Paul L. Caron
Dean


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

UNH Law School Budget Deficit Exceeds 100% Of Revenues

New Hampshire Public Radio, UNH's Law School Faces 'Extreme Situation' When It Comes To Losses:

UNH Logo (2019)The University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce School of Law — the state’s only law school — has been losing millions of dollars annually since at least 2014, according to budget reports obtained by NHPR. (See UNH Law School Budget (2014-2019) ...

In the 2018-19 year, the law school’s total operating budget was $5.5 million, but it spent $11.9 million. That’s more than double its operating budget, with a total loss of $6.4 million in that year alone.

The most dramatic year to date was the 2017-18 year, with a total loss of $6.7 million, and an operating margin of  negative 130 percent. ...

Enrollment did increase this academic year, up to 145 students in the incoming class. But in 2016, there were only 71 incoming students, according to numbers provided by current UNH Law Dean Megan Carpenter.

In fact, the law school is losing millions of dollars in an era when the state’s university system is receiving some of the lowest state funding in the country. UNH doesn’t see these losses as a barrier, but rather, as an investment.

“It was a very strategic calculation to actually invest in law school to shrink those [debt] numbers, to effectively create the debt...and what happened is that strategy has been successful,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter points to improvements in the school, like higher national rankings and the addition of a new “hybrid” JD program, which includes online and in-person courses. ...

Though UNH Law’s enrollment has gone up recently, the school is still projected to lose another $5.9 million this year. ... According to the budget statements, UNH Law has been discounting its tuition to students by more than 60 percent for the last two year

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/10/nhpr-unh-law-school-budget-deficit-exceeds-100-of-revenues.html

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Comments

It works for Uber. It worked for Amazon. Why not for a law school?

Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 29, 2019 5:12:44 AM

I was under the impression that "UNH" was in fact a private law school, not unlike Michigan State's one. Are the taxpayers covering the operating losses? If so, why?

Posted by: PaulB | Oct 29, 2019 6:07:58 AM

The real crime here is that undergrads seeking affordable educations in healthcare, teaching, business and other such fields are forced to subsidize the law school that apparently exists just to pay professors and administrators. UNH needs to shed this school fast so that it can focus on its mission of providing meaningful education at a fair price.

Posted by: JM | Oct 29, 2019 6:51:34 AM

Quote: "UNH doesn’t see these losses as a barrier, but rather, as an investment. “It was a very strategic calculation to actually invest in law school to shrink those [debt] numbers, to effectively create the debt...and what happened is that strategy has been successful,” Carpenter said.

Go deeper into debt to get out of debt? That's certainly a unique strategy. It's a bit like the one about "Selling below cost but making it up in volume." I wish them well, but I have my doubts.

"Not with a bang but with a whimper," that's how New England is dying. We talk about the chronic government mismanagement in California and the budgetary woes of Chicago, but we are failing to discuss just how badly our NE states are doing. The region that once defined Yankee ingenuity and shipped—by sail no less—New England ice to the world can no longer adequately fund a state's only law school. Sad, really sad.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Oct 30, 2019 2:59:44 AM

Just what a state with a population of 1.3 million needs: 145 more lawyers.

Posted by: Larry Weber | Oct 30, 2019 4:32:37 AM

The population of Houston, Texas is five times greater than that of the State of New Hampshire. The first question to be asked is why NH needs a law school at all?

Posted by: Thomas wren | Oct 30, 2019 8:08:11 AM

"Not with a bang but with a whimper," that's how New England is dying. We talk about the chronic government mismanagement in California and the budgetary woes of Chicago, but we are failing to discuss just how badly our NE states are doing. The region that once defined Yankee ingenuity and shipped—by sail no less—New England ice to the world can no longer adequately fund a state's only law school

Uh huh. I mean, eastern Massachusetts is home to the country’s second-largest tech sector, one of the largest life science sectors in the world, the nation’s 2nd or 3rd largest venture capital sector, innumerable law firms, private banks, private equity funds, the home offices of two of the three major consultancies, etc. New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are all among the ten highest median household incomes in the nation, each over $70k/year. Massachusetts has its PISA high school test scores reported separately from the US as a whole; surprise! We have some of the highest scores in the world for reading, math, and science. The trouble with Franklin Pierce is that it’s an also-ran law school amongst a forest of also-ran law schools, and New Hampshire frankly doesn’t have that much capacity for new law school grads to begin with (you can count the number of law firms over 15 lawyers on your fingers, if I am not mistaken).

As for Yankee ingenuity, a quick Google search reveals we have more patents than any other state save for California, New York, and Texas. 15th most populous state, 4th most patents. Florida has more than three times our population and about 40% of our patents but sure, New England is failing. Whatever.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Oct 30, 2019 6:43:25 PM

Franklin Pierce, Vermont Law (last seen clinging to its $16m lifeline from the USDA, of all places), UMaine Law (last seen trembling over rumors of major impending cuts), Roger Williams, Quinnipiac, and half the law schools in Massachusetts could all be shut down and New England would still have a law school graduate overproduction problem.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Oct 30, 2019 6:46:38 PM

Median household income is totally irrelevant. The cost of living is orders of magnitude higher than anywhere in this country outside some parts of CA and NY. Nobody young can get on the housing ladder or pay the insane taxes. The net outflows of bankrupt CT is the highest outside any state not named Illinois.

And nobody beyond a small elite cares about patents. Go tell the cashier or construction worker barely making rent about your patents-per-capita figures. Out of touch.

Posted by: bobfd | Oct 31, 2019 10:08:36 AM

Sigh. NH, MA, and CT are all also in the ten lowest poverty rates in the country; NH in fact has the lowest poverty rate (and its living costs are nothing like CA or NY but whatever). Also the tax levels are right about at the national median but whatever.

Yeah, no one cares about good schools! Or public transportation! Or exploding job sectors! Yeah! Or good wages! Nah, they want to live in superior and prosperous red states like... wait, like me come in again.

The issue with

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Nov 1, 2019 5:46:18 AM

"Florida has more than three times our population and about 40% of our patents but sure, New England is failing. Whatever."
Unemployed Northeastern, who do you think files those patents for inventors? Where do you think those lawyers go to school?

Posted by: KLK | Nov 4, 2019 1:15:28 PM