesman Bill Mahon said Penn State is moving ahead with those plans.

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