Story updated Nov. 22
Ryerson will continue working towards a new law school on campus, according to a statement released by president Mohamed Lachemi.
While he said he is “very disappointed” the Ontario government is rejecting Ryerson’s bid to fund the newest law school in the province, he said the school doesn’t need a provincial blessing.
Lachemi said the the university will continue to work with the Tories towards establishing an OSAP-eligible law school, touted as an accessible option for Ontario’s aspiring legal students.
Earlier this week, The Globe and Mail reported that, following a review of the proposal, Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton, decided that the Conservatives don’t think another law school is needed in the province. This was based on a number of factors, including dwindling job prospects and a surplus of law graduates.
“Our government has a mandate to restore respect for taxpayers and tax dollars. Part of that process is making sure that the government’s services and programs are efficient, effective, and conducive to job creation,” Fullerton said in a statement provided to The Globe.
Lachemi said Ryerson is “not looking for new funding but to transfer enrolment funding and OSAP, already approved by the government, towards legal education.”
This is the second blow to Ryerson’s future plans in just a month. In October, the Ford government cancelled a plan to create a satellite campus in Brampton — a plan the previous Liberal government had already approved.
In September, Lachemi told the Ryersonian that, after receiving approval from the Law Society of Ontario, the senate and the Board of Governors, the last thing the school needed was an agreement from the province to fund the school. At the time, Lachemi said he anticipated that “the outcome will be favourable.”
Lachemi also said that $250,000 would be put towards converting space to make way for the new school.
Ryerson may run a cost-recovery program, which would mean higher tuition fees. The school was planning to charge $20,000 a year, far less than other provincial options. Tuition is $27,000 at Osgoode Hall and $38,000 at the University of Toronto.
According to Lachemi, the LSO passed a resolution to license Ryerson graduates.
Applications for the new faculty were expected to be received as early as next August, with classes starting in Fall 2020. According to the Faculty of Law’s website, the three-year program would produce lawyers who are “technologically savvy, equipped with diverse work experience and driven to expand the reach of justice.”
Students would study coding, data analysis and artificial intelligence through a legal lens.