Monday, November 16, 2009

Boston Herald Goes off the Deep End

In what should be a shocker to no one, today's Herald editorial jumped off the deep end, coming out strong against a UMASS Dartmouth Law School, with the kind of hyperbole rarely out seen outside of tabloid "journalism." Saying the "skids are greased," they launch an attack at Chancellor of UMASS Dartmouth, Jean McCormick, the UMASS Board of Trustees, Romney-appointed UMASS Prez Jack Wilson and Governor Patrick. Notably missing is almost any reason why they think a UMASS Law School, focusing on public law at reasonable in-state tuition, would be such a bad idea.

A lot of the editorial doesn't even make sense. For example:
But when there are agendas at work - and make no mistake there are - you just can’t keep a bad idea down.
Please, Boston Herald, pray tell, what "agendas" are there at work? UMASS Dartmouth wanting to become a more prestigious public school? The UMASS system wanting a law school? The agendas here seem to be of the noble variety.

The Herald goes on to bash this idea as a bad one, because it failed in 2005. Of course, the only reason why the law school failed to earn the votes last time is because BU, Northeastern, Suffolk and several other high-priced law schools screamed bloody murder. Seems they think a neighbor on the block that costs half as much (literally) may just put a dent into their profits. That was the real hidden "agenda" last time -- the agenda to stop a public law school, led by the private ones.

It only gets more absurd from there.
And the only thing that has changed since 2005 is the state of the Massachusetts economy. In case President Wilson hasn’t read the papers lately, the economy has tanked and it’s not getting any better very soon.
And that's a reason to oppose an accessible, affordable law school?

From there, the Herald goes on to distort the truth. They say the law school "basically wants to give itself away to UMASS." However, that's misleading at best. The law school wants to become part of a major university system so it has the increased resources to become academically competitive. UMASS wants a law school so it can be a more competitive major university system in this country. Herald Board: That's why they call this thing a "merger," jackasses.

The Herald then decides swim deeper, saying the state can't afford this.
Wilson is singing the same old song about what a wonderful asset this will be and how it will eventually make money for the system. That, of course, is predicated on it enrolling nearly twice as many students as the school now serves and that wouldn’t happen unless it got American Bar Association accreditation.
Which the University says it would do in a matter of years.
What Wilson and his enabler UMass/Dartmouth Chancellor Jean MacCormack don’t like to talk about is the millions of dollars it will cost to get ABA accreditation by upgrading the school’s facilities, library and its faculty.
Really? They don't like talking about it? Have ya asked them? The fact of the matter is that while this would cost the school some money, it would cost the state diddley squat. The university has the access to the cash to make this happen. They've had that cash for a long time. Making it happen will make the University a more prestigious public school across the entire country, which in turn would make more people want to go to it.

There are a lot of people in this state, many of them who probably buy ads in the Boston Herald, who are terrified of the UMASS system becoming the type of University system that you find in North Carolina, California and elsewhere: elite, public colleges that are affordable and accessible to in-state students. UMASS has already made many leaps and bounds, getting a law school and making relatively small investments in it would go a long way toward reaching the finish line. The real agenda here is keeping UMASS down. Unfortunately, the same forces that have been successful in that quest for so long are losing the public fight, which is probably why this Herald article tries so hard in its own deranged way at grasping for straws.

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