TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, March 10, 2016

SUNY-Buffalo Law School, After Reducing Faculty By 50% Through Buyouts, Pays Former Dean $300k While He Works For World Bank

MutuaThe Spectrum, UB Still Paying Former Law School Dean Makau Mutua Full Salary Despite His New Job; Mutua, on Title F Leave, Has Taken Job with World Bank:

Law professor Makau Mutua has been on leave from UB for nearly a year and recently took a job in Washington D.C., yet the university is still paying the former law school dean his full salary – a salary that nears $300,000.

Mutua is working as a human rights adviser for World Bank, an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries. Such consultants in Washington, D.C., where Mutua’s Twitter account shows he spends most of his time, make an average salary of $90,000.

World Bank would not confirm if Mutua made such a salary or his exact position, but on his social media accounts he calls himself a World Bank human rights adviser. ...

According to SUNY policy, the university president has to approve outside income for a faculty member earning salary while on sabbatical. The president also can choose to lower the faculty member’s salary if that member receives outside income while on leave. That did not occur in Mutua’s case.

UB officials say this is because Mutua is on a special kind of leave, known as Title F leave, which doesn’t require faculty members to get approval for outside earnings.

President Satish Tripathi, and all SUNY university presidents, can grant employees Title F leave with full salary, reduced salary or no salary. UB officials confirmed Mutua is being paid full salary. ...

Mutua, having recently stepped down as dean, taught one class in the spring of 2015 and was on leave for the fall of 2015. Still, UB paid him a salary equal to that of what he made as a dean. He made $292,443 in 2015, according to SeeThroughNY, which compiles salaries of New York state employees. He had a base salary of $255,500 and the rest was bonuses.

World Bank’s human resources department said it cannot provide compensation related information, but Glassdoor, a website that allows employees to anonymously review and post salary information of large companies, reports that the average salary of a World Bank consultant in Washington D.C. is approximately $90,000. ...

The law school has reduced its size in recent years. The school announced in March of 2014 that it planned to shrink its incoming class from 200-225 students to fewer than 200 and to reduce its faculty from 48 to 40. Although the school has a total of 51 full-time faculty members employed, only 27 were teaching classes last fall – exactly half the amount that were teaching five years prior. ...

Mutua receiving full salary despite being away from the school and taking on outside work is troubling beyond just the former dean’s individual case, a professor in the law school said. The professor said it raises questions about how UB regulates pay of faculty once they downgrade in positions.

Mutua resigned as dean of the UB Law School in December of 2014 amid a lengthy legal battle with a former professor who claims Mutua wrongfully terminated him and committed perjury in the legal proceedings.

The case has wound its way through court and included testimony from law faculty professors. In December, a U.S. magistrate judge recommended dismissal of the case to U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara, who will make the final decision. Jeffrey Malkan, the former law professor suing Mutua, said Arcara listened to his and Mutua’s lawyers’ arguments on Feb. 18 and he expects Arcara to make a final decision within three months. He said Mutua did not show up to the arguments.

Mutua’s seven-year tenure as dean divided some of the school, as faculty attempted to hold a vote of no confidence in him in 2010. Then President John Simpson and then Provost Tripathi dismissed the attempt, according to emails obtained by The Spectrum in 2013.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/03/suny-buffalo-law-school-after-reducing-faculty-by-50-through-buyouts-pays-former-dean-300k-while-he-.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

That's going to tick some people off.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 10, 2016 5:17:10 AM

Pay up, or it's racism!

Posted by: Anon | Mar 10, 2016 5:43:49 AM

Golden parachutes for some, belt-tightening for others. America in 2016.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 10, 2016 6:07:46 AM

$300K a year for doing nothing, paid for by students who will be working off their share of his one-year benefice for maybe 30 years. Who's the slave here? Who's the master? Speak!

Posted by: Dad of law student | Mar 10, 2016 6:48:56 AM

Feather nesting and scratching is par for the course at UB. A pharmacy school dean, Karl Fieblekorn, doesn't even have the terminal degree in pharmacy. He is a petty tyrant, bullying students and faculty, and is known as a laughing stock, presenting posters on ethics as scholarship because of his lack of credentials.

Posted by: jds | Mar 23, 2016 11:03:36 AM