Penn State University plans to reunite its two separately accredited law schools, Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle and Penn State Law at University Park into a single law school, with the intent of its primary location being in Carlisle.
The Dickinson School of Law was acquired in 1997, eventually opening Penn State Law on the institution’s main campus in 2014, indicating that it would function as a separate law program from Dickinson Law in Carlisle.
Eight years later, President Neeli Bendapudi plans to reunite the program, which operated as a single law school with two campuses for eight years from 2006-2014. The program will be led by Penn State Dickinson current Dean Danielle M. Conway—canceling the dean search for Penn State Law.
In merging both law schools, the institution will be able to use all resources to remain competitive and “build a stronger law school.”
“Penn State Dickinson Law and Penn State Law have been centrally funded since the inception of their separate accreditation. With these recommended changes, there would be significant savings over time, which can be reallocated into other academic units,” Penn State said in a statement.
A panel will study the merger plans and seek input from the University Faculty Senate before the plan gets submitted to the Board of Trustees.
Both law schools will continue to support students through Fall 2023 and assist with bar examination preparation and placement.
Lastly, in the statement, the institution will explore relocating the School of International Affairs (SIA), and continue to search for a permanent director as well.
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