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December 11, 2002

Media Contacts:
Franki Fitterer, California Western Media Relations Coordinator, Office: (619) 515-1545,m Mobile: (619) 306-0282
Dolores Davies, Director of Communications Strategies UCSD University Communications (858) 534-5994

California Western School of Law and UCSD
Sign Collaborative Agreement

Association Designed to Promote Interdisciplinary Opportunities

California Western School of Law and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) signed a formal Agreement of Association Monday that will provide broad interdisciplinary opportunities for the faculty and students of both institutions. California Western will provide the resources of a law school to the faculty and students of UCSD and UCSD will offer graduate study and research opportunities in medicine, political science, and other disciplines to the law school’s faculty and students. The two institutions expect to realize the benefits of their association without any expenditure of state funds.

“This innovative public-private partnership will give students and faculty a range of new options at no cost to taxpayers or to students,” said California Western Dean Steven R. Smith.

The agreement between the two institutions includes provisions for new academic programs, joint research efforts, sharing of facilities, and involvement of faculty and board members in each other’s academic bodies and community outreach programs.

According to Marsha Chandler, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at UCSD, the agreement also confirms San Diego’s status as the state leader in collaborations between institutions of higher learning.

“This agreement between UCSD and California Western exemplifies this tradition in San Diego of educational teamwork. It also recognizes that in an era of budget cuts, we can still find innovative ways to fulfill our missions of education, research, and public service.”

The agreement also lays the groundwork for two joint programs in law and medicine, drawing on the expertise of both institutions. A Master’s in health law, currently under discussion, would be a joint interdisciplinary program targeted toward lawyers and health-care professionals. The curriculum would contain a mix of courses from both California Western and the UCSD School of Medicine.

A J.D./M.D. dual-degree program is also proposed, under which students would be accepted individually by both schools, study at both campuses, and meet both institution’s requirements for graduation. Students in this program would be able to study with leading faculty and complete the dual-degree in less time than if the two degrees were pursued separately and consecutively.

In addition to the two health-related programs, a dual-degree J.D./Ph.D. program is currently available in History and Political Science, in which students earning a J.D. at California Western also study for either a Ph.D. in political science or a Ph.D. in history at UCSD. Both programs are particularly designed for students pursuing careers in academia.

It is expected that faculty from each institution will be invited to teach courses at the other institution. Joint research efforts also will be explored, and students as well as faculty are expected to benefit from these collaborations. Both institutions will consider the desirability of appointing trustees, faculty and administrators to their governing and academic bodies. UCSD and California Western will also investigate the possibility of making dual appointments of nationally renowned scholars to hold faculty positions at the two institutions.

A UCSD/California Western Collaboration Committee has been formed and will continue to function as a steering committee to organize and monitor the relationship.

“The arrangement offers opportunities for joint educational and degree programs, library cooperation between the two institutions, and also may lead to creative joint research efforts,” said Smith. “We are just beginning to outline the significant future benefits of this relationship.”

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