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October 31, 2016

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CBR

This is probably the right decision, though a very sad situation. One of the problems that strikes me is that not all the students are likely to be able to transfer--some number are likely unable to leave Fort Wayne (if they were geographically mobile, I suspect they would have gone somewhere else in the first instance). But the closed-school discharge for student loans only applies if the university as a whole closes. I wonder if students would have a restitution remedy for the tuition paid.

twbb

"It would have been difficult to imagine a tougher time for Indiana Tech to have started a new law school"

And the founders of the law school were told that, from multiple sources, complete with bars and graphs. But they arrogantly decided that their immediate personal desires -- the prestige and financial security of creating and running a law school to trustees, faculty, and administrators -- trumped the interests of students or society. This was eminently foreseeable.

Anon

Student loans shouldn't be a problem since tuition was free.

CBR

Only one year was free (the year they got denied by the ABA). Students actually paid ((and are paying) quite a bit in tuition.

anon

Goodbye and good riddance. Why they thought though it would be a good idea to open a law school after applications collapsed is beyond me.

BC

Not sure how Ind. Tech can close the law school effective June 30, 2017 given the ABA teach-out requirements. The Teach-Out provision requires that "the Teach-Out Plan [must] provide (a) for the equitable treatment of students, in particular by ensuring that they are able to complete the educational programs in which they were enrolled prior to the circumstances that led to the need for the Teach Out Plan, b) that the school will maintain the necessary experience, resources, and support services to provide an educational program reasonably similar in content, structure and scheduling to that promised to the students upon enrollment, and c) that the school will provide students access to such programs and services without requiring them to move or travel substantial distance"

Not sure how Indiana Tech will be able to provide access to a comparable program without staying open past its closure date (given its geographic location and student demographics). Fort Wayne just isn't that close to any other school. Looks like Ohio Northern and Notre Dame are about 70 miles and IU-Indianapolis is 80 or 90. That will be tough, especially if not all can transfer.

twbb

"Not sure how Indiana Tech will be able to provide access to a comparable program without staying open past its closure date (given its geographic location and student demographics)."

I don't see how the ABA would have much recourse if they don't. I mean, in theory they can sue the school, or maybe students can sue as third party beneficiaries under the ABA's presumptive contract with IIT, but it's going to be a pretty subjective determination as to whether the school is fulfilling its obligations under the Teach-Out provision, including what constitutes a "geographical area." I mean, there are only ~200 law schools in the country, I think 70-90 miles away would constitute the same geographical area, though it will be interesting to see what happens if IIT students aren't accepted at the other schools.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

This is terrible news for Indiana. Breaks my heart. They are resurfacing the Toll Road (it's been a five year process), consumer spending is up. Folks are buying Mercury's, Pontiacs, Saturns and Plymouths. Investment and small business startups (Vape shops, smoke shacks and casinos) are flourishing across the miles. The government is investing in new jails and diabetes clinics. Gary no longer smells that bad and I observed a tree. If you want a State that makes it, make it Indiana!

concerned_citizen

Why would a school unaccredited by the ABA be required by ABA rules to implement the teach-out plan?

Something they agreed to in the process of seeking accreditation, even if accreditation was not granted?

twbb

I think the idea is by applying for accreditation and receiving provisional accreditation, they bound themselves. But at the end it doesn't matter. Frankly, for most if not all of the students, it would be more profitable to just not transfer and get their loans discharged.

anymouse

the first domino to fall...

really, this law school should not have opened in the first place and the same goes for any other law school that opened in the past 20 years. Barry, Charlotte, Florida Coastal, Concordia, Duncan, et al.

Steve-o

One down, 100 more to go...

Anon

Twbb,

You're discounting the substantial non-financial sunk costs these students have already incurred. They *might* be able to get the loans discharged (not my field, so I don't actually know), but by not considering continuing their legal educations, they'd be losing the sunk time and opportunity costs already invested.

Then again, I vaguely recall that "ignore your sunk costs" is a basic econ precept in a situation like this.

The point is: the students have no good outcome here: simply seeking discharge doesn't come close to fully remediating the harm.

twbb

"The point is: the students have no good outcome here: simply seeking discharge doesn't come close to fully remediating the harm."

No, but the question is one of mitigation, not full remedy, the "less bad" option for a lot of them will be walk away from their sunk costs.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

When the right wing Elects and Impeaches restoring vitality and sanity to the Republican Party, President Pence will restore this law school. If Obama can get a library, why not a Pence Law and Justice Center? Problems solved. Federal money from the National Park Service.

longtimeprof

Does this make a university president at a more established school more likely to close his or her school? Or does this "not count" since it's a new rather than established school?

[M][@][c][K]

Realistically, law school apologists and defenders have broken down in much the same way as Republicans vis-à-vis Donald Trump - a small number condemned Indiana Tech as a law-school-to-far, others have stayed silent, while yet others have gone all in and defended or endorsed (the same as say with Inflaw, Charlotte, etc.) Today, all of these defenders will take solace in the argument that Indiana Tech was always an outlier, and that its flaws were special to that school.

That argument will, for a time, mostly work. It was a bizarrely extreme example of the law school model - but it was not that much of an outlier. How much influence will its closing have. Indiana Tech is a low to mid-ranking school as a whole. The decision to open a law school was widely seen as a bizarre choice, the law school a high risk proposition. It will have some minor influence, but nothing like a higher ranked institution, say a Santa Clara, choosing to close its law school, or one of the Philadelphia law school conurbation closing.

Leo

I don't think that this closure will have any impact of other schools that should be closed. It has no alums, benefactors or other entrenched groups to fight the closure or come to its aid. Other failing schools will quickly distinguish itself from Tech.

Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

Leo,

You are sage for our times. You are correct. Indiana is a special place and the school is unique. I am not sure if Indiana values scholarship given their health outcomes and educational attainment levels. This is the place where the Coach hurls metal chairs at people during a basketball game. It is a dystopian flat landscape of used car lots, cheaply constructed CVS stores, fireworks outlets. casinos, gun stores and Vape shops. Like a Law School, they shut down a Planned Parenthood and their STD rates soared. Priorities..... If demand for attorneys was there and the market was healthy, this could have been a good investment for the future.

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