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Law School Update

To the University community,

By now, I know you are aware that the Tennessee Higher Education Commission this week denied our proposal to transfer to Valparaiso University School of Law to our Murfreesboro campus. The 8 to 5 vote, in my opinion, was not based on merits of our proposal, as those who opposed our measure appeared to be mostly concerned about how the school would pose competition to the public law schools in Knoxville and Memphis.

I voiced those points in this article that appeared in Wednesday’s edition of The Tennessean: https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2018/10/16/mtsu-law-school-valparaiso-vote-opposed-thec-nashville-memphis-knoxville/1659112002/

In the article, Commission Chairman Evan Cope made an important point: One-third of the state’s population lives in the Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro MSA and the growth in that area is 150 percent above the average rate of growth in the nation. It is regrettable that the state’s fastest-growing and most populous area has been denied the opportunity of a public, accredited law school – and that the state of Tennessee has been denied a significant, multi-million dollar gift. Our proposal would have helped most those in Middle Tennessee seeking a legal education from an accredited school who cannot afford a private school or cannot travel to either corner of the state.

It would be easy to leave this process bitter and discouraged. However, I urge that we emerge from this more resolute and more determined than ever in our continued efforts to move our University forward. I intend to channel our feelings on this outcome into a concerted call to action and advance further the standing and service of our great institution.

Now, more than ever, we must all work together and remain True Blue.

Sincerely,

Sidney A. McPhee

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