Texas Wesleyan University has set the stage for Texas A&M University to purchase its School of Law and make Fort Worth the birthplace of Aggie law curriculum.
"The key to us was the academic partnership and collaboration," said Frederick G. Slabach, president of Texas Wesleyan.
Speaking at a Tuesday morning press conference at its School of Law campus in downtown, Slabach outlined plans for the College Station university to purchase Texas Wesleyan's School of Law for $25 million. It would pay $20 million at the time the acquisition closed, and $5 million in five years.
Under the agreement, Texas A&M would acquire ownership and operational control of the law school as a going concern, with all law school faculty and staff becoming Texas A&M employees. Meanwhile, Texas Wesleyan would retain ownership and control of the law school building and four city blocks of land at the downtown campus and would lease the facilities to Texas A&M for 40 years at $2.5 million per year adjusted for inflation, Slabach said.
The school would be renamed the Texas A&M School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University. The proposal awaits consideration by Texas A&M. The Texas A&M Board of Regents is expected to consider approving the partnership at its Friday board meeting.
The Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees already has approved a letter of intent for the schools to enter into a strategic partnership. If the partnership wins approval, both schools would work toward a final binding contract.
"The anticipation is that would be done before the end of the next academic year," Slabach said.
Texas A&M currently has no law school. A desire to explore intellectual property law helped prompt the partnership concept.
"In creating the Texas A&M University School of Law at Texas Wesleyan, we are finally expanding the A&M brand into the field of law with a focus on emerging fields that require a growing legal expertise," Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in a news release.