With the Yale Law School eyeing a physical expansion, graduate students, faculty members and administrators were in general disbelief about talk by some at the Law School about taking office space in the Hall of Graduate Studies.
The Law School is looking for additional space for student housing, offices and classrooms, as its current Wall Street location is overcrowded. But University administrators said early this week the chances the Law School would expand to HGS are slim to none. Yale President Richard Levin said two more likely scenarios for an expansion would be to move into the Swing Space dormitory once the renovations of residential colleges are completed or to construct new space elsewhere on campus.
“The Hall of Graduate Studies belongs to the Graduate School,” Levin said. “There are plenty of other possibilities … [HGS] is not for sale.”
Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh said it is too early in the process to make a definitive statement on a possible expansion.
“We are still at an early stage of our space planning process, and, obviously, we have to look at all available options,” Koh said in an e-mail Saturday. “But no one has indicated to us that the Hall of Graduate Studies is available.”
Graduate School Dean Jon Butler said the Law School is not the only school at the University that is overcrowded. The School of Management and Graduate School also face space constraints, he said.
“HGS is packed,” Butler said.
History of medicine and science director of graduate studies Daniel Kevles said he was “puzzled” by the Law School even considering an expansion into HGS.
“I am sitting here in the HGS, and there is no room for anything,” he said.
Kevles added that it is unlikely the Law School would completely take over HGS unless a new building was built for the Graduate School and large departments such as history that currently occupy the York Street building.
Although several graduate students questioned Monday were unfamiliar with possible Law School expansion into HGS, they said they wondered whether there would be space for the Law School to share the already-cramped quarters in HGS.
“I don’t think it’s very realistic,” Butler said. “I think it’s not in the cards.”
HGS was designed specifically to house students, faculty and administrators of the Graduate School, Butler said. He added that some 75 percent of HGS serves as a dormitory for graduate students and the remaining quarter houses five academic departments.
Graduate School Associate Dean Martin Klein echoed Butler’s sentiments about the potential Law School expansion.
“I haven’t heard anything about that, and I would suggest that the individuals in the Law School be asked the sources for their information,” Klein said.
Many Law School professors said they had not heard any definitive plans about HGS as a possible site for expansion, but acknowledged that the Law School is looking into the possibility.
“I don’t think it has progressed very far,” law professor Peter Schuck said. “I have heard it being discussed but along with a bunch of other options.”
HGS currently contains the Graduate School’s administrative offices, several academic departments, the McDougal Student Center, a dining hall and a residential tower for graduate students enrolled at Yale.