Texas A&M acquires law school
Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2013 15:08
On Monday Aug. 19, classes will begin for the first time at the Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp announced the finalization of the university’s acquisition of the law school on Tuesday, which previously operated as part of the Texas Wesleyan University system for the last 24 years.
In a university press release, Sharp said Texas A&M will pay a total of $73.2 million for the law school over the next five years, with an option to purchase the land the school sits on. A previous deal discussed by the two schools would have resulted in the “Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas Wesleyan Univeristy” and cost Texas A&M approximately $108 million.
The law school is one of nine in the state of Texas. In a press release, Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said the addition of a law school to the system is another step to achieving the goals of “Vision 2020,” which includes plans to mold the university into a leading institution among its public university peers.
“We see [Tuesday’s} announcement as the next step in Texas A&M’s dramatic evolution from its beginnings as a regional, military-focused institution into one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious comprehensive universities in the short time span of four decades,” Loftin said.
The law school will enhance the education and opportunities at the university, Sharp said in the press release, but Texas A&M’s status as a community-oriented land grant university will also benefit the state as a whole.
“In creating the Texas A&M University School of Law, we are finally expanding the Texas A&M brand into the field of law with a focus on new areas of growth like patents and commercialization," Sharp said. “This long-sought entry into the field of law by the state’s first public institution of higher learning, with its land-grant university perspective for innovative service to the public, will have a profound impact on the future of Texas.”
The university received final approval by the American Bar Association on Aug. 9, Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Karan Watson said in the press release. The transition from the Wesleyan system to A&M’s will be as positive for students and faculty as possible, she said.
“We’re extremely pleased by the support received throughout this process,” Watson said, “and we look forward to a smooth transition that both ensures our law programs retain accreditation and that the experience is beneficial to all concerned—especially the students, faculty and staff.”
To assist with the transition, the university has created a website with information on identification, finances and recent news.