New details are emerging from Charlotte Law School. They have pushed back the start of their semester from January 17th to January 23; some, but not all, students will apparently get federal student loans for the spring; and it looks very much like Charlotte Law may be headed for closure in the not too distant future as they are working on a teach-out plan that involves Infilaw sister school Florida Coastal.
Late this afternoon, Charlotte Law Dean Jay Conison and President Chidi Ogene sent the following e-mail to Charlotte Law Students:
Dear Charlotte School of Law Students:
We are writing to confirm that Charlotte School of Law plans to reopen for the spring semester on January 23, 2017, the start date we announced a few days ago.
We realize there has been much public discussion and speculation in the media and elsewhere as to the future of CSL. We want to affirm these plans and eliminate uncertainty on this subject.
We continue to be in discussions with the Department of Education, American Bar Association and North Carolina Board of Governors regarding these arrangements. These are multi-faceted discussions, which are taking more time than we anticipated, but the passage of time has not changed our decision to operate and offer classes for the spring semester.
While CSL is not presently participating in the federal student aid programs, as we have previously reported, many of our students will qualify for the final disbursement of their 2016-17 Federal Direct Loans to support their education in the upcoming semester. More specifically, under Department of Education regulations, students who were awarded Federal Direct Loans for the 2016-2017 academic year and received the first disbursement of those loans in the fall semester are entitled to the second disbursement of loan funds to support their enrollment this spring. We are confident that we will reach agreement that will result in the Department meeting this legal commitment.
We are working to provide financial aid, including access to student loans from institutional and other non-federal sources, for those students who are not now entitled to a federal loan disbursement.
We are also working with the ABA and the North Carolina Board of Governors to implement a teach-out plan with the assistance of another ABA-accredited law school with the goal of allowing all students who chose to do so to complete their legal education in Charlotte. We are discussing this subject with the Florida Coastal School of Law, in order to arrange for terms that will satisfy the requirements of the ABA and North Carolina Board.
We are sorry that we cannot provide you with more detailed information at this time but we do want to be clear regarding our plans to start classes on January 23rd. We look forward to talking with you in more detail about your options and individual situations in the very near future. And we will continue to update you via email when we have new information to share.
Other news to emerge from Charlotte in recent days:
The Charlotte Law Faculty apparently held a vote of no confidence in the school's leadership. According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, the overwhelming majority of the faculty, including former Associate Dean Camille Davidson, expressed no confidence in the school's leaders. This may have contributed to Dean Conison's decision to ask for Associate Dean Davidson's resignation.
Stay tuned for the latest developments. . .