CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The alumni association president of a troubled, for-profit law school in North Carolina says it's closing immediately.
Lee Robertson Jr. says Charlotte School of Law employees were notified Monday. By Tuesday afternoon, the 11-year-old school's website had been taken down.
The University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted against extending the school's operating license, which expired last Thursday. The school failed to qualify for federal student aid as the board stipulated in June.
Students were told by email Friday classes would resume Aug. 28.
But on Monday, the American Bar Association rejected the school's "teach-out'' plan to remain open for existing students.
Enrollment had fallen from a high of 1,400 students to fewer than 100. Dozens of students have sued the school, alleging fraud.
A copy of Robertson's email, obtained by Spectrum News is below:
"Today, you will likely hear some distressing news reports about the future of Charlotte School of Law. I hope that this email relieves some of the shock.
Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from Interim Dean Meggett. Dean Meggett, as I have probably previously expressed to you, is a good friend to our alumni association. In that conversation, Dean Meggett informed me of two tremendously distributing developments in the Charlotte School of Law’s fight to resume operations. First, the American Bar Association denied the law school’s Teach-Out Plan. Second, the North Carolina Board of Governors (the authority that permits post-secondary institutions to operate in this state) declined to grant an extension of the law school’s license to operate. In other words, there is no Teach-Out Plan, and no license to operate even if there was. It appears that there is no path forward. The administration and the faculty are aware of this, and I understand that the students will be informed today. Our law school, it seems, is closing, effective immediately. (The website was even removed late last night).
Like you, I am deeply saddened and profoundly frustrated by this news. I was very hopeful that our law school would be able to regain the confidence of the ABA, the BOG, its students and its alumni. I was also very hopeful that the students who have been patiently waiting to resume their education at the Charlotte School of Law would have the opportunity to do so. It appears that they will not. Their only option, in fact, seems to be to transfer to a different institution, and in the process, lose thousands of dollars and years of their lives. Moreover, as most law schools will resume classes in the next two weeks, it is unlikely that any student will have the opportunity to transfer this semester.
Like you, I am also very concerned for what this means for our professional reputations. And like you, I am frustrated that this news will distract from the good work that all of us do, every day, to make our communities better places to live. Your Alumni Association has worked hard over the past nine months to do what it could to help restore confidence in our school. We are all saddened that these efforts have not been more successful.
Since its creation, our Alumni Association has always functioned as an organization within the law school. Our membership has been open, free of charge, to every graduate of the Charlotte School of Law. Of course, these developments will affect how our Alumni Association will operate in the future. Over the next few months, the Alumni Association’s Executive Board will meet to discuss options to move forward. If you would like to be involved in those conversations, please let me know.
While this is not the news that any of us wanted to hear, I know that every one of us, with or without a law school, will work hard, every day, to make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors.
Please let me know if there is anything that your Alumni Association can do for you during this difficult and disappointing time."