FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP): Indiana Tech Law School is closing its doors next year.
The law school in Fort Wayne cited low enrollment and $20 million in losses. The board of trustees voted unanimously to close.
The school has 71 students.
Indiana Tech President Arthur Snyder said Monday that it was a difficult decision, but the law school won’t be able to attract enough students to remain viable.
University officials say current students have the option of completing the upcoming semester and those in their last year can graduate in May. Students in their first and second years will be able to transfer to other law schools.
The school was denied its first try at accreditation.
You can read the entire press release below.
The Indiana Tech Board of Trustees, with the recommendation of the university’s administration, has voted unanimously to close Indiana Tech Law School at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year. The law school will continue to operate throughout the remainder of the current academic year, and officially close June 30, 2017.
Indiana Tech President Dr. Arthur Snyder commented, “This was an extremely difficult decision for all involved. Over the course of time it has become apparent that the significant decline in law school applicants nationwide represents a long term shift in the legal education field, not a short term one. Specific to Indiana Tech, the assessment of the Board and our senior leadership team is that for the foreseeable future the law school will not be able to attract students in sufficient numbers for the school to remain viable.”
Indiana Tech Law School currently has a total of 71 students enrolled. All students will have the option to complete the year with the law school, with those in their third and final year having the ability to graduate from the law school in May. First and second year students will have the option to transfer to other law schools at the start of the January 2017 semester, or to complete the year at Indiana Tech Law School and then transfer for the start of the fall 2017 semester. Indiana Tech Law School staff will work closely with each student on an individual basis to help with the transfer and degree completion process.
To date, Indiana Tech has incurred a loss of nearly $20 million in operating the law school. With new enrollments projected to be in the range of 30-50 per year for the foreseeable future, this deficit was expected to continue growing, rather than shrinking, placing the law school on an unsustainable path.
Dr. Snyder commented further, “Our first concern is for the law school students. We will be working hard on behalf of each of them to ensure that the process for transferring, for continuing their legal education, and ultimately earning their law degree takes place with as little disruption as possible.
“Our law school faculty and staff have made commendable efforts in serving our students. Despite their many positive achievements, we have not seen enough of a corresponding increase in demand by prospective students to enable the school to continue in operation.”
All other areas of the university will be unaffected. Indiana Tech has experienced consistent yearly enrollment growth in its traditional undergraduate and adult College of Professional Studies programs. Nearly 1,600 students are enrolled at Indiana Tech’s traditional undergraduate campus in Fort Wayne this academic year, while over 8,000 adult students learn online and in person during evening classes at the school’s 17 locations around Indiana and in Chicago, Detroit, Louisville and the Cincinnati area.