Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More on law schools penalized by the "expenditures" measure

A propos our post the other day, Dean Douglas at William & Mary calls to my attention this list of "efficient" law schools from U.S. News; what goes unmentioned by U.S. News is that every single school on this list rank 5 to 20 places lower than schools with comparable reputation scores and student credentials precisely because they are"efficient"!  (The list is overwhelmingly dominated by state schools and large schools, which have economies of scale, for which they are also penalized by the per capita expenditures measure.)

July 10, 2013 in Rankings | Permalink

Monday, July 8, 2013

ABA to eliminate expenditures reporting requirement--what will US News do?

A Dean elsewhere writes:

Toward the end of last week, law school deans received the following email from the ABA:

"Dear Deans:

At its June 2013 meeting the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar approved the 2013 Annual Questionnaire (AQ) that you are required to complete and submit as part of the ABA accreditation process. I write to highlight several of the changes from last year’s AQ. 

1.            Elimination of expenditures questions.  The expenditures component of the Finances section of the AQ has been eliminated, as we had previously reported we planned to do.  There are no longer any questions or entries regarding expenditures.  The Revenues and the Reserves components of the Finances section of the AQ remain.  In connection with the sabbatical site visit process, schools will be required to report expenditures information for the year of the visit and the two preceding years."

Thus, it appears that the ABA will no longer be requiring schools to report expenditures information each year.  

It very much remains to be seen how US News will respond to this change and whether it will nonetheless continue to request such information from law schools (thereby, among other things, imposing an additional reporting burden on law schools that the ABA has now lifted). In my view, the optimal outcome would be for US News to stop asking for expenditure information altogether, but I suppose we'll see what their approach is.

This is a rather significant development, since the expenditures data (more than 10% of the total score in U.S. News) has been the tail that wags the dog in the U.S. News rankings.  Back in 1999, when U.S. News first adjusted the expenditures data for differences in cost-of-living, the results were dramatic:  Baylor and Alabama popped into the top 50, for example, and Boston College and Fordham fell out of the top 25.  That year, U.S. News also stopped printing the "faculty resources" (their name for expenditures) rank in the magazine, for it would have made it far too obvious how the ordinal differences between comparable schools in every other respect were an artifact of this single measure.  But without the ABA collecting this data, U.S. News will have no check on the accuracy of what schools report; if they don't drop expenditures, this will just open up a new avenue for "creative" reporting and fraud.  If they do drop it, as they should have long ago, expect to see Yale lose its #1 spot, expect to see NYU drop, and expect to see state schools like Hastings and Wisconsin rise.

UPDATE:  Deborah Merritt (Ohio State) has a useful overview of what U.S. News might do.

July 8, 2013 in Rankings | Permalink

IBR Programs and "Harvard-Style" Legal Education

Gregory Crespi (SMU) comments.

July 8, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, July 5, 2013

Comedy gold: Paul Campos offering advice to untenured law faculty... another blog (yes, that Paul Campos). A commenter sums up the absurdity of the advice aptly:  "Making a pain in the ass of yourself does not sound like a great way to hold onto your job when the axe comes down."   

Campos is prompted to dispense his wisdom by the recent events at Vermont and Seton Hall (though in keeping with his pathological dishonesty in all matters Leiter-related, he complains that law blogs that cover faculty comings-and-going ignored these events).  Up next:  Campos will offer advice to tenured faculty on how to do well on their annual reviews.

July 5, 2013 in Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gouvin Named Dean of Western New England

Eric Gouvin has been named the new dean of the Western New England University School of Law.  He joined the school's faculty in 1991 and holds a JD from Boston University.

July 3, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

The NSA is a criminal organization

Interesting piece by Grasnick (from Stanford Law's  Center on the Internet) and Sprigman (who is joining NYU Law).

July 3, 2013 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ken Randall to Head InfiLaw Ventures

The InfiLaw System, which owns Florida Coastal, Charlotte, and Phoenix Schools of Law,  has named outgoing University of Alabama Dean Ken Randall as CEO and President of its subsidiary, InfiLaw Ventures, effective July 1.  He has been consulting with the InfiLaw System for several years.

July 2, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

Hiring Committees for 2013-14 announce themselves and their curricular priorities, if any

Monday, July 1, 2013

More signs of the times... Vermont Law School.

UPDATE:  And at Seton Hall, where faculty have given up 10% of compensation, and the Dean has indicated that all untenured tenure-track faculty may be terminated after 2013-14.

July 1, 2013 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blast from the past: Leiter v. Shapiro on "theoretical disagreements"

Bloggingheads TV, 2008, but at a new URL now.

June 30, 2013 in Jurisprudence | Permalink