There are two primary reasons why I believe the two campus model may have even greater potential for our Law School and our students than relocation. The first is our plan to install a pervasive reciprocal interactive audiovisual telecommunications network in the completely renovated and new facilities of The Dickinson School of Law. This network will enable real-time digital-quality audiovisual telecommunications between as many classrooms, conference rooms, student areas, and administrative areas of the two campuses as reasonably feasible given the projected level of capital investment. The primary, but not exclusive, objectives of the network will be: (i) to enable the classroom curriculum of each campus, to the full extent desirable, to be delivered simultaneously to the other campus, so that students at both campuses will be able to enroll in classes taught at either campus; (ii) to enable classes, lectures, and other programs conducted at both campuses to be digitally documented and archived, to the full extent desirable, for later access by students and others and for possible licensing to students and others, wherever located; (iii) to enable students and faculty at both campuses to participate via the new DSL real-time interactive audiovisual telecommunications network in programs, conferences, classes and/or lectures conducted in any compatibly equipped facility worldwide; and (iv) to otherwise promote and enable real-time interaction and collaboration between the two campuses. This network will be only one aspect of a facilities investment totaling, at a minimum, between 80 and 85 million dollars--$70,000,000 from the University, $10,000,000 from the Commonwealth, and at least $5,000,000 in private philanthropy.
The second principal reason for my confidence in the two campus proposal results from our ability to continue to build our faculty at both campuses with nationally prominent scholars and to achieve at each campus a 15:1 student faculty ratio. The University’s pledge of a $6 million annual subsidy enables this--an amount that otherwise would require an additional $120,000,000 in endowment. Simply relocating our Law School lock, stock and barrel would not have enabled this sort of growth of our faculty. Our ability to appoint several nationally prominent faculty will be a wonderful source of ongoing publicity for our new enterprise (e.g., with prospective students, the bar, and deans and professors) and a terrific source of enrichment for our curriculum and classrooms.
The monetary value to the Law School of the two campus opportunity, conservatively, is well over $200,000,000 [Two Hundred Million Dollars].
We anticipate supplementing our new audiovisual network with daily transportation between our two campuses to facilitate in-person interpersonal interaction and exchange. Our classroom teachers will be expected during the course of a semester, for example, to spend considerable “face time” with students at each campus in all classes in which there is an enrollment of students from both campuses. This sort of “face time” requirement, in combination with state-of-the-art interactive audiovisual classrooms, diminishes almost to an imperceptible level the sense among students that they are participating in “distance,” as opposed to in-person, classroom instruction.
The new courtroom/auditorium and legislative hearing rooms in Carlisle will enable us to exploit local resources in a way never before possible. State and federal courts will be able to hold sessions and arguments at our Law School; legislative committees and executive agencies will be able to conduct public hearings at our Law School; the local community and general public will be able to attend lectures and symposia at our Law School; and we will be able to deliver or receive lectures or programs or expert participation in our classes from Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., the Army War College or any other venue in the world that is equipped with compatible audiovisual telecommunications equipment.
At the same time, we will be able to initiate at University Park and deliver or make available to students at both campuses an incredibly rich array of interdisciplinary classes, clinics and activities available only at other University-based law schools. For example, we might begin an environmental law clinic in conjunction with the departments of biological sciences, environmental engineering, and wildlife sciences; we might expand our disability law clinic to include accessibility issues and involve the departments of architecture and transportation sciences; we might create intellectual property, entrepreneurial or small business clinics in cooperation with Innovation Park tenants, the Office of Technology Transfer, the Smeal College of Business, and any number of engineering and science departments; and so forth. We would be able to offer joint conferences and symposia with professors from other departments; invite professors from other departments to lecture or otherwise participate in law classes; enable our students to take classes in other departments or professors in other departments to teach classes in our Law School (there are more lawyers already on the faculty in University Park than there are on the Law School’s faculty); and make joint appointments with other departments of new faculty for the Law School. And, our students would have the opportunity to participate in almost any type of joint degree program.
I believe that, as a result of our aggressive marketing of the unique and highly attractive features of a two campus Dickinson School of Law, we will be able to compete ably for 125 or so highly credentialed students for each campus each year from among the thousands of prospective law students in Pennsylvania and nationally. The two campus proposal does not pit the Carlisle campus against the University Park campus in a competition for students; it delivers the advantages of both locations to all of our students.