September 30, 2010
SUNY Buffalo Update: Contested Interim President Withdraws
Brian reported some serious static at SUNY Buffalo (aka, University at Buffalo). After the resignation of the university's president, the UB Council Chair announced the appointment of the Scott Nostaja, the university's Senior VP and COO, as Interim President. But there were at least two problems with this move, from the point of view of the Buffalo faculty. First, the Chair didn't have the power to appoint Nostaja - and never consulted with the faculty on his decision. Second, Nostaja is not an academic and was thus perceived as unqualified.
"I have asked that my name not be put forward to the Board of Trustees at this time in order to give our faculty, staff and students the opportunity to provide input into the priorities facing the university, and the qualities, characteristics, qualifications and experiences necessary to fill the post of interim president. Our campus needs to focus on attracting and selecting the best possible candidates to serve as our 15th President."
Leaving only the question: what does "at this time" mean?
September 29, 2010
Annette Gordon-Reed Wins MacArthur FellowshipAnnette Gordon-Reed, a law and history professor at Harvard, was named a MacArthur Fellow yesterday. Gordon-Reed won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in history for her book, “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family." Gordon-Reed only recently joined the Harvard faculty, moving from New York Law School.
September 28, 2010
National Research Council Report on PhD Programs Circa 2005-06......is finally out. I explain what's going on at the philosophy blog, for those who might be interested. As IHE is reporting, even the authors of the study, which is both badly dated and very hard to interpret, don't want to defend the results!
UT Austin Readers: Stay Off Campus! (9:30 am CST)
A gunman has killed himself in the PCL (the main campus library), but police are still searching for a possible second gunman at this time. UT's emergency site with current information.
SUNY Binghamton Law Coming - But Not SoonThe optimistic folks at Binghamton University are predicting a new law school in SUNY's future. At a Binghamton University Council meeting last week, Interim Provost Jean-Pierre Mileur announced that - pending approval - the University intends to open a law school somewhere between the fall of 2015-16 and the fall of 2017-18. This will give them a good, long time to plan. And to fully digest the fact that, no, a law school isn't a cash cow at all. (At least if you're trying to do it at the level of a SUNY school.)
September 27, 2010
A History of Canadian Law SchoolsI've been blogging recently about deanship issues at the University of Windsor law school. For those of you who want to catch up on a little Canadian law school history, the Lawyer's Weekly has a concise (and assuredly incomplete) account here.
September 24, 2010
The LLM, Under Attack
There's been a spate of commentary, recently, on the value of the LLM. The National Law Journal asks whether it's a cash cow or valuable credential. The Wall Street Journal blog asks whether the LLM is a big fat waste of time and money. And Elie Mystal is generally disgusted.
In a more thorough look, Caron, Kawol and Pratt focus on whether to pursue a tax LLM - the one advanced law degree that everyone considers worth the candle - and conclude that for the right student, there can be real benefits. Other LLM's seem to have intrinsic value. For individuals with foreign law degrees seeking admission in selected states, an LLM may offer a dramatic payoff. But I fear that, with a few limited exceptions, the greatest economic utility of the LLM flows to law schools collecting undiscounted tuition dollars while avoiding damage to their median LSAT. And because the ABA does not accredit LLM programs, schools work under virtually no regulatory oversight. There are many reasons why institutions seek this revenue but we're kidding ourselves if we don't concede a common one: LLM programs can subsidize the scholarly enterprise. A three course load is expensive.
The fact that an LLM can't be monetized doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. LLM students can have a valuable educational experience. Nobody critcizes a university for offering an MA in Literature - even if few graduates get jobs in the field. But it's all about expectations. Law schools provide prospective JD students post-graduation employment data (though its quality debatable.) Similar transparency for potential LLM students makes sense.
September 22, 2010
How Does Scholarly Impact Correlate with Reputation, Student Credentials, Bar Pass Rates, etc.?
Alfred Bropphy (North Carolina) compiles an interesting chart.