The Associated Press CARLISLE -- Lawyers on Friday debated whether the governing board of Penn State's law school should have gotten an independent analysis before approving a plan to build a second campus at the University Park campus.
The Associated Press
CARLISLE -- Lawyers on Friday debated whether the governing board of Penn State's law school should have gotten an independent analysis before approving a plan to build a second campus at the University Park campus.
Jack Stover, a lawyer for The Dickinson School of Law board of governors, said there was no such requirement and that dissenting board members had plenty of time to call for one during more than a year of deliberations.
"You can't in hindsight come back after the fact and say, 'Oh, gosh. You should have done something differently,'" Stover said in closing arguments.
But John Stoviak, a lawyer for those suing to stop the dual-campus plan, said Penn State officials and the law school dean had been pushing for a University Park campus from the beginning and wielded too much authority.
"This process is flawed from the get-go because it's controlled by advocates," Stoviak said. "They're not talking about what's the best thing. They're talking about how to get the votes."
Cumberland County Judge Edward E. Guido said he would issue an order Monday.
The plaintiffs -- Leslie Anne Miller, Gov. Ed Rendell's former general counsel; her father, lawyer G. Thomas Miller; and emeritus board member Tom Monteverde -- were among those who dissented when Dickinson's board voted 17-14 to accept Penn State's proposal on Jan. 15.
The trio sued, arguing that the proposal would allow Penn State to eventually close the original campus. Penn State and Dickinson School of Law merged beginning in 1997, and the lawsuit alleged the two-campus plan would "unilaterally terminate" an agreement that required Penn State to keep the law school permanently in Carlisle. The merger was completed in 2000.
The two-campus plan approved in January called for Penn State to keep the Carlisle campus open for at least 10 years while it develops the State College campus. More recently, Rendell negotiated an agreement with Penn State that would increase the university's commitment to Carlisle to at least 20 years in exchange for up to $25 million in state funding for renovating and expanding the Carlisle campus.