The Valparaiso University School of Law, which favors the hideous name Valpo, appeared to have one foot in the grave. Last year it enrolled only 28 first-year students, and this year it won't be enrolling any. It has burnt through its reserves and can no longer afford to operate. It has been dumping professors right and left. What better candidate for closure than Valpo?
Yet the news of Valpo's death, like Mark Twain's, may prove to be greatly exaggerated. Middle Tennessee State University wants to take the über-toilet over and move it to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Recently it has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Valponian overlords for the receipt of Valpo as "a gift": Middle Tennessee "would not be buying the law school or merging with Valparaiso". In other words, Valpo appears to be worthless, as we all have known for some time: the parent institution can hope only to give it away.
Founded 139 years ago, Valpo is one of the US's oldest law schools. However glorious it may have been in the nineteenth century, though, it has for many years been an über-toilet, drawing most of its class—and until this past year practically all of its class—from the bottom half of the pool of LSAT-takers. Mind you, Middle Tennessee State University is itself a toilet. You see, any school that is Southern X or Western Y is sure to be a toilet, and Middle Z is more toilety still. The more specific the regional designator, the more toilety the institution: thus Northeastern Illinois University is a fouler toilet than Northern Illinois University, and East by East-Northeast Illinois University would be an über-toilet par excellence (so to speak).
Laocoön would warn Middle Tennessee State University to fear Valpo even when it bears a gift. This Trojan horse of a law school can only be a liability to anyone foolish enough to acquire it. Short of formulating a bizarre tax-planning strategy, Middle Tennessee can hardly gain by acquiring this dunghill. Perhaps the authorities at Middle Tennessee will put the kibosh on this stupid acquisition.
Old Guy is counting the minutes until the appearance of a "feasibility study" that justifies the acquisition of Valpo on the grounds that greater metropolitan Murfreesboro "needs" a law school. After all, it's half an hour by car from Nashville, which has two ABA-accredited law schools (not to mention a state-accredited one). Surely there should be a law school every five minutes of the way from Memphis to Johnson City!
This silly little stunt won't save Valpo; at most, it may slightly defer the Grim Reaper's visit. Count Valpo as functionally dead.