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December 09, 2011


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Bill Turnier

From Sager's letter we can conclude that some profs at elite law schools are making money that rivals that of their football and basketball coaches and that surpasses the salaries of university presidents at some of the nation's best public institutions. They also enjoy far better job security. I guess we will have to stop generally complaining about the overemphasis on athletics if Sager is right.


What did spending $400,000 per year on celebrity faculty earn UT? A two place bump in the rankings (from 2007 to 2011 UT moved from #16 to #14). What did it cost UT students? When Sanger began as dean in 2006, UT tuition was $16,935 in-state, and $29,291 out of state. In five years, tuition has risen 89% for in-state to $32,010 and 62% for out of state to $47,532 per year. I wonder if saddling its students with crushing debt loads was a price worth paying to raise its USNews rankings from T16 to T14?

Note: even if you attribute part of the tuition rise to other factors, engaging in a faculty hiring arms race surely contributed significantly to the rise.


Actually, it is not true that Sager paid up to keep his stars against competing offers from higher-ranked schools. Look at the list of top-ten compensated faculty at Texas. Only one of them (#4) had an offer from a higher-ranked school at the time when his high salary was set up. Their #2 person on the list came from a lower-ranked school and had no competing offers. Only two people on their two-ten list are currently being considered at (or are hired by) a higher-ranked school. This spin is simply not true.


Check out Brian Leiter's blog on this question. He says they did have offers.


You are right. I was wrong. He only says some of them had offers. He could be talking about the two you refer to.

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