With pay cuts on the way, most University of California law professors won’t be happy puppies come fall.
But to hear two law deans tell it, students will hardly notice a thing (unless, we’re guessing, the professor ranks start thinning).
The UC Regents voted today to endorse UC President Mark Yudof’s proposal to cut all UC staff and faculty salaries by 4 to 10 percent and force them to take furlough days for the next academic year.
Two Boalt faculty have said that smart organizations choose layoffs over across-the-board pay cuts. Robert Cooter and Aaron Edlin propose in an L.A. Times opinion piece today that layoffs can help a bloated organization get rid of deadwood, while salary cuts encourage the best to leave.
Dean Michael Schill at UCLA's law school admits that no one is excited about these developments. Most of its professors will see a reduction in their pay ranging from 8 percent to 9 percent. According to tables from the UC finance committee, salaries in that range fall between $90,000 and $240,000. [Salary tables can be viewed here (.pdf)]
Asked whether he worried this will make some bolt to better-paying jobs, Schill said he’ll do whatever it takes to hang on to professors and attract new ones. “They know that I’m committed to competitive salaries,” he said. “I am committed that this will just be a blip.”
As the entire UC system deals with an $813 million hole in state funding, Schill and Boalt Dean Chris Edley maintain that students' services and programs will be spared.
Both say alumni have stepped up. Schill said UCLA law has just wrapped up its second most successful fundraising year. “Alumni understand that the only way we will be competitive with our peer institutions will be through philanthropy,” he said.
Edley says Boalt’s also in better shape than other Berkeley schools because the school’s in the fourth year of raising tuition to be closer to market.
“Our $120 million construction project, with no state support, continues apace, but in other respects we are tightening our belts in ways that will protect the student experience and sustain our competitiveness,” Edley wrote in an e-mail yesterday. “This is tough, but not frightening.”
Petra Pasternak is a Cal Law reporter.