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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

University Denies Ousted Dean's Claim That It Milks Law School Cash Cow

Baltimore Law School Logo Following up on Friday's post, Baltimore Dean Resigns Over University Keeping 45% of Law School Revenue: University President Robert L. Bogomolny denies in this letter that the University imposes a 45% tax on the law school or that finances were the reason that he asked for the resignation of Dean Phillip J. Closius:

Mr. Closius’ central complaint is that the University withheld 45% of the School of Law’s revenue in the past academic year. In fact, in 2010, the year cited in the recent ABA site visit report, the University retained 13.7% of law revenue centrally, after allocating costs related to the law school’s regular operation.

Using the 2010 data referenced in the ABA report, 42% of law school revenue was retained centrally in 2010 prior to the allocation of general operating costs. The law school’s operating costs for 2010 – all expenses attributable to the School’s operation that are routinely absorbed centrally, including those related to basic functions such as human resources, technology, heat, light, security, etc. – amounted to approximately $9.97 million. After these costs are allocated for 2010, the School of Law had 13.7% of its revenues retained centrally. UB’s 13.7% is well below the 20–25% national law school average cited in the School of Law’s 2010 self-study report, is considerably below the 25–30% referenced by Mr. Closius from a recent New York Times article, and represents the lowest percentage among UB’s schools and colleges. ...

The decision to seek new leadership for the UB School of Law involved considerable thought around multiple issues during an extended period of time. The ultimate decision was not about financial matters. Although management of University finances was one area of conflict between Mr. Closius and the University, it was not the only area of conflict. I am unable to discuss confidential personnel matters, and unfortunately I cannot provide full details concerning this matter. I can assure you that, based upon many conversations during the past few months, including conversations the provost and I had with approximately a dozen senior law faculty members, select alumni and UB Foundation officials, the overwhelming conclusion was that a change in leadership was in the best interests of the School of Law and the University of Baltimore.

Dean Closius denies the university's numbers in this email:

Revenue: $ 23,396,681
Total Tuition and Fees (including summer): $7,472,747
Law School Share of State Subsidy (University calculation accepted by law): $35,869,428

Distributions: $19,945,613
FY10 Law School Budget (including summer – this is 55.6% of total revenue): $10,000,000
Total Direct/Indirect University Costs Attributable to the Law School (from University – no backup data has been provided to verify – 27.87% of total revenue): $5,923,815
Law Funds Used for Non-Law Purposes (16.51% of total revenue)

The 25%-30% referenced in my email includes Direct and Indirect University Costs and any Law Funds Used for Non-law purposes. I know of no school paying as high as 16.5% for non-law purposes, never mind 25%-30% for such funds. We would be within this national framework if the University only charged us $10,000,000 and the law school budget was $5,923,815 higher.

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Comments

I think Dean Closius may have made a slight math error in his numbers.

He lists revenue as 23.5M, but it consists of $7.5 M in tuition plus $36 M in subsidies. 7.5 + 36 does not equal 23.5.

Posted by: reality bites | Aug 3, 2011 6:04:53 AM

I can't make sense of these numbers either.

Posted by: Joe | Aug 3, 2011 8:45:06 AM

Maybe the dean should break down the income and withheld funds into billing minutes, then he will be better able to do the calculations.

Posted by: Craig | Aug 3, 2011 11:25:57 AM

President Robert Shelton was just shown the door at the University of Arizona for attempting to take over control of the University Medical Center, a presently independent profit center.

He was a "progressive" fully dedicated to expanding the bubble, but was unloved by the far more conservative legislature and the fascist/socialist faculty and Deans.

Posted by: CRD | Aug 3, 2011 12:57:57 PM

The Dean's response is all wrong. I did the math with the numbers he put forth, after sorting them all out, and after ignoring his misuse of terminology. I have the University keeping 55%, not 45%! I tried to post my calculations here, but it would not let me post. Sorry.

He may be right that the University is keeping too great a portion, but because he is clearly confused about things, I cannot take him seriously.

The Dean should have had someone in accounting walk him through all this, instead of making a stink. Clearly, he is math-challenged. He likely does not have all the data, and would not understand the data, even if he did. He should be ignored.

Posted by: Marc Malone | Aug 3, 2011 1:02:18 PM

The numbers in the post somehow got mixed up in transmission (and the 23 IS a mistake the dean made in the first copy of the email, it's a 28). Here are the figures as actually reported in Dean Closius's email:

FY10 (7/1/09 - 6/30/10)

REVENUE : $ 28,396,681 TOTAL TUITION AND FEES (including summer)

$ 7,472,747 LAW SCHOOL SHARE OF STATE SUBSIDY (University calculation accepted by law)

$35,869,428 TOTAL REVENUE

DISTRIBUTIONS:

$ 19,945,613 FY10 LAW SCHOOL BUDGET (including summer - this is 55.6% of total revenue)

$ 10,000,000 TOTAL DIRECT/INDIRECT UNIVERSITY COSTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE LAW SCHOOL (from University - no backup data has been provided to verify - 27.87% of total revenue)

$ 5,923,815 LAW FUNDS SAID USED FOR NON-LAW PURPOSES ( 16.51% of total revenue)


(The 25% - 30% referenced in my email includes Direct and Indirect University Costs and any Law Funds Used for Non-law purposes. I know of no school paying as high as 16.5% for non-law purposes, never mind 25% - 30% for such funds. We would be within this national framework if the University only charged us $ 10,000,000 and the law school budget was $ 5,923,815 higher.)


FY11 (7/1/10 - 6/30/11) These are still projections based on a known tuition increase of $ 1, 455,650 and a known net increase in the law school budget of $ 80,774. I assume all other numbers are constant (probably not a fully accurate assumption, but clearly a realistic approximation).

$ 37,325,078 TOTAL REVENUE

$ 20,026,387 FY 11 LAW SCHOOL BUDGET ( 53.65% of total revenue)

$ 10,000,000 TOTAL DIRECT/INDIRECT UNIVERSITY COSTS ATTRIBUTED TO THE LAW SCHOOL (non-verified - 26.79 % of total revenue)

$ 7, 298,691 LAW FUNDS SAID USED FOR NON-LAW PURPOSES (19.55% of total revenue).

Posted by: Elizabeth Samuels | Aug 5, 2011 8:06:14 AM