TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, January 28, 2016

SUNY-Buffalo Law School Reduces Full-Time Faculty By 50% Through Retirement Incentives

Following up on my previous post, Law Schools Have Shed 1,206 Full-Time Faculty (13.3%) Since 2010:  The Spectrum, Less Full-Time Faculty Teaching at UB Law School: UB Law's Decrease in Full-Time Faculty Teaching Among the Largest in the Nation:

Since 2010, the UB Law School has dropped its number of full-time faculty actively teaching so significantly that it ranks among the top national law school statistics.

UB’s law school went from having 54 full-time faculty members teaching in the fall of 2010 to just 27 last fall, according to the American Bar Association’s annual 509 information reports. That includes a drop off from 48 full-time faculty members who taught in the fall of 2014.  UB’s decrease is among the top 10 largest net decreases in the country ...

SUNY

James Gardner, interim dean of the law school, said the ABA statistics are misleading and questions how they are collected, as the ABA data only shows how many full-time faculty members are currently teaching, not how many are actually employed with the law school. Although just 27 were actually teaching last fall, Gardner says there are currently 51 full-time faculty members employed within UB’s law school. UB’s ABA report shows the law school had an additional 37 faculty members teaching part-time in the fall of 2015. ...

According to a faculty member in the law school who wished to remain anonymous, former Dean Makau Mutua made hiring faculty a priority and during his administration the law school greatly increased in size with the hiring of 18 current full-time faculty from 2007-14. In 2013, Mutua offered retirement incentives in order to decrease tenured faculty, which resulted in eight faculty members retiring, the professor said. Gardner has also offered retirement incentives to tenured faculty in the law school during his time as interim dean.

The professor said a decrease in enrollment rates may have resulted in this need to cut-back on full-time or tenured faculty. ... In 2015, 499 students enrolled into UB’s law school – approximately a 10 percent (557) decrease from 2014’s enrollment rate and an 18 percent (610) decrease from 2013’s enrollment rate.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/01/suny-buffalo-reduces-full-time-faculty-by-50.html

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Comments

What are the other 24 law professors doing if they are employed but not teaching? ~50% cannot be on sabbatical...

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Jan 28, 2016 6:55:13 AM

No, it does seem improbable that 50% of faculty could be on sabbatical. They can, however, be "on leave," or in administration (see Spectrum's article). Btw, when you leave administration in SUNY, you loose the responsibility (no one in SUNY has authority) but keep the pay.

Posted by: Jim | Jan 28, 2016 12:16:50 PM