Following up on last week's post, Louisville's 5-Year Interim Dean Is Passed Over In Selection Of New Dean; Law School Fires Student Workers And RAs To Address Budget Deficit:
Insider Louisville, Interim UofL Law School Dean Removed From Consideration for Permanent Position:
Despite a reportedly strong recommendation from the search committee tasked with finding candidates for the permanent dean position at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, interim dean Susan Duncan — who has served in that role for five years — was removed as a candidate last week.
In an email to Brandeis faculty, Duncan announced that decision, in addition to broaching the subjects of student workers in the law school abruptly losing their jobs and supplies being removed from its offices due to budgetary reasons. The email set off an emergency meeting between concerned faculty and staff and interim Provost Dale Billingsley on Thursday, and then again on Friday.
According to an attendee of both meetings — in which students and faculty were allowed to ask Billingsley questions — the provost strongly implied that concerns over declining enrollment, low bar exam pass rates and imbalanced spending in recent years at the law school is why university leadership decided to remove Duncan’s name from consideration. Several students and faculty took issue with the search committee’s advice allegedly being tossed aside, as well as being blindsided by the jobs that some students depend on being taken away earlier in the week.
The source in attendance said Billingsley also reassured students that rumors about the Brandeis School closing were false, but warned that the university’s large budget shortfall would present challenges for each college at UofL to cut expenses significantly — as next year’s $48 million shortfall is projected to grow to $64 million and $83 million in the following two fiscal years.
Faced with many students and faculty questioning the decision to remove Duncan from consideration, Billingsley reportedly referred to several unresolved areas of concern for the school — beyond just declining enrollment and bar exam pass rates, which Brandeis has withstood along with other Kentucky law schools as part of a national trend. The provost also said the school was not able to bring in enough outside financial support to increase scholarship funds, instead relying on a large amount of the university’s general funds.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Louisville Prof: 'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand Betrays Brandeis’s Nonpartisan Vision (Jan. 14, 2016)
- Louisville Prof, Student Call Criticism Of 'Nation's First Compassionate Law School' Brand A 'Tired Cliché' (Jan. 17, 2016)
- Louisville Prof: Law School Has Embraced A 'Partisan Liberal Agenda', With Conservatives Treated As 'Outsiders' (Jan. 18, 2016)
- Bainbridge: Louisville Exposes An Ugly Law School Secret: 'A Leftist Hegemony Pervades American Legal Education' (Jan. 20, 2016)
- Kentucky Bar Passage Rates Crater: UK, Louisville Down 15%, 20% Since 2011 (Sept. 30, 2016)
- Louisville Dean Finalists Include 5-Year Interim Dean And Associate Dean With Experience Addressing 50% Enrollment Decline (Jan. 25, 2017)
- Louisville's 5-Year Interim Dean Is Passed Over In Selection Of New Dean; Law School Fires Student Workers And RAs To Address Budget Deficit (Mar. 10, 2017)