HARRISBURG Penn State said today that it has begun negotiating with Dickinson College about a possible transfer of The Dickinson School of Law.
Dickinson College and The Dickinson School of Law were affiliated before the law school became independent in 1914. The law school became affiliated with Penn State in 1997, a process completed in 2000.
Earlier this year, the law school's governing board began to consider a move to State College or the prospect of operating a split campus.
Dickinson College spokeswoman Christine Dugan said discussions were in preliminary stages but the transfer offered some obvious advantages, namely "the historic affinity between the law school and the college, our proximity and our commitment to the Carlisle community."
Dugan said the college will have to determine whether operating the law school will adversely affect its function as a college, and consider the cost and funding for renovations to law school buildings.
"I know it's up in the tens of millions (of dollars)," she said. "I don't know exactly -- that will obviously be part of the exercise."
Penn State released a statement saying that Dickinson College could help the law school establish cross-disciplinary classes and that a transfer would keep the law school in Carlisle.
Any deal would require approval by the law school's governing board, which retained control over the name and location of the law school after the merger with Penn State. Gov. Ed Rendell has committed up to $25 million in state matching funds to renovate the law school if it stays in Carlisle, according to Penn State.