The president of the University of Massachusetts on Friday formally endorsed a disputed proposal to create the state's first public law school.

Clashing with the state treasurer, President Jack M. Wilson recommended that the university accept the unaccredited Southern New England School of Law in Dartmouth. Southern New England is offering to donate its campus and other assets to the state and become a wing of the university's Dartmouth campus.

"I am convinced we will be able to create a law program that will win national accreditation and go well beyond that to become known for its high academic standards," Wilson said in a statement.