Colorado Law School to Raise Tuition
To Help Preserve Its ABA Accreditation

September 8, 2003
The Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- The new dean of the University of Colorado law school plans to increase tuition for both residents and nonresidents to help construct a new building and preserve CU's accreditation with the American Bar Association.

The plan calls for tuition to rise $6,000 over the next three years. That would put annual resident tuition at $12,700 for the state's only public law school in 2006.

"The ABA has made strong statements about the condition of our building and we've made strong statements in good faith that we'll take care of it," said David Getches, who became dean July 1. "We keep saying the check is in the mail."
In a letter to CU, the ABA said that the 46-year-old Fleming law building was "woefully inadequate" and that "the situation is worsening with each passing day."

One-third of the library collection is housed in the basement with the heating and ventilation system. The library has no sprinkler system, students have no place to plug in laptop computers, and there is no instructional courtroom.

The new $39 million Leon and Dora Wolf Law building was put on hold in 2002. The state yanked its half of the funding that year because capital construction funds were frozen as a result of the state budget crisis.

Private donors have pledged $7 million -- with $3 million coming from the Wolf family. CU plans to raise another $5 million to $6 million in additional private donations. Law students pledged $7 million through a self-imposed $1,000- a-year tuition increase.

CU regents recently approved the first year's phased-in tuition increase of $2,000. If the increase is approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and the Legislature, resident law school tuition will jump to $8,700 by this time next year.

Under the plan, construction of the new building would begin in 2004, next to the current building on the southeast corner of campus. The building would be completed in three years, Getches said.

Additional tuition revenue would be used for faculty recruitment and retention. The ABA has complained about the number of courses taught by adjunct faculty -- lawyers who aren't necessarily experienced or trained teachers.

About 25 percent of the courses are taught by adjuncts, Getches said, the result of eight faculty members leaving for better jobs over the last four years who haven't been replaced because of state budget cuts.