Vote on Charleston School of Law sale delayed

Vote on Charleston School of Law sale delayed

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A for-profit company that wants to buy the Charleston School of Law will wait before it asks the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education to approve the sale.

InfiLaw released a statement Wednesday saying it temporarily suspended its application for a license to own and operate the law school at the request of Sen. John Courson. The company says the Columbia Republican wanted more time for the commission to review the sale. The commission had planned a Thursday vote on the matter.

The commission's staff recommended allowing the sale, but a four-person committee voted it down. Last week, Attorney General Alan Wilson issued an opinion that the commission should only consider whether InfiLaw meets the licensing requirements, not whether granting a license is in the best interest of the state.

Charleston School of Law released the following statement:

At the request of S.C. Senator John E. Courson, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, today we temporarily suspended our application before the S.C. Commission on Higher Education for a license to own and operate the Charleston School of Law.

Senator Courson also asked the CHE to postpone its vote on the matter so that the “Commission and its staff could have time to more carefully review these matters.”

We, like Senator Courson, are concerned by the conflict between the staff recommendation to approve the license, the committee’s recommendation to deny the license and the Attorney General’s opinion which establishes clearly that the CHE can only make licensure decisions based on the criteria articulated in law and regulation, which is what the staff did in making its recommendation.  Given these circumstances, we want to give the Commission additional time to consider and reconcile these issues, including responses to questions we submitted just a few days ago.

During this time, we will continue to work with the school’s owners and its academic leadership to chart the best path forward.

We remain confident that we provide the brightest future for continuing the proud traditions and commitment to excellence of the Charleston School of Law, its faculty, staff and students and we look forward to continuing to demonstrate our commitment as we use this time to reach out to students, faculty and alumni to discuss why we are the best and only viable option to secure the future of the law school.

We are committed to this acquisition and intend to renew our application in due course.

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