U of M law school prepares for loss of state funds

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.