Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Albany Law School Turns to Tenured Faculty Buyouts, Tax Certificate Program for Non-Lawyers to Address Financial Crisis

Albany logoFollowing up on my prior post, Albany Law School Offers Buyouts to Eight Tenured Faculty:

Albany Business Review, Albany Law School Offers Buyouts to Faculty:

Albany Law School is offering buyouts to faculty so its payroll better matches the school's declining student enrollment.

While Albany Law School's enrollment decreased by about 200 students in the past ten years, the size of its faculty has remained steady at about 50 full-time faculty. Last week, the board began efforts to downsize, offering a voluntary buyout program for tenured and long-term contract faculty.

The board acknowledges that Albany Law School's situation marks a structural change, Nolan said, and will seek other reductions and new sources of revenue. The school may offer certificate programs to non-lawyers in areas like health care, tax and intellectual property law, said Penelope Andrews, dean and president of the law school.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Crisis at Albany Law School Brings Fight Into the Open:

The Albany School’s Board outlined a challenging future, stating, "A review of our declining bar passage statistics (we are now the second lowest law school in New York State for bar passage), combined with the extremely difficult employment market for our graduates, compels us to believe that we must focus on quality of applicants, not quantity. "To admit students in order to increase revenues due to projected operating deficits would be both unethical and in violation of ABA standards." ...

Penelope Andrews, dean and president of Albany Law School, ... said that any discussion of lowering standards is off the table. ... Andrews said the faculty and administration have engaged in discussions on how to reduce costs and increase revenues. She confirmed that one of the ideas floated was to admit more students, especially those on the "wait list" who are on the cusp of earning admission.  To her credit, Dean Andrews told Stashenko that admitting students for financial gain would be "irresponsible."

An unnamed Albany Law professor said a "small but vocal minority" of faculty want the school to lower its standards to boost its tuition revenues and lessen the chances of layoffs. "It is a very selfish, selfish endeavor," the professor said. "They are really trying to save their jobs, but they've ginned this up to make it look like we are denying academic rights."


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