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UMass Chief Blasts Law School Report
By Michael Kunzelman
Associated Press

March 19, 2005

   BOSTON -- The University of Massachusetts' plan to create the state's first public law school is a "high-risk, low-reward proposition" that would cost taxpayers up to $39 million over the next seven years, according to a report commissioned by two private law schools.

     UMass President Jack Wilson fired back yesterday at the report and another written by a Florida law school dean, calling it "a blatant attempt to pervert standard academic processes."

     A 50-page report issued yesterday by Suffolk University Law School and New England School of Law in Boston claims UMass officials have "dramatically underestimated" the costs of the proposed merger.

     The Boston Herald reported yesterday that the second report, written by Leonard P. Strickman, dean of the Florida International University College of Law, was commissioned by New England School of Law Dean John F. O'Brien and was sent to members of the Board of Higher Education. Strickman told the Herald he wrote his report for a yet-to-be determined fee.
     Wilson, in a letter sent yesterday to members of the Board of Higher Education, said that neither of the report authors contacted UMass for information about the law school proposal. He called the Strickman report "a most misleading report obviously created by the opponents and at extreme variance with the facts of the (UMass) proposal."