MnSCU and William Mitchell College of Law agree to explore opportunities for collaboration

Posted: May 8, 2002

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul have agreed to explore opportunities to collaborate in educational programs, research and other ways that would benefit both institutions and their students.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor James H. McCormick and William Mitchell President and Dean Harry J. Haynsworth on Tuesday signed a "memorandum of understanding." It says the institutions will explore a variety of collaborative approaches including dual-degree and other interdisciplinary programs, credit-transfer agreements, honors scholarship programs, joint access to libraries, joint research, cross-faculty appointments, teaching exchanges, distance learning and service-learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

"The law school's strategic plan commits us to entering into more long- and short-term alliances with other schools and organizations, in part because there's an expanding need and demand for legal education, especially among professionals who may not want or require a law degree but do need specialized types of legal knowledge," said Miggie Cramblit, the St. Paul attorney who is chair of William Mitchell's Board of Trustees.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Chair Mary Choate said the agreement could expand opportunities for students in both institutions. "We are interested in exploring how a collaboration between our institutions could benefit students and make more educational resources available to them," she said.

Chancellor McCormick said the agreement also could lead to increased professional development opportunities for faculty and staff of both institutions. "The possibilities for collaboration, such as teaching exchanges and cross-faculty appointments, are something in which both institutions are interested," he said.

Haynsworth, who noted that about 10 percent of William Mitchell's current students graduated from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, said he's optimistic that the new agreement will lead "to some impressive examples of what public-private partnerships can accomplish."

He said administrators and faculty members at both William Mitchell and Minnesota State University, Mankato - one of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities - are excited about the potential of the dual-degree program established by the two schools late last year in a separate agreement. Enrollment opens this fall in that program, which allows students to earn a J.D. degree at William Mitchell and a master's degree in public administration at MSU.

William Mitchell, which had fall 2001 enrollment of 1,015, is an independent law school and a Minnesota nonprofit organization.