SC

Lawmakers: Commission Should Stay Out Of Law School Debate

HIGHER EDUCATION BOARD URGED TO REFRAIN FROM BLOCKING CSOL SALE Thirteen South Carolina lawmakers signed a letter last month urging the state’s Commission on Higher Education (CHE) to stay out of a debate over the future of the privately run Charleston School of Law (CSOL). “We understand that some parties…

HIGHER EDUCATION BOARD URGED TO REFRAIN FROM BLOCKING CSOL SALE

Thirteen South Carolina lawmakers signed a letter last month urging the state’s Commission on Higher Education (CHE) to stay out of a debate over the future of the privately run Charleston School of Law (CSOL).

“We understand that some parties are trying to use the licensing process to stop the sale of the Charleston School of law to InfiLaw in order to clear the way for it to merge with a state-supported school,” the lawmakers wrote. “We do not believe it is appropriate for the Commission to interfere with a private transaction under any circumstances, especially these.”

The lawmakers added that they “firmly oppose expending public resources to purchase and operate a second publicly-funded law school in South Carolina.”

The letter was signed by staunch free market conservative Eric Bedingfield (R-Greenville) and twelve of his colleagues, including Democratic minority leader Todd Rutherford.

“InfiLaw and the Charleston School of Law are both privately -held companies,” Bedingfield’s letter adds. “As such, the state should play only a very limited role with regard to the transaction.”

We concur with the letter … on every point.

Exclusively reported on by FITS last summer, the takeover of CSOL by InfiLaw created a meltdown on campus – with the vast majority of students, teachers, staff and alumni coming out in opposition to the deal.  This near-unanimity prompted state lawmakers to discuss a possible government takeover of the institution, although the leader of that effort – S.C. Rep. Stephen Goldfinch (RINO-Georgetown) – has been too busy battling a federal indictment and a civil suit to follow through on his plans.

There’s no shortage of legislative support for a government takeover though … as S.C. Rep. Phil Owens (RINO-Pickens), chairman of the House education committee, has signaled his support for Goldfinch’s plan.

Make no mistake … the takeover of CSOL by InfiLaw would be terrible for the school. InfiLaw is a glorified “diploma mill,” and its business model would likely further erode CSOL’s already weak position within the legal education market.

That’s not our problem though. And it sure as hell isn’t the taxpayers’ problem.

If the rightful owners of the school have reached a deal to sell it – then state government should have no involvement whatsoever in that process. That’s particularly true if the whole purpose of a potential disruption of the sale is to facilitate government subsidization of its operations.

After all, as these thirteen lawmakers note in their letter … South Carolina’s higher education system is already sufficiently “bloated.”

BEDINGFIELD LETTER (.pdf)

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19 comments

vicupstate March 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

How many of these lawmakers went to USC, the home of the only public law school in the state?

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Yelsewh March 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

The fact that Will earned a degree from Little Carolina hasn’t kept him from railing against public funding of higher ed and mocking the academic reputation of other institutions.

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Jackie Chiles March 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Wonder how much Infinilaw spent donating money to these lawmakers to get them to come out with this statement.

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southmauldin March 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm

The only reason in the world that this is even being considered is because several clowns in the Legislature were dumb enough to go to CSOL, and they sure as hell don’t want to see what little credibility that degree has go away. This does nothing for the citizens of this state except cost them money. Hell, they oughta close the damn thing down. There are way too many lawyers in this state anyway, and I can’t stand 95% of them. (You’re excluded, Gville Lawyer).

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Jackie Chiles March 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm

“That’s not our problem though. And it sure as hell isn’t the taxpayers’ problem.”

Uh, it will be when the thousands of unqualified students take out hundreds of thousands of student loans. Then, when they can’t find jobs, they sign up for Income Based Repayment and the balance is forgiven by the Federal Government.

Only a short sighted moron who doesn’t understand how higher education is funded would think a diploma mill is not the taxpayers’ problem.

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CNSYD March 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm

“a short sighted moron who doesn’t understand how higher education is funded”. A succinct definition of Sic Willie. Good job Jackie!

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No thanks March 12, 2014 at 8:58 pm

That’s a federal government issue (and a big one). That problem won’t be solved by the state’s taking on another law school to crank out a bunch of graduates who won’t be able to get jobs.

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Jackie Chiles March 13, 2014 at 8:41 am

At least if the state took it over, they wouldn’t have as much of a need to crank out graduates though. Infinilaw schools only care about profit. Look at how many graduates their schools crank out. State schools are not as guilty of that mentality.

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CharlestonNative March 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I perceive some subtle racism in the lawmakers who oppose the sale and are trying to use the state licensing process to block the sale. Infilaw’s schools are diverse, while the percentage of minority attorneys in SC is abysmally low, less than 5%, and USC and Charleston’s is not much better. This is the 21st century version of Jim Crow….

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Jackie Chiles March 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I’m not sure the answer minorities are looking for is hundreds of thousands of dollars in non-dischargeable student loan debt and a degree in a saturated job market from a school with an awful reputation.

See Charlotte School of Law’s employment statistics and student loan debt metrics. There are plenty of minorities cursing the day they stepped foot in an Infinilaw school. Meanwhile Infinilaw shareholders are laughing all the way to the bank on the backs of these poor minorities who thought they’d cashed their ticket to middle class living.

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Smirks March 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Yep, maximized profits through maximized financial aid and federal loan dollars. It’s no different than what some venture capitalist companies do, loading a company with tons of debt to suck cash out of it and then leave it to struggle and die.

Of course, companies get to declare bankruptcy if they make a choice like that.

If students could prove the (lack of) value in their diploma mill degrees and have their student loans dismissed, and if the feds actually reacted by denying loans to some colleges, you would see a lot of diploma mills close and a lot of for-profit colleges go bankrupt.

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CharlestonNative March 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm

The lady doth protest too much methinks….

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No thanks March 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm

“I’m not sure the answer minorities are looking for is hundreds of thousands of dollars in non-dischargeable student loan debt and a degree in a saturated job market from a school with an awful reputation.”

Yes, but it also isn’t tens of thousands of dollars in non-dischargeable student loan debt and a degree in a saturated job market from a school with a slightly less awful reputation.

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Original Good Old Boy March 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I perceive some not-so-subtle wild speculation on your part.

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euwe max March 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm

subtle racism

——-

It’s no longer “nigger guy” but a palette of racist pastels which cause the Pavlovian response without giving away the message.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmnuEMrct60

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euwe max March 12, 2014 at 5:50 pm

People shouldn’t go to college – making outhouses and shoveling shit is a time-honored tradition, not a subject for a college course!

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Beartrkkr March 13, 2014 at 1:02 am

In the immortal words of Judge Smails… “Well, the world needs ditch diggers too…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiRGRvE_Wqg

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euwe max March 13, 2014 at 11:55 am

Might as well get them all from Southern States, right?

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nitrat March 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm

staunch free market conservative = ignorant nitwit

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