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Texas A&M Buys Out Texas Wesleyan University’s School of Law for $25 Million
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The Texas Wesleyan University School of Law is on the verge of completing an extremely sensible and business savvy deal with Texas A&M that should provide a lead to other law schools about how to do things. Rather than trying to limit incoming classes, or engaging in mass layoffs or going around with a begging bowl or try to entice students with candies, the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law has struck an innovative approach to managing the current situation of unrest and upheaval in law academia. It is selling its “operational control and associated responsibilities” for a sum of $25 million.

Under the deal, prima facie, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law would be selling its operational control for an amount of $25 million to Texas A&M. But the deal is much bigger and better than that initial consideration. According to the terms:

  • The new institution would be called Texas A&M School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University
  • All faculty and staff of the private law school would become employees of Texas A&M, which is publicly funded
  • Texas A&M would pay $2.5 million each year for a 40-year lease of the facilities of the private law school
  • Texas Wesleyan would continue to retain ownership and control of the law school building and four city blocks of land
  • Two joint programs – a Juris Doctor/Texas Wesleyan MBA and a Texas Wesleyan undergraduate/law school – would be created
  • Texas A&M would acquire ownership and be responsible of operational control of the law school

While details are still to be finalized, the Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees has approved the letter of intent giving the two institutions 11 months to negotiate all issues. Later this week, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents is expected to consider and approve the letter. But the mood is jubilant.

  
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp told the media, “It’s exactly what we have been looking for – a world-class law school in Fort Worth.” If approved, the deal would create the second public law school in North Texas.

For students, the prospects are quite good including the ability to avail a wider range of in-state funds and scholarships, as well as better job prospects and study opportunities. Also a public-funded law school is more accountable by statute on multiple fronts. So, students gain better opportunities, the state gains a public law school, and Texas Wesleyan gets rid of all issues, questions and headaches caused by the current economic doldrums.

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