Sunday, November 16, 2003

Like the Decision Wasn't Already Made.

Centre Daily Times
(c) Copyright 2003, Centre Daily Times. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 16, 2003


Dean says board is exploring options

From CDT staff reports

CARLISLE The dean of the Dickinson School of Law released a statement Saturday reiterating his position on the possibility of moving the school to State College and scolding the person who leaked a confidential memo to the press.

Philip McConnaughay said Penn State President Graham Spanier's remarks at Friday's board of trustees meeting were among the few accurate accounts he has heard lately.

"(Spanier's) Nov. 14 statement that no formal offer has been extended by the university to move the Dickinson School of Law to State College is the first completely accurate statement about the matter that I've seen in recent media reports," McConnaughay wrote.

Reports saying that the law school might be moved from Carlisle to State College were widely published Thursday. The reports were based on a confidential memo McConnaughay wrote to the school's board of governors outlining options that would help the law school deal with its space constraints and inadequate facilities.

Spanier said Friday that the decision to move the law school was not imminent, contrary to the tone of several media reports.

The decision to move the law school ultimately rests with its board of governors, which is meeting Friday and Saturday.

"The truth is, I and other law school officials have spent the past year working diligently to create a suitable site for law school expansion right where we are today," McConnaughay said. "The (Carlisle borough) has cooperated with zoning changes, and local property owners and Dickinson College have cooperated with discussions about the law school's acquisition of property we currently do not own."

McConnaughay said his confidential memo to the board was intended to "commence their confidential consideration" of how the school might raise money for the expansion, and the best interests of the present and future students.

One option the board must consider, McConnaughay said, is the possibility of an alternative location, including Penn State's main campus.

McConnaughay also expressed displeasure in the fact that the memo was leaked in the first place.

"The member or members of the board of governors who breached his or her fiduciary duty and leaked my confidential memorandum have done a tremendous disservice to the rest of the board, to the law school and its various constituencies, and to the good people of Carlisle, who are neighbors we value," McConnaughay said.

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