U of M law school prepares for loss of state funds

Public funds for UMN law school? Not for much longer.

The law school at the University of Minnesota has watched the flow of state dollars heading its way turn to a trickle in recent years.

Currently state funds make up about 12 percent of the law school’s $42 million annual budget, just over $5 million dollars.

But law school dean David Wippman thinks even that money could be gone soon as lawmakers struggle to balance the state’s budget.

“It’s clear that we’ll lose a significant component, probably the majority of our remaining state funding in this coming year. I think we will lose much, if not all of it, soon thereafter.”

The U law school is preparing for something called “financial self sufficiency”.  It would remain a public law school, but won’t get any public money.  Law school officials would make up for the loss through increases in tuition revenue and private giving.  There’s only a handful of law schools around the country that operate under such a system.

It comes as the law school is kicking off a major fundraising campaign.

You can read my story on what the law school faces on the Minnesota Public Radio News website.