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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Albany Shrinks Class Size, Increases Tuition to Improve Rankings

AlbanylawlogoOn Monday, we blogged Tax Prof William J. Quirk's proposal to move South Carolina into the U.S. News Top 50 by reducing both class size and tuition.  Press reports explain Dean Thomas Guernsey's approach to improve Albany's ranking by reducing class size 25% while increasing tuition 50%:

Thomas Guernsey is on a mission to make Albany Law School a more elite, national school with higher standards and fewer students....

Gernsey had a challenging task: If he reduced the student body from 830 in 2002, when he took over, to 640 in 2006, Albany Law School would lose $4 million a year in much- needed revenue....

But tuition and alumni giving have increased. Revenue rose to $25.5 million in 2005 from $20.4 million in 2001, and alumni giving to $900,000 from $650,000 in 2004. ...

And although the cost of a student's annual tuition will climb to $32,360 in the 2005-2006 school year, $10,000 more a year than in 2002, Albany Law will remain the second cheapest private law school in the state....

Last year the entering class was capped at 250, the year before it was 304. Current enrollment stands at 780. The average class size is 28. The goal is to reduce the student-teacher to, at most, 17-to-1, the national law school average. Guernsey would like to see it as low as at 13-to-1...

Guernsey said Albany Law isn't just being more selective about the students it enrolls, but the professors it hires. The school recently hired Sheldon Halpern, a law professor at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, where he had been for 21 years. His specialty is intellectual property law.

(Hat Tip:  JD2B.)

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