The University at Albany and Albany Law School are exploring the possibility of an alliance.
UAlbany President Robert Jones and Albany Law President Penelope Andrews said in an email to faculty and staff the two schools are in “open-ended” conversations about forging “a deeper institutional alliance.”
“We’re partnering on programs right now, and we are in the same community, and we serve the same group of constituents,” said Karl Luntta, spokesman for UAlbany. “We are looking at this alliance to see if there is anything else we can do together.”
Luntta said details about the alliance have not yet been determined. He said school officials are in informal discussions about partnering on additional programs and sharing resources.
The two colleges currently offer several joint degree programs, including an MBA/JD and MPA/JD. The schools also have a program called “3+3,” which gives students the option to complete three years at UAlbany and three years at Albany Law and graduate with a bachelor’s degree and law degree.
Albany Law also has joint degree programs in partnership with Union Graduate College, the College of Saint Rose, The Sage Colleges and Albany Medical College.
“We are working with Albany Law to further our partnership and expand those partnerships,” Luntta said. “At this point, they are early discussions, and they are taking account of our resources and goals. We have similar missions.”
Albany Law School declined comment on the possible alliance.
The private school announced in February it would offer buyouts to eight tenured and long-term professors due to declining enrollment. The college has 45 full-time faculty members.
Over the past 10 years, enrollment at Albany Law has dropped by 200, to about 600 students in 2013-14. The buyouts were an effort to stabilize the school’s finances. Tuition at the school is about $43,000 annually.
It is unclear if an alliance could turn into a merger or if the partnership would benefit Albany Law financially. But as of now it appears the two colleges would remain separate institutions.