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Valparaiso on the Move -- to Another State?

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

The commute to Valparaiso Law School is going to be a killer.

The law school, located in Valparaiso, Indiana, is planning to move to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. That's about 469 miles away, or 7 hours and 23 minutes for those who have a car.

It's apparently a cost-cutting measure, and may help the law school survive. But will there be a tuition cut or at least a travel allowance?

Middle Tennessee

According to reports, Valparaiso University has sent a letter-of-intent to transfer to Middle Tennessee State University. The letter is not binding, but it looks like a go -- as in "go really far."

Officials did not provide many details, but MTSU President Sidney McPhee said it's not a merger or a sale. It would be "much like a gift," he said.

Based on the law school's recent history, it looks like a drastic measure to stay in business. Last year, Valparaiso's board decided to suspend admissions of first-year students in the fall of 2018.

That happened after the American Bar Association removed a public censure for substandard admission standards. In the meantime, the student population has continued to drop off.

Law Schools Struggling

It's been tough on law schools everywhere, not just in Tennessee or Indiana. In the past two years, a half dozen have closed or merged to stay afloat around the country.

Like Valparaiso, Thomas Jefferson Law School is headed for less expensive digs. That's what happens when you can't keep up with payments for a $127 million dollar campus in California.

While the Indiana-to-Tennessee move may be a "gift" to MTSU, administrators will probably figure out the price for a building at some point. For students and faculty who have to drive, probably not so much.

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