The Legal Beat
Charlotte Administration Pens Lame Response To Alumni Demands
Posted on Wednesday February 08, 2017
Yesterday, the Charlotte School of Law Alumni Association sent a letter to the administration demanding their resignation over the school’s rapid descent into chaos. As expected, the administration carefully considered the will of their alumni and then took a dump all over them. Few things are certain in life except death, taxes, and officials refusing to leave a good gravy train willingly.
The school framed its retort in two phases:
Response 1: We appreciate the concerns raised in the Alumni Association letter, some of which we share, including the federal Education Department’s precipitous and unwarranted decision to cut off federal student loans to Charlotte School of Law (CSL) students.
Dean Conison and President Ogene are working to ensure that all CSL students can complete their legal education here in Charlotte. To this end, CSL is open, classes are underway, and our faculty, staff and students continue to serve the Charlotte community through involvement in legal and non-legal programs. We have also submitted a plan to address the issues raised during the American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation review process. CSL remains accredited by the ABA.
CSL alumni are the best reason for us to continue the work we are doing. Their record of legal accomplishments and work in the local community and communities nationwide inspire us. We will keep doing everything we can to ensure that CSL alumni ranks continue to grow.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Bulls**t. There’s only been one plan proposed to help Charlotte students “complete their legal education,” and it was summarily rejected by the Charlotte administration. The school can wave around its latest teach-out plan all it wants, but until they get DOE backing, students drowning in debt and eating from a food bank can’t have much sympathy for Charlotte’s belated “efforts.”
Response 2: We take seriously the concerns raised in the Charlotte School of Law alumni association’s letter. Unfortunately, much of the letter recycles allegations made by now-departed political appointees of the Department of Education. To our dismay, these allegations have been repeated as fact – despite a complete lack of due process to determine their veracity – by too many people, and in too many forums. We look forward to rebutting these specious allegations soon, and publicly.
They put a lot of faith in the “Department of Education brought to you by Trump University.” Sadly, this strategy may well succeed. Blaming the Obama administration for its pesky fixation on “data” and “facts” will warm the heart of the new crew at DOE headquarters. It’s entirely believable that the government could seize on the opportunity to bash the former administration and applaud Charlotte for its “bold entrepreneurial spirit” or similar tripe.
That said, it is demonstrably incorrect that Charlotte School of Law ignored concerns about incoming student credentials. Since 2015, Charlotte School of Law has steadily increased the LSAT credentials of its incoming classes. Indeed, the Spring 2017 class was poised to be our strongest (and, at 35 students, our smallest) in several years. Unfortunately, as a result of the Department of Education’s precipitous and unwarranted decision to terminate the school’s access to federal financial aid, the school had no choice but to cancel the Spring 2017 class. Thus, to the extent the alumni association is concerned about insufficient progress in improving the LSAT profiles of incoming students, its ire is misplaced and should be directed at the outgoing administration.
Increasing the 50th percentile from 142 to 144 isn’t really a hell of an improvement, but sure, that’s an increase. The median GPA went down from 2.82 to 2.8 during that period too, which is why this paragraph cleverly uses “LSAT credentials” instead of “admissions standards.”
As it pertains to debt and employment prospects, we note that starting salaries increased for the Fall 2015 class (the last year for which we have information) compared to the immediately preceding class. Further, Charlotte School of Law’s cohort default rate is 1.3%, among the lowest of any higher education institution. In comparison, the cohort default rate for all private institutions is 7.0%, and 11.3% for all public institutions.
This default rate figure is interesting. I’d be interested in seeing all the backup on that one if they’re willing to send it along! Too bad the school still boasts only a 23.5 percent employment score, or those higher salaries might matter a lot more.
We look forward to addressing the Charlotte School of Law alumni association’s requests at an appropriate time in the future. For now, we are resolutely focused on our number one priority: Providing a means for our students to complete their legal education and fulfill their dreams of becoming lawyers.
Hold on, I think there are some typos in there. Let’s mark that up:
We look forward to addressing the Charlotte School of Law alumni association’s requests
at an appropriate time in the future when hell freezes over. For now, we are resolutely focused on our number one priority: Providing a means for our students to complete their legal education continue filling our coffers and fulfill their dreams of becoming lawyers who work Wal-Mart shifts to make ends meet.
No, seriously. Wal-Mart shifts.
Earlier: Charlotte Alumni Demand Resignations Of Law School Leadership
Charlotte Law School Pulls Rug Out From Students
Charlotte Agrees To ‘Teach-Out’ Plan… But Does It Meet DOE Requirements?
Charlotte Law Needs A Food Bank For Students
Joe Patrice is an editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news.