Sunday, January 5, 2014

Innovative Strategy at Drexel

This is a more or less pedestrian article until we get to this:
Drexel University has also felt the decrease in applicants, changing its name from the Earle Mack School of Law to the Drexel University School of Law to make way for more benefactors to contribute to the school.
See, Drexel realized that having the name already taken prevented other wealthy donors from serving the public.  The law schools will not stop innovating.  Not only will they kick graduates to the curb after graduation (unless they want an LLM to improve marketability); now they will kick names off the school marquee in order to add the newest rich benefactor (Mr. Mack graciously voluntarily yielded his spot, the benevolence of our wealthy elders unyielding).  One has to wonder why Arizona Summit changed its name so quickly when it might have held out for the Rich Ass Dude Arizona Summit Law School.

So now Earle Mack, Drexel alum and former ambassador to Finland, is without a law school in his honor and the bidding to replace him and help keep the ship afloat is on!

On a semi-related note, I'm now taking donations to raise funds to buy the naming rights for an American law school.  It will called Superprestigious Megarich and Reallyhappy School of Law.  If you happen to have eight figures of net assets and are serious about contributing to the welfare of an American law school, please contact me at once.


  1. Mr. Earl Mack gave Drexel Law a gift of $15 million only five years ago. Now he is graciously waiving his naming rights. Will it bother him if the "philanthropist" who next buys naming rights does so for a smaller number of millions?

    This makes me despair for humanity. Filthy rich geriatrics who could ease suffering or promote culture instead use their largesse to lubricate the gears of a filthy scam.

  2. From my alma mater, we receive invitations all the time to denote at certain amounts which then give naming rights to study carols in the library. I now know that in five years' time, the names will be scrapped off (or the carols simply disposed of) in order to accommodate the next, uh, donor.

  3. Yes, that's cold, but you've got to be cold to keep a filthy scam going.

    Just some perspective on the Drexel situation: they've been expanding like crazy for 10 or 15 years. They borrowed $60 million to build new buildings, acquired an existing medical school, and opened a new law school. They obviously want to become a "major" university so they can continue to raise their own salaries.

    The esteemed Mr. Mack probably thought he was helping students by donating to his (formerly) eponymous law school. However, most of the money apparently went for the building. Drexel Law School didn't offer much financial aid, at least openly, the last time I checked. For me, as an extremely wary prospective attorney, the acid test for law schools is whether they openly offer full-tuition scholarships. If they don't, then they're too greedy, self-absorbed, and clueless for me to consider their overpriced degrees.

  4. Consider the other possibility - Earle Mack wants his name off the law school before it closes - so he is not associated with a defunct institution into posterity.

  5. Absolutely. If he thought he was investing in prestige (as many law students do) then his investment was timed so poorly that he might as well write it off. Poor Mr. Mack.

  6. You forgot to spell "Superprestigious" with the long-s. Thanks in advance.

  7. Does Earle Mack have the word “SUCKER” tattooed across his forehead? It would be one thing if Drexel just wanted to go with a generic “Drexel Law School” name for marketing reasons. But no. The only reason they want Mack out of the way is so they can clear the decks for another donor to pony-up the cash for naming rights. It’s a money grab, pure and simple. And how stupid does the next donor have to be? How many bad admission cycles before Drexel tries to pull the same stunt again? Finally, I think this demonstrates that Drexel is in serious financial trouble. Aside from everything else, it must have been embarrassing having to ask Mack to go along with this. Also, when you’re a new law school trying to establish a name, it doesn’t make much sense to change your name - unless you’re seriously hard-up for cash.

  8. With respect to anonymous' at 9:40pm's comment. When you look at a school's endowment, one of the trickier things is the named buildings. Usually a donor contributes some of all of the cost of construction. The building is then counted as a capital asset and as part of the "endowment."

    The trouble is a building is like a "gift horse" - which you should definitely look hard at - because that horse has to be feed, groomed, cleaned, housed and attracts vet's bills. And 5-6 years down the road might be just a lot of walking glue and dog food. A building has to maintained, heated, cooled, etc. and as such does not pay for itself. If all Earle Mack gave was the building, he gave nothing towards operations.

    Drexel could be losing money heavily now. Maybe 12:32 has a point - he wants his name off the building because he does not want it to be in the press stories when the law school closes - god knows some in Philly and PA have to close.