The founders of the 9-year-old Charleston School of Law announced Wednesday they are selling the private law school to The Infilaw System— a for-profit system that owns three other law schools.
The sale would have to be approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the American Bar Association.
“We made this decision because a majority of the founders had expressed a desire to pull back and retire,”school founders Robert S. Carr and George C. Kosko said in a joint statement. “As a result, this transaction is part of a necessary succession plan that ensures that the Charleston School of Law will be viable and thrive over the long term.”
“One of the key reasons we chose to move forward with InfiLaw is because it is committed to maintaining the best of the Charleston School of Law, including our culture and vision, while at the same time bringing its strengths, including investment in the law school in terms of systems, programs and infrastructure, as well as a demonstrated commitment to public service.”
The move had been expected, though unhappily, by many of the school’s alumni. The Associated Press reported that the CSOL alumni board was studying the situation and looking for ways to stop it.
The college’s lone representative in the state legislature has called InfiLaw a “diploma mill.” Rep. Stephen Goldfinch (R-Murrells Inlet) has asked that the private law school consider a merger with the public College of Charleston or the University of South Carolina.
“Universally, the alumni are all saying let’s try the College of Charleston option or let’s try the USC option,” he told South Carolina Radio Network.
However, CSOL officials say no public institution has approached them about a potential merger and that other private schools did not engage in “substantive discussions,” according to Wednesday’s announcement.
School officials say they are still open to “well thought-out and financially-viable alternative offers.” However, the announcement did not disclose any financial information about the InfiLaw deal. A school spokesman declined to comment Wednesday.
Carr said InfiLaw will not make any operational decisions until the transition is complete.
Sheree Bernardi of Charleston affiliate WTMA filed this report