Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The latest on the University of La Verne Law School in Ontario

Back on May 6, the Press-Enterprise reported that the University of La Verne Law School, which happens to be located in Ontario (kinda like how Pomona College isn't in Pomona), might lose its accreditation. It currently is "provisionally approved" by the American Bar Association, but at the time it did not appear that the ABA would recommend full accreditation.

Last Friday, the Press-Enterprise updated the story, after the ABA sent a 14 page letter to the University:

According to ABA accreditation standards, there are two batches of statistics that the group uses to judge schools: For at least three out of the past five years, the number of graduates to pass the bar exam must be 75 percent or higher or the percentage of first-time exam takers must be within 15 percentage points of the ABA average.

[Dean Allen] Easley acknowledged that his school doesn't qualify on the latter standard, but it does pass the first.

So if the University is unsuccessful in appealing the ABA's decision, what could happen? The experience of the University of West Los Angeles School of Law in 2006 may prove illustrative. Here's what was reported in March 2006:

The University of West Los Angeles School of Law has lost one key accreditation, which will affect students' ability to get federal financial aid.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges voted in November to terminate its accreditation of the school....WASC reviewed the law school's appeal, but decided two weeks ago to terminate the school's accreditation....

State accreditation is critical because students who attend a nonstate-accredited law school are ineligible to sit for the bar exam without first passing the First-Year Law Students' Examination, or "Baby Bar," according to the State Bar.

As of today, the school still lacks WASC accreditation. It also lacks ABA accreditation - the accreditation that the University of La Verne is in danger of losing - but UWLA considers that a plus:

The School of Law has made a decision not to seek ABA approval because we believe that meeting the standards for ABA approval would be in conflict with the University’s Mission to offer affordable, quality legal education to the non-traditional student (one who must work, attend to family issues, and so on). We also believe that adoption of ABA criteria would impose increased financial burdens on students while severely limiting admission opportunities to the students we want to reach.

Back to La Verne. Even if it loses its ABA accreditation, it still maintains a WASC accreditation. More will be known next month.

Monday, May 23, 2011

San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society

When I began BBS'ing 20 years ago, I met a man who worked for the (then) Santa Fe railroad. We still keep in touch a bit via Facebook, and his wife is a fellow Gardens of Time player. I couldn't help but notice that she has a train in her garden.

One night I was scanning through YouTube videos of the Inland Empire, and I found several videos of Santa Fe 3751. I figured there had to be some significance to that particular train...and there is.

[T]he San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) ... is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization founded in 1981 and dedicated to the preservation of Santa Fe Railroad operating and mechanical documentation and the maintenance and operation of former Santa Fe steam locomotive 3751.

Past contributions and volunteer power have helped transform steam locomotive 3751 from a rusting display in a park into one of the country's premier passenger steam locomotives.

The website is http://www.sbrhs.org/. And here's one of the videos. Spot the train enthusiasts.

Friday, May 20, 2011

To the Michaels' employee who told my wife about reading my blog

I hope you don't think that my blog is 40% worse than other blogs.

Monday, May 16, 2011

In case you wine - I mean whine - about Upland's personnel delays

This is a little bit dated, but I figure that there are people like me who haven't really been keeping up with the scandal in Upland. (I doubt I'm the only clueless one out there.) This has engulfed a number of people, including the mayor and the city manager. The mayor has already resigned, and the city manager was fired - but not until early May.

Why did the Upland City Council take so long to act? You see, there's a law:

A statute in the city's municipal code prohibited the council from terminating Quincey within 180 days of an election if a new council member was elected. Councilman Gino L. Filippi was elected on Nov. 2.

The presumed reason for this was to make sure that the Council didn't take advantage of a new Council member. For the record, Filippi joined the other Council members in unanimously voting to terminate Robb Quincey.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wow, that sounds appealing - duties but no power

Years ago, I served as an alternate on a jury. It was the worst possible situation - I had to sit through the entire trial, but I wasn't allowed to go in the jury room and shoot my mouth off regarding whether the accused should be punished or not. (The bailiff was kind enough to phone me and tell me of the jury's decision afterwards.)

I was reminded of this when I read this call for a volunteer:

City officials [in Ontario] are seeking a non-voting student representative to the Recreation and Parks Commission.

What a way to begin. Even before you're told what the job is, you're told that you'll have no power. But you will have responsibilities:

The duties will include attending regular and special meetings of the Recreation and Parks Commission. The regular meetings are held every fourth Monday of every month at 6 p.m.

The student shall express opinions and participate in discussions regarding matters that affect recreation and park programs and facilities in Ontario.

But the student, like an alternate juror, won't have any say in what the Commission does.

Now arguments can be made that this is a wonderful experience, and maybe the student can get some school credit or something like that.

But it doesn't sound all that enticing.