Saturday, May 15, 2004

No decision made; Dickinson board mulls move, meets Carlisle leaders

Centre Daily Times
(c) Copyright 2004, Centre Daily Times. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

PSU trustees discuss future of law school; No decision made; Dickinson board mulls move, meets Carlisle leaders

By Gwenn Miller

UNIVERSITY PARK Penn State's board of trustees and The Dickinson School of Law's board of governors each met Friday, but the fate of the law school remains undecided.

Penn State's board met at the Nittany Lion Inn, and several board members inquired about the possibility of moving the law school from Carlisle to University Park.

Penn State President Graham Spanier said he expects the school's board of governors will act sometime this summer.

"I know it is a topic on the front burner," Spanier said.

Such a move has been debated since November, when a confidential memo from law school Dean Philip McConnaughay to the board was leaked to the media. Moving to University Park was one of several options McConnaughay put forth to improve the school's reputation and facilities.

Since that revelation, Carlisle residents, community leaders and members of the board of governors have loudly stated their opposition to a move.

Dickinson spokeswoman Kelly Jones said Friday that the board of governors was meeting with Carlisle community leaders Friday, but she said there would be no vote on the move. Jones said she was not sure the next time the board would meet.

Spanier said the option to split the school between two locations is still on the table. Under that plan, he said, the core parts of the law school would move to University Park. Other programs would remain at the Carlisle location, Spanier said. The board of governors convened at University Park two weeks ago to look at potential locations for the law school.

State appropriations

The board of trustees approved a $2.5 billion interim maintenance and operating budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year Friday.

Trustees will approve the actual 2004-05 budget and tuition rates at their July meeting.

The state House of Representatives passed the bill containing Penn State's appropriation earlier this week. The bill called for a 2.25 percent increase in funding, or a total of about $314.7 million, about $6.9 million more than the roughly $307.8 million the university received last fiscal year.

The bill will move on to the Senate for approval.

Penn State spokesman Steve MacCarthy said the university expects to receive its appropriation by the latter part of June.

Elections Ferguson Township resident George T. Henning Jr. was one of three trustees elected this year by the alumni. Henning, who retired as vice president and chief financial officer of LTV Steel, earned 7,670 votes, enough to unseat incumbent trustee Barry Robinson.

Alumni also re-elected Boalsburg resident Paul V. Suhey and Harris Township resident Steve A. Garban.

Property acquired

Trustees approved the purchase of the 5.43-acre Atotech USA Inc. property on Science Park Road in Ferguson Township for $2.3 million.

Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business, said the amount was a very good price for the property, which includes a 33,500-square-foot, single-story building.

Atotech, which manufactured equipment and surface finishing chemicals, announced it was closing in November 2002.

The site will be used to expand Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory.

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