No Cal Western Law School Merger in Sight for UCSD

UCSD and California Western Law School decided on April 6 not to form a UCSD law school in the near future due to $60 million in state cuts that the university will face next year.

The on-going discussions regarding the creation of a School of Law — a self-sustaining school that does not require taxpayer or UCSD campus funding — stalled because the addition of staff to UCSD’s pension fund would be a strain, even though the new law school would require no new funds.

“The UC system is facing cuts of at least $500 million and UCSD of at least $60 million — possibly double that,” Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Suresh Subramani said. “An infusion of new faculty into the UC retirement system would be draining given the current economic climate.”

A joint committee of 27 faculty members and administrators from both universities began meeting in January 2010 to discuss the chances of a joint affiliation. The vision was to create a new UCSD School of Law; California Western School of Law would no longer exist.

“Cal Western is a financially stable school,” California-Western Law School spokesperson Pam Hardy said. “We have been in the black for some time. The merger is self-sustaining. The main reason there was a pause was so that UCSD could figure out what is best [for the two schools].”

The two schools have existing collaborations, including joint degrees, the Community Law Project — a program that allows UCSD undergraduates to gain experience by providing legal and public policy services for the underprivileged in San Diego — and speaker series. Hardy said both schools are similar because both have dual J.D./Ph.D. programs with UCSD’s History and Political Science departments, as well as a joint master’s degree in Health Law.

Should negotiations resume and the committee reach an agreement, a proposal will be submitted both to the UCSD Faculty Senate and administration and the California Western Board of Trustees. If both bodies support the recommendations set out in the proposal, it will be sent to the UC Office of the President for a final decision.

Subramani said it is difficult to predict when talks resume.

“This is just a pause,” Hardy said. “This is not a suspension or an end.”

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal