We brought the matter to the Provost and although he is supportive of our goals he cannot bend the University rules to make this creative idea happen. However, we remain committed to finding ways to fund post-graduate opportunities and address other employment issues facing our graduates.
— Part of a statement issued by University of Oregon Law professors on the OregonLawBlawg, describing the status of their proposal to cancel law faculty raises to fund a jobs program for the school’s graduates.
(Keep reading to see the rest of their statement, plus the law school’s response to our media inquiry.)
Twelve law professors — Stuart Chinn, Michael Fakhri, Caroline Forell, Liz Frost, Erik Girvan, Carrie Leonetti, Mohsen Manesh, Roberta Mann, Michelle McKinley, Margie Paris, Jen Reynolds, and Liz Tippett — signed the statement posted on the OregonLawBlawg about the issue that spurred Professor Robert Illig’s email rants. Here’s the rest of their statement, in relevant part:
Recently the University announced across-the-board cost of living adjustments and merit pay increases to take effect later in the year.
A group of law faculty came up with the idea to divert the law school’s portion of the faculty merit pay funds to a post-graduate fellowship program for new law grads, in lieu of accepting a pay increase.
Last Friday, this group brought this idea as a resolution (included below) to the regularly scheduled faculty meeting. A wide majority of those present voted to approve the resolution — in addition, a majority of the full faculty support the resolution.
Now these are the kind of law professors we need in law schools right now. They see the desperate employment situation recent graduates have inherited, and they want to help in any way they can. Unfortunately, despite approval by a majority of the full faculty, the dean’s hands are tied.
When we asked Oregon Law to confirm the existence of the proposal to cancel faculty raises to fund a jobs fellowship program for recent graduates, this was the response we received:
There have been many conversations at Oregon Law pertaining to a wide variety of subjects including those you reference. The two topics you identify are among the many ideas the faculty have discussed. There are no concrete plans in place or action being taken on these matters.
That takes care of that. Oregon Law professors will be able to keep their “paltry raises” after all.
High five, Professor Illig! Now you won’t have to go claim your seven-figure Biglaw job.
Some information [OregonLawBlawg]