The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law plan to join a Chicago-based network of nonprofit colleges, the institutions announced Sept. 21.
The deal with TCS Education System is an “affiliation agreement,” Heather Georgakis, the dean of the Colleges of Law, told the Business Times. “The law school will remain its own entity,” she said. “We are not being absorbed. … There will be a realignment of authority.”
TCS already owns three professional schools, including the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. When the arrangement with the Colleges of Law takes effect on Oct. 1, the colleges will be governed by a new board of trustees and a “fiduciary council” that will meet annually and decide on major budget and strategic issues. Many of the current board members will stay on, and trustees appointed by TCS will all come from the tri-county region, Georgakis said.
There won’t be any change in the colleges’ names, nonprofit status or approach to legal education, Georgakis said. Under its new leadership, the colleges plan to seek regional accreditation, which would bring access to federal student financial aid programs.
There’s also a potential for online courses and other new offerings, Georgakis said.
“This is going to afford us some significant opportunities,” she said. “TCS has resources, expertise and experience they will use to help us move forward in our program.”