NY Times article on Monaghan, Ave Maria enterprises
From Sunday's Business Section (subscription required):
Below is part of the article dealing with Ave Maria School of Law:
Note that the same reporter did the American Lawyer story on AMSOL earlier this summer.
For a while, the Ave Maria School of Law seemed immune to the strife. Its enrollment, now about 380, was growing, and the American Bar Association had granted it full accreditation. But Mr. Monaghan wants to relocate that school to Florida, too, upsetting teachers, students and alumni. Opponents say it is crazy to leave an intellectual center like Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, for an undeveloped outpost on the edge of the Everglades.
“There’s nothing there yet, with all due respect,” said Chris McGowan, a law school alumnus who noted that students in Ann Arbor have easy access to a federal courthouse and many local internship opportunities.
He and others who are fighting the move said the only reason the school’s board was even considering it was that Mr. Monaghan, the chairman, had invested more than $330 million in the Florida university and town and wanted the law school there to shore up that investment.
One veteran board member — Charles E. Rice, an emeritus professor of law at Notre Dame University — tried to make the case against the move. But he said that Mr. Monaghan and other board members, including the law school’s dean, Bernard Dobranski, “did not want a contrary voice,” so last fall they adopted term-limit bylaws and ejected him from the board.
Dean Dobranski denied the bylaws change was directed at Professor Rice, noting that three other members left the board at the same time.
Faculty members, students and alumni rallied around Professor Rice, however, and since last fall they have mounted a campaign that has included pointed attacks against Mr. Monaghan and resolutions calling on Dean Dobranski to resign.
“The bigger issue is school governance,” said Jason B. Negri, president of the law school’s alumni association. Specifically, he criticized Mr. Monaghan’s insistence on operating the school like a private business and what he said was the board’s failure to stand up to him.