Antioch Law School officials hailed yesterday's D.C. City Council vote approving $1.3 million for a takeover of the school by the University of the District of Columbia, but the chairman of the UDC board of trustees said the amount was "grossly inadequate."
Antioch University President Alan E. Guskin said in a statement that the 10-to-3 Council vote, following unanimous endorsement of the takeover by a UDC trustees committee last week, "strongly indicates that the . . . law school will become part" of UDC.
However, UDC Board Chairman N. Joyce Payne noted that the resolution by the educational policy committee said the takeover should be contingent on "full and adequate funding" by the District government. In a letter to City Council Chairman David A. Clarke, Payne said $2.3 million was the "bare minimum" needed for the law school's first-year operating subsidy, including about $1 million for a transitional period this summer.
In addition, Payne said at least $3 million would be needed to renovate the Perry Elementary School at First and M streets NW, where Antioch is seeking to move, and $315,000 a year would be required for expenses there. She added that tuition revenue for next year had been underestimated by Antioch because more students would become D.C. residents, and thus eligible for lower tuition, if the law school becomes part of the public university.
Payne said the full 14-member UDC board "would look very critically to make sure that adequate resources are provided" before voting on the takeover March 27.
Earlier, Thomas J. Mack, Antioch Law School's interim dean, said the $2.3 million subsidy figure prepared by UDC administrators was "incorrect . . . because it projects 15 months of cost against 12 months of income." Antioch's fiscal year ends June 30, while UDC's next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Mack said he was "very optimistic" that transition arrangements could be negotiated that would keep total District government expenditures within $1.3 million.
Betty Ann Kane, H.R. Crawford, and Carol Schwartz, the three Council members who opposed the takeover, suggested that the $1.3 million would be better spent on District public schools.