Law School Deans, Law Schools

What Happened at the Albany Law School Admissions Office?

Albany Law School seems to be having a rough go of it this year. The school’s long-time dean, Thomas Guernsey, announced that he would be stepping down from his position on June 30, 2011. Next, after a 20% drop in applications, the school decided to admit ten fewer students for the incoming class of 2014. The school then opted to cut 2% from its $32 million annual budget, amounting to a $600,000 reduction. Finally, just when the administration thought it would be able to name a new dean, the school’s deal with Judge Richard Wesley (2d Cir.) fell through.

When a law school is in the middle of making major cuts all around, you’d figure that the administration would want to keep some people on board who know the ropes — especially the people in charge of admitting new cash cows students. But, apparently, that is not the case in upstate New York….

Over the weekend, we received a number of tips that Albany Law School had canned its entire admissions staff:

Albany Law School just fired its entire admissions office staff. Students have no word from the school or administration.

This appears to be confirmed by the interwebs. The names of people who were once identified as serving in the Albany Law admissions office have been removed from the law school website. Thank goodness for technology, because Google Cache was able to come up with the names of the missing staff members.

As of June 30, 2011, Gail S. Bensen, Assistant Dean for Admissions, along with Ashley Fluster, admissions assistant, and Lisa Swartwood, admissions secretary, were listed on the law school’s Staff Directory:

As of today, however, they have each been removed from the Albany Law roster. The only admissions staff member who made the cut was Kimberley Hawley, an office assistant.

Why in the world would a law school in transition fire its entire admissions staff? Granted, applications at Albany Law were down about 20% this year, but applications were down at law schools across the board.

I reached out to Albany Law School for comment. David Singer, Albany Law’s Director of Communications & Marketing, was quick to respond: “It’s a personnel matter. We cannot comment.”

So, while Singer isn’t admitting that the entire admissions staff has been sacked, he isn’t denying it, either — which makes us think that the allegations are true.

Do you have any inside information as to what happened at the Albany Law School admissions office? Feel free to let us know in the comments or via email (subject line: “Albany Law Admissions”).

P.S. Gail, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile:

Earlier: Previous ATL coverage of Albany Law School

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