Ed Westbrook – one of the founders of the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) – recently sent a letter to his fellow directors urging them to reconsider selling the school to InfiLaw, a company which is reviled by its critics as a less-than-reputable producer of low-quality “diploma mills.”
News of the deal – which broke exclusively on FITS – prompted a major meltdown on campus.
In his letter Westbrook puts forward three alternatives to the controversial InfiLaw sale – one of which is permitting ownership of the private institution to be transferred to the state-owned College of Charleston (an option certain power-hungry state lawmakers have been aggressively promoting).
Naturally, we oppose that solution.
“South Carolina government already spends far too much tax money supporting thirty-three government-run institutions of “higher learning” (at more than eighty campus locations),” we wrote recently. “As a result, Palmetto State taxpayers shell out nearly 20 percent of their government’s annual budget on ‘higher ed’ compared to the national average of around 10 percent.”
Westbrook’s other ideas?
Hiring a business manager to run the institution (which is the way the CSOL-InfiLaw deal was initially portrayed to the public) or maintaining management of the school within its existing corporate ownership structure (and buying out those founders looking for a pay day).
Whichever option the school pursues, Westbrook’s memo makes plain the disastrous impact the proposed CSOL sale is having on the school.
At one point he refers to his suggestions as necessary steps to “stabilize the school, stop the student attrition and unrest, reassure the faculty, and … implement additional measures to improve our bar passage.”
You know … measures that don’t involve the S.C. Supreme Court arbitrarily tossing an entire section of the bar exam for the purpose of raising CSOL’s passage rate (just in time for it to receive accreditation from the American Bar Association). Which is what happened in 2007.
“I believe that any of the options I outline … is preferable to continuing to slog through a contentious regulatory approval process,” Westbrook adds, noting that “the school has suffered since the Infilaw process began.”
“Westbrook’s proposals are serious, thoughtful, and worthy of careful consideration by his fellow directors and by those in the community who care about the future of the Charleston School of Law,” the blog Pro Bono Populi noted.
So, the suggestion is for the state to bail out and essentially take over a private corporation, kind of like Government Motors?
Actually, the letter says that Westbrook would donate his 1/3 interest to CoC and asks Carr and Kosko to do the same. Or, in the alternative for the other two to come up with a reasonable price to buy them out.
OK, Sic Willie convinced me. I now have a separate jar for his use of “exclusively”. First dollar just went in.
I seem to remember hearing that it was a condition of their accreditation that they never affiliate with CoC. That was USC’s price for going along with the school being founded. Anyone with insight on that aspect?
Just a little giggle here and a shake there. Happy ending and its *fixed*
I control – completely and at my pleasure – every aspect of practicing law in South Carolina. I control who is permitted to practice. I am still considering what is my best interest and the best interest of my present inner circle. I will let you know what I decide after I manipulate the votes for me being re-elected for another year and a half – and longer if I can get McConnell, Leatherman and Harrell off of their asses to get the bill passed. Weak little boys Sheheen and Smith are not producing enough votes for me fast enough right now. Everything you write without my input is just speculation, Will.
“stop the student attrition”
Welp, not only has the handling of the entire affair probably escalated that problem, the only way I see it being solved is actually initiate a form of aggression towards their own students by not allowing the to transfer out, for example, not giving the their certified transcripts or sending them to other institutions.
Haven’t they already done that? I seem to remember reading something along those lines in previous write ups. Maybe someone can inform me specifically.
The students are the biggest victims in this whole affair, I expect them to continue to be victimized so that the professors and administrators can continue to get paid.
I wonder how many gov’t guaranteed loans their students get….
What a mess….it wouldn’t surprise one bit if this place ends up become yet another boat anchor around the taxpayers neck.
And I thought my JD from USC was worthless…
Great proposal for College of Charleston to take over Law School
a) Glennie the Glider McConnell, a distinguished alumni of CofC, could become President of the new Law School
b) Slug Griffin could become Dean
c) Members of the Legislature could appoint more of their retarded relatives to the Board especially those who don’t file income tax returns or know the location of their primary residence
d) All legitimate and bastard children of Members of the Legislature would be not only guaranteed admittance to the Law School but also a Law Degree and a passing score on the Bar Exam courtesy of Queen Toad’s benevolence
e) A special lottery ticket could be introduced just to pay for all costs of a Legislator’s love child to attend and live in the lifestyle that they are accustomed
As a lifelong resident of this State and one who has paid every damn dime of every damn tax bill I feel that it is my solemn duty to insure that the current bloodline of our dedicated Cockroach Legislators is maintained so that their offspring can fuck up the ass my offspring just like their mommies and daddies are fucking me and my generation up the ass
“Glennie … fucking me up the ass”
No, no, no. Glenn’s one of us and HE likes it up HIS ass.
But he’d probably have an erection at the thought of becoming something other than what he is now … Secretary of the Elderly and Home Health Care (or whatever the hell it is).
I am very familiar with InfiLaw’s other school. They are very well respected schools. My daughter, a 3L, attends Phoenix School of Law. She has great professors and a great education. Having InfiLaw behind them adds resources that CSL can’t afford on their own.
If everyone had done their research they would know the Sterling Partners owns InfilLaw. They own major universities worldwide. More than 640,000 students attend their schools. They only run first-class schools that allow marginalized populations to enter. Celebrate that! . Those who trash InfiLaw harm CSL reputation–which is the most important asset the school has. Those who know, should be bragging that InfiLaw is the partner.
Stop the bickering–it harms the students. The founders didn’t chose them casually.
Quit drinking the damn Kool Aid.