1. The law school has given notice to its entire junior faculty, approximately seven untenured professors, that their contracts might not be renewed for 2014-2015.
2. The affected professors will be able to teach for the 2013-2014 academic year, but could be terminated after that.
3. As part of a larger effort to streamline the law school and control costs, these notices have been issued to preserve all of the administration’s options.
4. But the notices could ultimately be rescinded — and the administration hopes to be able to rescind them, provided it can find the needed savings elsewhere within its budget.
The school’s dean:
Because of the dramatic drop in interest in legal education, all schools must make decisions about the size and quality of enrollment. We will stand for quality and that will necessitate an adjustment of our costs going forward. With the University’s support, the faculty, administration and I are working together to make those adjustments. The faculty has already made a significant contribution toward continuing excellence by giving back 10% of total compensation.
(1) Superficially, Seton Hall has much better employment statistics than the average law school, as two thirds of the 2012 class got legal jobs (full-time non-temp, non-law school funded, non-solo bar-required positions. The national average was 52%). This number may be significantly inflated, however, by New Jersey’s state court clerkship system, which put nearly 30% of the class into one year state judicial clerkships, which count as long-term legal employment by this definition, even though most of them are one year positions).
(2) Seton Hall’s tuition and fees have gone from $29,950 in 2004 to $48,640 this fall (that’s per year).
(3) The 82% of the class of 2012 that incurred law school debt had an average (mean) of approximately $145,000 in such debt at repayment in the fall of last year. The median was certainly higher. (This figure does not include an unknown amount of other educational debt. A recent report indicates that average undergraduate debt among new college graduates with debt is now around $35,000, which suggests that somewhere close to half of Seton Hall’s 310 2012 graduates have $200,000 or more in educational debt).
Related: A golden not so oldie.