Monday, June 26, 2023

Golden Gate's gilding flakes off: über-toilet struggles to survive

A few days ago, the board of trustees at Golden Gate University met to discuss the fate of its über-toilet law school, which faces both serious financial problems and the risk of losing ABA accreditation. Indeed, it seems difficult to address either problem without making the other worse.

As we reported here at OTLSS, last autumn's full-time entering class got free tuition. Since Golden Gate's financial position hardly enables it to dispense charity, this move was obviously intended to bribe students with higher potential to pass the exam. "See, ABA? Now we've barely met the standard." Whereupon the ABA would rubber-stamp the über-toilet. Of course, Golden Gate cannot operate forever at zero tuition, so it would go back to charging fees, the quality of the class would sink again, and after a few years there would be another notice of non-compliance and another round of free tuition… Indiana Tech tried the same thing, and folded a year later. Old Guy knows of only one school that pulled it off: UC Irvine, when it opened. That was an unusual case, with financial and institutional backing from the enormous UC system. It also lasted only one year (well, the following two classes got smaller discounts), and, incidentally, it failed to achieve the desired result of springboarding Irvine into the top 20 by the "ranking" of You Ass News.

According to the article cited above, Golden Gate had hoped to drum up some money by selling off buildings in downtown San Francisco "and optimiz[ing] its physical space requirements" (read: making do with a lot less). A downturn in the real-estate market, however, is likely to leave Golden Gate with less cash than it had hoped to receive.

It appears that the dean was quietly replaced just before the board's recent meeting. Sudden changes such as this are common at dying über-toilets.

The article also mentions a "distressingly low" employment rate of only 38% for the latest graduating class, coupled with "a projected debt of around $283,000 per student". Old Guy is not a bit surprised that people ass enough to borrow that much money on non-dischargeable loans at high interest struggle to find work as lawyers. I certainly wouldn't hire a lawyer who was that stupid.

Expect to hear the death knell toll for Golden Gate very soon.