Valpo Taking 'Difficult' Actions Involving Law School

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(Image courtesy of Valparaiso University.) (Image courtesy of Valparaiso University.)
VALPARAISO -

Valparaiso University says its law school is facing "severe financial challenges," deeming the 130-year-old program "financially unsustainable for the foreseeable future." The administration has decided to suspend first-year law school class admissions next fall and the university is exploring alternatives for the future, including affiliating the law school with another institution or relocating it to a market with "perceived greater demand." If accrediting organizations agree, Valpo says it will prepare plans for currently-enrolled students to complete their degrees.

The university says third-party projections show the law school, if continued in its current state, could "significantly impede the University's ability to achieve its mission, vision and goals." Valpo says it has been working for several years to return the law school to better financial footing.

Board Chairman Fredrick Kraegel calls the actions "very difficult," adding "as the need for legal education continues to be challenged, we have taken numerous actions during the last several years to try to stabilize the Law School's financial situation. Actions have included a reduction in employment levels last year in an attempt to align the school's faculty and staff to its decreased student population. Despite these efforts, it is highly unlikely that the Law School's operations will achieve financial stability."

Kraegel stressed that the financial situation at the rest of the school is in good shape. He says "we are focused on ensuring fair and reasonable treatment of those impacted by this decision through an orderly and carefully considered process. These financial circumstances do not diminish the Law School’s proud legacy of more than 130 years and the thousands of successful law graduates who lead and serve around the world."

The independent Lutheran university's enrollment stands at more than 4,000. You can connect to more about the announcement by clicking here.

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