This is not an Aggie joke: Fort Worth could be home to Texas A&M University's new law school by next summer.An agreement announced with appropriate fanfare Tuesday aims to turn Texas Wesleyan University into an unusual hybrid: the law school would become a public entity owned by A&M, while the main campus in southeast Fort Worth would remain a private institution.A&M would get the law school that so many Aggies have coveted for so long, and Texas Wesleyan would get the cachet and a hefty infusion of cash.It's a savvy strategic partnership that also would give another boost to the higher ed corridor burgeoning on the east side of downtown Fort Worth.If the plan wins all the necessary approvals and gets executed properly, the relationship could provide the kind of stability and resources Wesleyan has struggled to acquire for some time. Founded in 1890, the school has been a Polytechnic Heights fixture even through ups and downs of recent decades when there was talk of a possible relocation (in the 1980s) and financial woes (in the 2000s).Texas Wesleyan bought the law school in 1992 when it was a small operation in Irving, then in 1997 moved it downtown to Commerce Street across from the Water Gardens near the Fort Worth Convention Center. The law school won full accreditation from the American Bar Association two years later and has continually improved its standing in the legal community. Rumors over the years about Texas Christian University or the University of North Texas taking over the law school never became reality.Instead, Wesleyan undertook a multimillion-dollar law school renovation while Fred Slabach was dean in 2003-06. Slabach left but was hired back as university president in 2010. He said negotiations with A&M started in October when new Chancellor John Sharp called to gauge interest in a partnership.Sharp, who was named to lead the system in September, said Tuesday he'd heard about Aggies wanting a law school "my entire adult lifetime." It didn't take him long to get things moving.Under the plan, Texas A&M would buy the law school for $25 million, which Sharp said would be raised from supporters and alumni. That money would go into Wesleyan's endowment, more than doubling its size. A&M would lease the law school building and its parking lots for $2.5 million a year, adjusted for inflation, over 40 years. New revenue generated from the endowment and the lease would help fund academic programs and other facets of Wesleyan's strategic plan.Texas Wesleyan already is working with the city and other government agencies on East Rosedale Street improvements that include reconstructing the campus entrance, all designed to revitalize a neighborhood long in need of it.The partnership with Texas A&M will make possible a joint law/MBA degree for Wesleyan students and a program that allows undergraduates to transition to law school after three years instead of the traditional four. A&M officials said they don't envision churning out a lot of new law school graduates but instead training lawyers in emerging fields, such as intellectual property, commercial engineering, biotechnology and medical research, specialties that fit well with fields of study offered in College Station.A&M President R. Bowen Loftin would oversee the law school; he and Slabach would jointly appoint a committee to advise them on added academic programs. Once the law school becomes a public entity, it would become eligible for formula funding from the state. The effect on tuition isn't yet clear.Texas Wesleyan's trustees have unanimously approved a letter of intent. Texas A&M regents are scheduled to take it up Friday. Approval still would be needed from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and accrediting entities including the ABA. If all that happens without a hiccup, the Texas A&M School of Law at Texas Wesleyan University could be ready to welcome its first students by fall 2013. That would be a year ahead of the UNT at Dallas College of Law, which UNT officials had expected to be the only public law school in North Texas.Never underestimate Aggie ingenuity.