Although New College law school has technically ceased to exist, a measure of optimism has returned to faculty and students there.
This week, professors and staff are interviewing at John F. Kennedy University School of Law for jobs at its proposed new public interest program in Berkeley, Ed Roybal, who has been New College’s acting faculty chairman, told The Shark yesterday afternoon.
Not all the final approvals are in yet, and the exact nature of the program needs to be ironed out, Roybal said, but he expects that hiring decisions will be announced next week.
“I’m optimistic,” he said. He’s also relieved to be getting a paycheck again, although he and other New College personnel are still without health insurance.
Faculty and staff were working for free from November to April 1, thanks to the Department of Education’s freeze last fall of $2 million in funds while it audited the main campus' financial aid files. But since April 1, JFK has been paying New College faculty and staff to finish the spring semester.
The students have been enrolled at JFK through June. The months of insecurity have reduced New College law student ranks from about 160 a year ago to 100. Roybal said he expects all of them to transfer to JFK.
JFK law school Dean Jeff Brown said that adding New College’s program is an opportunity to expand the clinical training offered at JFK, something that had been on his agenda since he started at the school in 2007. “I think we can really learn from New College’s experience and their contacts and their expertise in this area, and it will be an enormous help in getting what I wanted a long time ago in motion.”
Whether all of New College’s six core professors and its staff will continue as part of JFK’s new program remains to be determined, Roybal added. That depends on who JFK makes offers to, and who accepts.