June 10, 2004 VIA OVERNIGHT MAIL
To: Board of Governors From: LeRoy S. Zimmerman
Re: Two Campus Proposal
I have been wrestling for several days now, as I am sure many of you have, with the question of whether there might be a solution to the issues our Law School confronts that we have not yet considered. Clearly, the current proposals by the University, though generous and well-intended, have divided our Board. Consequently, I have been in touch with Penn State Board of Trustees Chair Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State President Graham Spanier, and Dean Phil McConnaughay, to consider whether the Dickinson School of Law might operate one fully accredited Law School with integrated and complementary J.D. programs at two separately located campuses, one at our historic location in Carlisle and another on the campus at University Park. This would give our students the extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the benefits of programmatic integration with the opportunity to learn and develop their practice skills.
Yesterday, President Spanier and Dean McConnaughay and I met for several hours to discuss the merits and terms of such an option. President Spanier spoke with Governor Rendell about the possibility, as well as with the leadership of the Penn State Board of Trustees. These discussions culminated in a new formal proposal from the University regarding a two-campus alternative, which I received from President Spanier today. I am pleased to enclose the proposal for your review.
Sometimes the pressure of division results in a favorable solution. I believe this is such an occasion. To quote a former academic, Father Theodore Hesburgh, "my basic principle is that you don't make decisions because they are easy; you don't make them because they are cheap; you don't make them because they're popular; you make them because they're right." I support the University's new proposal and it is my hope that all of you will join me in supporting this creative solution to the challenges to our Law School.
I look forward to discussing this with you at our meeting. I have asked President Spanier and Board of Trustees Chair Cynthia Baldwin to be present for our discussions, and they have agreed to join us. Finally, I would like to report that Governor Rendell has encouraged our efforts to come up with a workable solution, and he too plans to join us Friday evening to share his thoughts.