The Moneybags School of Law – updated

Question: What’s the name of the school at Dalhousie that trains lawyers? You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that it’s no longer Dalhousie Law School. Following a $20-million gift from Ontario businessman Seymour Schulich, it officially became The Schulich School of Law on October 15. Haligonian Warren Reed runs the numbers:

In 2004-5, the total Dal budget seems to have been around $200 million—all but $13 million coming from government grants and tuition payments. One could doubtless find more recent data on the Internet.  Schulich’s gift, if added to the endowment and invested conservatively, will add about $1 million annually to the revenue stream. Half a percent.

As in all these kinds of transactions at public institutions, the contribution of taxpayers is forgotten, their investment sold at far below par. Nova Scotians have hundreds of millions invested in Dalhousie and in the principle of publicly funded education. Along comes Schulich, whose entire success is due to faithful observance of “buy low, sell high,” and the guardians of the public trust hand over our best asset. Schulich knows a good deal.

In another long tradition, taxpayers will continue to foot most of the bill. I paid for that law school and I wanted it to belong to future Nova Scotians.

[Update] Contrarian reader Colin May’s taxes also paid for the law school:

Not to mention “Medjuck Architecture School” on Spring Garden Road. I don’t know when the sign went up, but I find it amusing. When did Ralph Medjuck ever build an architecturally notable project?

I propose we commence new labeling with, “Your taxes paid for this university,” or, ‘This hospital unit built with taxes paid by members of the plumbers and carpenters union.” We could even extend it to the private sector with a sign on all the machinery in a Michelin plant: “This equipment funded by increasing the Nova Scotia public debt by $200,000,000.” I think every bus should be painted on the front, “Your taxes paid for this bus—take a ride.”


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