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New England Law Offers 20 Faculty Buyouts and Cuts Dean’s Wage
New England Law, in facing criticisms of its dean’s high salary, and in response to the reduction of students these last few years, has made a few decisions. First of all, their dean, John O’Brien, who makes more than most deans in the country with his $867,000 salary, has agreed to a 25 percent salary cut, bringing him to about $650,000; he is the only faculty member who is having a pay cut, as the school’s spokesman Patrick Collins said, and as the Boston Business Journal reported.
The school has “frozen wages and balanced the budget through non-academic belt-tightening,” explained Collins, and said that the school has also extended the option of buyouts for 20 faculty, who were chosen through “expression of interest based on service as a faculty member.”
Those offered buyouts have till year’s end to decide, and the plans offer health benefits and two years’ salary. This, combined with the seven positions the school has already cut, are to help manage financial resources, which are an issue, as Collins explained, because “The faculty’s Strategic Planning Committee recommended to the Board of Trustees that the school become smaller in the future in response to the nationwide trends of declining law school applications and smaller entering classes.”
For instance, in 2006, their class size was at 1,115, but this last year it was only 956.
The buyout strategy, as well as the criticism-ducking maneuver to snip the dean’s wages, are meant to keep the school competitive, something all law schools are considering in earnest as of late.