Monday, May 13, 2013
On the heels of the new standards adopted by Brooklyn Law School for the dismissal of faculty (here and here): a tenured Brooklyn faculty member has filed an explosive 12-page ABA complaint against the law school:
The matters asserted in this complaint concern issues in the administration of the law school that the complainant believes threaten the ability of the institution to provide a sound program of legal education consistent with the ABA Standards.
The specific allegations pertain to a recent organizational change in the school creating a new office of president; withholding of material information concerning a dean candidate; the full-time employment outside the law school of the current dean; executive decisions of school policy made without faculty input; waste and mismanagement of school resources, including exorbitant administrative and faculty salaries; denial of academic freedom; and retaliatory action threatened for making a complaint to the ABA Accreditation Committee.
Among the serious allegations (citations omitted):
The salaries for executive positions have increased every year without any justification based on performance. Examples of self-dealing have involved appointment of Board members to the salaried teaching staff, free use of luxury apartments to Board members, the payment of exorbitant salaries to administrative officers and selected faculty, salary determinations based on friendship and loyalty rather than merit, and lack of transparency about financial matters of the law school and its faculty. ...
The supra competitive levels of executive compensation along with the salaries paid to the top five professors at the law school, as reported in recent IRS 990 filings, rival and exceed the compensation levels of tenured professors of law at Harvard or Yale. In times of acute crisis in legal education, compensation levels at Brooklyn Law School for a small handful of professors and administrators represent a level of mismanagement, waste, and self-dealing that violates Standards 201, 204, 206 and 404.
Discussion: The total value of the salary and benefits provided to the president of the law school—which include a tax-free furnished apartment complete with designer kitchen and skyline views of Manhattan, a car, and a driver—exceed a million dollars. This is the highest compensation paid to any law school dean or administrator in the United States. The salary and benefits lavished on the administrators of the law school impose a drain on the resources of the institution that detract from the educational mission of the law school, increase tuition costs of students, and add to the financial burden of law school graduates. The health and continued survival of the institution to which I have dedicated my career is threatened by waste, mismanagement and potential self-dealing creating serious violation of Standards 201, 204, 206 and 404.
It will be interesting to see how the Brooklyn Law School administration responds to these serious allegations and what action the ABA takes.