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Law, Darden build on financial strengths
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Law, Darden build on financial strengths

By Fariss Samarrai and Charlotte Crystal, illustration by Robert Neubecker

During a time when people on Grounds are talking about self-sufficiency, the Law School and Darden School are acting on it. Both schools have been moving toward financial self-sufficiency since 1995 and have substantially reduced their dependence on state funds.

“Self-sufficiency builds on the unique financial strengths of our professional schools in a way that is good for the entire University,” said Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The concept of financial self-sufficiency provides incentives to the professional schools to generate the resources necessary to meet their school’s needs. The application of the concept frees institutional resources for other schools of the University that are less able to achieve the same level of self-sufficiency.”

John C. Jeffries Jr., dean of the Law School, said, “This agreement secures the Law School’s financial future and lays the foundation for its continued success, while respecting the interests of the rest of the University.”

Both Law and Darden remain fully under University governance. Major administrative decisions at the schools, such as hiring faculty members, must still be approved by the provost.

“This plan is merely a modification of the funding mechanism, and it continues to maintain a strong relationship between Darden and the University,” said Mark Reisler, associate dean for administration at the Darden School.

“We remain fully a part of the University and are committed to its goals,” Jeffries said.

Both Law and Darden will increase tuition this year, bringing tuition to similar levels with peer schools. Tuition for in-state students at both schools will continue to be less than for out-of-state students. Tuition at the Law School for 2003-04 will be $22,384 for in-state students and $27,737 for out-of-state. Darden’s in-state tuition and required fees will be $26,785, and out-of-state will be $31,735.

“Tuition for out-of-state students will be comparable to our peer institutions,” Jeffries said. “This will significantly increase revenue for the Law School while allowing us to continue to recruit outstanding students. The lower cost for in-state students recognizes our historic debt to the state and our role as a University component.”

While the Law School will keep enrollment stable, Darden is in the second year of a two-year expansion plan. Enrollment in the fall 2003 MBA program will have increased nearly 25 percent over enrollment in fall 2001. Both schools will place a new emphasis on raising funds for scholarships and loans to help students overcome any financial difficulty the increased tuition may bring.

“We are telling our alumni that financial aid is the top priority,” Jeffries said.

Under the self-sufficiency plan, the Law School and Darden will pay a percentage of their tuition-related revenue toward the University’s general overhead expenses.

They will also pay for all annual operations and routine and major maintenance.
“The professional schools not only are responsible for the direct costs of their operations, with only a small institutional subsidy for in-state students, but they also contribute to the cost of institutional services such as security, care of buildings and grounds and central University administrative operations,” Sandridge said.

“This plan works well for the schools and the University,” Jeffries said. “We will be able to raise sufficient tuition revenue to remain in the very first rank of American legal education, and the rest of the University will face fewer demands on increasingly scarce state dollars.”

Reisler said, “The plan allows Darden to compete with the best graduate business schools in the world, most of which are private. Higher tuition will bring in additional revenues to help fund the school.”


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