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August 17, 2009


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confused about UC Irvine's Future

I'm confused. What's the "hard choices" approach here? Closing down UC Irvine's law school?


A note about the Shanghai rankings: their criteria skew the results hugely towards schools strong in the hard sciences, and especially those with medical schools. Ranking schools based on their number of dead Nobel Laureates is also a bit odd--being good yesterday is one thing, being good today another.

Putting that to one side, the mood among philosophers in the UC system is gloomy. Salaries lag, real estate is still too expensive for most new faculty, grad student funding is not competitive, and so on--and that was *before* the current crisis. Most UC campuses can, fortunately for them, decline a lot and still be quite good. And the UC law schools, thanks to private resources and tuition revenue, may weather this storm. Of course, if the neoliberal paradigm that has brought the world economy to the brink of ruin is transcendended by a renewed commitment to the public sector, then UC's future may be very different.

Kim Krawiec

Agree with you about the skew in the SJTU rankings, Brian (which is to be expected given both the measures they use and the purpose for which the rankings were created). Thanks for the insight on philosophy outlook -- it's hard to know from media reports whether one is getting a true sense of faculty sentiment, and whether or how it varies across departments.

Confused: the post makes clear that these budget issues are faced by all universities and all law schools right now -- not just UC.

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