Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 12, 2016

Amidst 32% Enrollment Decline, University Of Minnesota Funds $16 Million Law School Operating Deficit

Minnesota LogoTwin Cities Pioneer Press, UMN Law School Losses Expected to Total $16M by 2018:

With applicants down by half since 2010, the University of Minnesota Law School has been buying out faculty, soliciting more donations and accepting cash transfers from the U to cover operating deficits.

“We cut the coffee in the faculty lounge, and I get more complaints about that than all the other faculty cuts combined,” dean David Wippman told the Board of Regents’ finance committee Thursday.

Wippman said he expects that by 2018, the U law school will have needed $16.1 million in transfers from the U to cover losses since 2012. “We have not been able to reduce spending quickly enough,” he said.


Minneapolis Star Tribune, University of Minnesota Law Dean Says Enrollment, Budget Troubles Should be Ending:

Dean David Wippman said he expects that by 2020, the Law School can end its reliance on year-end financial injections from the university to balance its budget, which have totaled about $16 million since 2012. The measures the Law School has been taking likely will continue to sting, though: The faculty will keep shrinking by attrition, and the school will stick with austerity measures, from support-staff cuts to the end of free coffee in the faculty lounge.

Wippman recalled a sense of optimism as he started the job eight years ago amid robust enrollment and a seemingly thriving economy. “I thought, ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ ” he told the regents. “I don’t ask this question anymore.” ...

His projection of a balanced budget by the 2019-20 academic year assumes a handful of faculty retirements, annual tuition increases of 2.5 percent, stable enrollment, and a modest rise in faculty salaries and benefits. ...

Wippman said the school could strategically shrink enrollment slightly to trigger a “virtuous upward spiral” of higher admission standards, a higher ranking and higher application numbers.

“But we don’t have the resources,” Wippman said.

Law School Truth Center, Minnesota Law Faculty Operating Without Coffee, School Hopes to Break Even Soon

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Coincidence? What happened 8 years ago?

Posted by: Yehiel | Feb 13, 2016 11:05:41 AM

8 years ago? That was when the second major recession under Bush 43 kicked into high gear.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Feb 13, 2016 1:32:44 PM

This top law school suffered because the unranked law schools along with the ABA cheapened the brand. Minnesota had less top students to enroll because they stayed away from the law. They went in different directions. They knew that the law was no longer a reliable vehicle into a middle class income. Like Cadillac, the law was cheapened. Cadillac suffered from poor quality, look a like platforms, cheap leases, and rentals. An 85K Escalade is just a chromed up Suburban. It is no longer prestige to own a Cadillac. Same thing with law schools and the top students know this.

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Feb 13, 2016 3:22:11 PM

More idiocy from can low ranked schools take students from higher ranked schools?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 14, 2016 1:06:43 AM


I don't know who you are referring to, but low ranked schools do not dip into to the same candidate pool that Minnesota or any traditional law school appeals to. The problem is that since there are hoards and hoards or correspondence like diploma mill law schools, they are have pumped out too many attorneys for the amount of work, clients, income that is available. Top candidates know that and stay away from the whole mess....

Posted by: Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King | Feb 14, 2016 6:50:09 AM