Vermont Law School cut a dozen
jobs earlier this week in a move telegraphed last year, when the school
offered voluntary buyouts to staff members in light of declining
admissions. Of the 12 staff members that left, 10 accepted
buyouts, VLS spokeswoman Carol Westberg said. The other two people were
laid off. None of the affected workers were faculty members. ...
The downsizing comes as a result of fewer
applications over the past three years, VLS officials said, a problem
that exists for law schools nationwide as potential students, dissuaded
by a lack of open law jobs, don’t bother to apply. Westberg said that about 200 students are set to
graduate with juris doctor degrees this spring. She said the school is
predicting between 150 and 170 students to enroll this coming fall. ...
Although the school’s faculty members haven’t
been affected yet, [President Marc] Mihaly said that a similar buyout program is in the
planning stages for professors. That plan would have professors retain their
titles, but no longer be salaried, instead working on a part-time or
class-to-class basis. “It’s really not a separation, as much as a change in status,” Mihaly said.
Those offers will be sent to faculty members in
early February, he said. He was unsure of the amount of full-time
positions that would need to be excised, saying that depended on next
year’s total enrollment.