The struggling Charleston School of Law (CSOL) says it will be able to accept new students for this upcoming school year, easing fears that the school could soon close.
However, the private law school’s owners said they will still make cuts: laying off at least seven faculty members and consolidating several facilities in cost-trimming moves.
“It’s been hard to lose these members of our staff and faculty, but it’s been a necessary business move to ensure that the size of the school is appropriate for the number of students we have,” school spokesman Andy Brack said in a written statement. “Our existing staff will be able to meet students’ needs as a number of functions have been consolidated.”
Speculation into the school’s future flared up two weeks ago after the college’s two remaining owners issued a statement May 5 explaining that they “cannot in good faith enroll another class” when the school is spending more money than is coming in. Retired judges George Kosko and Robert Carr also said in the statement that they cannot assure students that they will be able to use federal student loans for their full three years or that the school will even be able to maintain its license and stay open during that time.
24 staff members and four faculty members have left the school through buyouts, separation packages, and attrition since May 2014, school leader say.
CSOL plans to to consolidate several facilities into its Mary Street location and another building on Meeting Street.
Carr and Kosko had spent more than a year attempting to sell CSOL to InfiLaw System, which owns three other for-profit law schools around the country. The sale was strongly criticized by alumni and faculty, who claim InfiLaw is a diploma mill with lower academic standards. The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education came down against the acquisition last year, while the American Bar Association allowed it.