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Tenure was a good idea when most people were people of good character.That's long gone. Coincidentally, it left just as Progressivism was arriving.
After all, it is more humane than following the advise of Shakespeare's "Jack The Butcher"!
Amazon offers all employees $5k to quit, on the theory that if you don't want to work here we don't want you.http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/04/14/amazon-offers-employees-5k-to-quit/When Amazon does it, it is a sign of strength.
What would law professors do if they took the buyout ? The circumstances for law practice are lousy now. The US has a 25 year supply of lawyers. Maybe go to medical school ? There's going to be a real shortage there. But it does require math.
The good times are over, at least for now. A $100+k in student debt to graduate and often not get a job as an attorney. At least when I went to LS, I could graduate debt free. Probably wouldn't have gone if I were facing the job prospects today, with the costs to go now having gone up so much. A friend was offered a buyout a couple of years ago (before things got so dire), and he laughed at it. Pointed out that he had an economics degree, and that the offer failed in that regards. He also had two kids in college at the time, so that might have colored his decision. Last one graduates this years, so we shall see. One problem at his LS, is that a lot of the young profs hired were affirmative action hires - esp. gays and lesbians, but also Black, Asian, and Hispanic. Which, I think was a symptom of too much money sloshing around at the time. Their feminist law classes, and the like, would get a handful of students, and the corporation and IP classes would have waiting lists, because a lesbian had been hired instead of someone with a business or IP background. Point here is that a lot of law schools seem to have filled up the bottom rungs of their faculty with politically correct AA hires with weak backgrounds in the more mainstream areas of the law. We shall see how this works out in a much less affluent time. Finally, over at the Volokh Conspiracy (now at WaPo), a day or so ago, Orin Kerr was talking about: Legal scholarship in the lean years. Is it going to get better because of more competition for positions, and to make tenure? Or, will it get worse, when law profs actually have to teach large classes, instead of specialty seminars with a handful of students?
"What would law professors do if they took the buyout?"Retire. You can't force people to retire these days, and the longest-serving members of the faculty tend to have the highest salaries.Those of us who are far enough along to have vested pensions should be seen as targets for appealing offers.
Why not do it the old-fashioned way: Assign them all the 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM classes.
And my prediction is that the retirees will not be replaced by full-time employees. Those are expensive.Here come all the part-time adjunct faculty. They'll work for cheap (although I suspect this might effect the GoldStandard USNews Rankings)
I was so sure I'd find this story -- about a liberal law professor who dissembled when he didn't get a raise -- blogged about over here at Althouse. The professor's chief argument -- which he continues in the comment section -- seems to be fairness. Redistribution for thee, but not for me. http://www.uomatters.com/2014/04/uo-law-school-prof-angry-about-plan-to-use-his-raise-for-scholarships.html
I thought they did something like this a decade or so in Illinois -- faculty with some score that included age+experience were able to retire and I think the benefit was that they would get more years of service credited for pension purposes. The offer was only available for a short time.
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