University of New Hampshire School of Law
In March 2010 University of New Hampshire President Mark W. Huddleston and Franklin Pierce Law Center President John D. Hutson announced that the two institutions approved an affiliation agreement. Now that the agreement is in effect, Franklin Pierce Law Center has become the University of New Hampshire School of Law.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did the Franklin Pierce Law Center (Pierce Law) affiliate with the University of New Hampshire (UNH)?
Affiliation with a flagship research university provides an opportunity to strengthen Franklin Pierce Law Center’s programs and raise its stature both nationally and internationally. Franklin Pierce Law Center, for example, has one of the top intellectual property law programs in the world, which will benefit from, among other things, the strength of UNH’s science and engineering and business colleges. At the same time, Franklin Pierce Law Center’s expertise in intellectual property and technology commercialization will help UNH continue to expand its efforts to strengthen its research programs and commercialize the products of its science and engineering labs, thereby improving UNH’s position as a engine for economic growth in New Hampshire. The state benefits when new jobs are created as a result of this new synergy.
How will the affiliation benefit students at both institutions?
One of what will be many examples is the Exchange Agreement that allows graduate degree students from UNH and JD and LLM or interdisciplinary masters students from the UNH School of Law, who are in good academic and financial standing at each institution, to enroll for graduate/law coursework and to earn academic credits at the other institution.
When is the affiliation effective?
The affiliation is effective Aug. 30, 2010.
Why is Franklin Pierce Law Center changing its name?
In order to more accurately reflect the status of the law school as an affiliate of UNH, it will be known as the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Franklin Pierce Law Center’s long-standing national and international reputation in intellectual property will be maintained and strengthened by establishing the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property at UNH School of Law. The Law School will continue to invest in, and expand, its intellectual property program through this newly established Intellectual Property Center.
Is the Law School moving to Durham?
The UNH School of Law is staying in Concord for the foreseeable future. Both institutions agree that the current location in the state’s capital has many advantages. The ultimate location of the law school is one of many issues that will be reviewed by two integration committees – academic and administrative – that will make recommendations for how best to maximize the benefits of the two institutions coming together.
What do the integration committees do?
The academic and administrative integration committees are established as part of the affiliation agreement. The integration committees are comprised of personnel from both institutions. They are responsible for identifying and analyzing potential integration and collaboration opportunities and issues. The committees report and make recommendations to the Law School board and leaders of each institution.
How will the UNH School of Law be governed under the agreement?
During the period of affiliation, the UNH School of Law will be governed by a board of 30 trustees as well as the presidents and chief financial officers of both institutions. The composition of the board will change each year, shifting from a Franklin Pierce Law Center majority to an equal balance of UNH-appointed trustees and Law School-appointed trustees by July 1, 2014. A merger vote can occur as early as January 1, 2013. If a merger is approved, the board will take on an advisory role and the UNH School of Law will fall under the UNH governance structure.
What is the process for a merger to be approved?
The agreement allows for a merger vote to take place not earlier than Jan. 1, 2013, upon the request of five or more UNH School of Law trustees, and would require approval by a two-thirds majority vote until 2015. Thereafter, a merger could be approved by a majority vote of the trustees.
Will current Pierce Law students graduate from Franklin Pierce Law Center or the UNH School of Law?
The Law School’s class of 2011 will be the first class to graduate under the name of the UNH School of Law.
Will the UNH School of Law’s tuition change? Will the school have in- and out-of-state rates like UNH?
The UNH School of Law Board of Trustees approves tuition rates for the UNH School of Law and has recently approved that beginning in the fall of 2011, tuition waivers of $4,000 will be available for two different categories of students: 1) "Qualified" New Hampshire residents*, and 2) Students currently enrolled full time at UNH in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at the time of application submittal. A student who is both a qualified New Hampshire resident and enrolled at UNH will get a tuition waiver of $8,000. This policy reflects the Law School's commitment to not only UNH students, but also to its state's residents. Conventional financial aid for merit, diversity, and need is also available for qualifying students in addition to the waivers. Admissions criteria remain the same for all applicants.
*A qualified New Hampshire resident is someone who has been legally domiciled in New Hampshire continuously for at least twelve months immediately prior to registering for the term for which NH residency status is claimed. Nonresident undergraduate students at the University of New Hampshire will be considered nonresident students for the purpose of qualifying for the NH resident waiver.
Will faculty and staff become university employees?
During the affiliation period, faculty and staff will be employees of the UNH School of Law. If and when a merger occurs, faculty and staff will become University System of New Hampshire employees.
Will there be tuition discounts for faculty/staff and their dependents?
The integration committees will be making recommendations on this issue, bearing in mind the expected interest, on behalf of both the UNH School of Law and UNH employees, in using this benefit. At this time there is no tuition discount.
Will alumni receive new diplomas with the “University of New Hampshire School of Law” name?
This question is still under consideration.
Will the affiliation, and potential merger, cost either institution financially?
The affiliation agreement calls for no exchange of funds between the institutions. There are likely to be situations where the institutions mutually agree to invest in certain activities that benefit the affiliation. An example is the development of a joint degree. In addition, the Law School will continue to abide by the American Bar Association requirement that require all funds received by a law school be allocated for the operation of the law school.
What role will UNH play in the upcoming dean search?
The President of UNH will be consulted by the Dean’s Search committee and must approve the committee’s recommended candidate. Additionally, a representative of President Huddleston serves on the search committee.
Will class sizes at the UNH School of Law change?
There are no immediate plans to increase (or decrease) the number of admitted students. There will be an emphasis on creating new programs that take advantage of the synergies between the two institutions.
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