I’d say that New England Law School Dean John F. O’Brien “should be ashamed of himself,” but really, the man has already proven that he is not capable of experiencing the human emotion of “shame.” This is a guy who would probably ask the Ghost of Christmas Future how much he gets paid for a good haunting.
O’Brien is well known around these parts for making $867,000 a year to run an unranked law school. No, that’s not a typo, and yes, I’ve sat in a diner with a New England law student and said, “If you give that nimrod $40,904 I’m gonna shoot him on general principles.”
Now, O’Brien is asking the other faculty at New England to take a buyout or work like employees at Initech…
TaxProf Blog has the story coming out of the Boston-based law school:
New England Law | Boston plans to eliminate 14 fulltime faculty positions by August 1, 2014. Depending on how one counts, this is about 35-40% of the regular faculty… An incentive plan has been offered to senior faculty and certain clinical faculty, but those who don’t take it have been threatened with termination…
Those who still do not comply or were not offered the plan, were told that if they remain, their workload during the next academic year will move from 2 to as much as 4 courses per semester and that they will be required to be at their desks from 9 to 5 each day of the work week or an equivalent time period if they are teaching evening classes.
These are the kinds of things that look bad when your dean makes almost a million dollars.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally a fan of the faculty sharing in the pain of the poor market for lawyers. They should be doing more, for less, to keep costs down for students.
But it doesn’t really feel like New England Law | Boston is slashing upwards of 30% of its faculty and threatening to chain people to their desks “for the students.” Instead, it sounds like a school that is used to bilking students who will graduate with poor job prospects is starting to run low on law school applications, just like everybody else.
I’m sure the ABA will take a hard look at this. Just kidding. I mean come on, the ABA let this guy pay himself $867,000 a year and couldn’t be bothered to question if that was the best use of student tuition funds. There’s no “oversight” coming.
Only the would-be students can stop this madness, and they can only do it by thinking critically before going to law school.