A new program allowing students to complete their bachelor’s degree while simultaneously beginning their first year of law school accounts for one of the changes that lies ahead for the Texas Wesleyan School of Law under the ownership of Texas A&M University.

Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick Slabach announced the tentative sale of the law school to A&M for $20 million earlier this year on June 26. Slabach and Frederic White, law school dean and professor of law, held two open forums Aug. 27 to answer questions students and faculty members had about the potential merge with Texas A&M.

Slabach answered law students’ questions regarding degree plans, and how and if they were going to change, by announcing the creation of two new programs under the partnership.

The first new program is the 3-Plus-3 Program, which will allow students at the undergraduate level to apply for, and if accepted, attend law school after three years of undergraduate coursework. After a student’s first year of law school, Wesleyan would accept the credits as part of the student’s bachelor’s degree program at Wesleyan. Slabach said this will be an exclusive program in Dallas and Tarrant County.

The second program offered will be the joint juris doctorate and master’s in business administration program, which will allow students at the law school and students in Wesleyan’s MBA program dual enrollment, shaving one year off of the student’s academic career by allowing certain credits from the MBA program to be applied to the student’s JD degree.

Other concerns raised were if the law school was going to stay in the Fort Worth area. Adding faculty members and expanding the facility were the only changes to be expected, Slabach said.

Slabach announced the tentative sale of the Texas Wesleyan School of Law to Texas A&M University for $20 million earlier this year on June 26. A&M will by the law school for $20 million up front and $5 million over the next five years at $1 million dollars a year. Wesleyan will then lease the space now occupied by the law school for $2.5 million over the next 40 years.

A letter of intent containing the basics of the agreement has been approved by the Texas Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and the Texas A&M System Board of Regents. A group of Wesleyan and Texas A&M faculty will meet to discuss the logistics of the merge, and what is going to happen with the students and faculty as these two universities become one, over the course of the next year. The process is expected to reach completion by June 2013, Slabach said.

-rlpeel@txwes.edu

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