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May 27, 2014

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JM

"UNH's faculty hires over the last couple of years have been impressive from what I have seen."

I agree. I think UNH has an very impressive faculty overall, including the ones who comment here. I am sure that a student is capable of receiving a top notch education at UNH.

Now here is the challenge: stop viewing everything from a faculty-centric perspective. (Yes, I know this is the Faculty Lounge). The criticisms of the school here have been about the outcomes for the students, NOT the qualifications or performance of the faculty.

Did you hear Antonin Scalia's statement on SCOTUS clerk hiring to and American Law grad who asked if she could be a clerk? He said he that he takes for the most elite schools because they are the hardest schools to get into. His quote was literally something like, "even if the elite schools don't teach well, you can't make a sow's ear out of a silk purse." Now, I have never heard that particular idiom, but I guessed (and was right!) that it really goes the other way around: "you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." That is what Scalia was saying to the American Law student -- "I will never take you regardless of how well you were taught because YOU are still not that good."

Faculty tend to see themselves (and faculty at other schools) as the cast of the movie, and the students are not the understudies or even the extras but the audience! A nameless, faceless admiring crowd that pays just to see the performance, and with no reasonable expectation of ever performing themselves.

ATLProf has demonstrated this by responding to a criticism of the school (which related to students) by talking about the strength of the faculty.

Because UNH Law focuses so much on the faculty (i.e. themselves) and not the students (i.e. others) it is doomed to fail in the next five years. It is a fait accompli. ATLProf, there are no other significant sources of revenue. So many schools are aggressively pursing LLM students that a rural, lowly ranked school like UNH will have no ability to compete for their money. I also believe the UNH main campus keeps completely separate finances from UNH Law so there will be no bailout, and the endowment for the law school is less than $20 million, so there is no cushion. They can perhaps (and likely will) staunch the bleeding by adopting a completely open admissions policy, but their reputation will suffer accordingly and it will be even less attractive (to students).

Buzz Scherr

JM
Too many fact-free assertions here. UNH Law was a practice-focused law school before virtually any other school. 90% of our students participate in at least one clinic or externship. UNH law has an intensive, practice-oriented program for over a quarter of its students that allows them to enter practice the day before graduation because they need not take the traditional bar exam.
And, you neglect to inform yourself that we have had a substantial graduate program in intellectual property that enrolls 40-50 a year.

anon

Buzz

You and JM are speaking past one another.

What has your response to do with what JM stated?

Buzz Scherr

(1) By most accounts, a school focused on "preparation for practice" tends not to be a school with the faculty at the center of the universe to the exclusion of students.

(2) 40-50 graduate students addresses JM's comment: "So many schools are aggressively pursing LLM students that a rural, lowly ranked school like UNH will have no ability to compete for their money."

JM

Here is my final comment on this thread.

Bringing in prestigious faculty does not do much (if anything) to help students. So if the recent hires at UHN were intended as a solution to address enrollment problems, then they were misguided and "faculty centric." If not, I take it back.

Furthermore, the "practice ready" trend was invented by the faculty for the faculty (I'm including administration in the term "faculty"). Prospective students are (understandably) seeking low costs and good post-graduation job opportunities. The faculty, with their incredible tin ears, have instead heard a clamoring for "skills training." Naturally this (a) is something they can actually provide, and (b) does not require them to give up anything that matters to them.

It appears that law school faculties will exhaust every option before they give up any salary. Higher education is a business, and everything is is always about money. Fancy labels like "practice ready" and things like certificates in ADR or Internantional Business Law are really just cheap costume jewelry that you try to exchange for something of real value (tuition). Hence the label "scam."

My original point here was about Dean Broderick and his $350,000 salary. He made himself rich at the expense of a bunch of poor students. It is not what a rural school serving a local economy like UNH Law should be about.

Buzz Scherr

JM

(1) I appreciate your concerns and there's a lot to them. There's practice-ready, the fake band-aid, and practice-ready, the real thing. To no surprise given my perspective, UNH Law's been at it for years and it is an explanation for our good employment numbers. Done well, we know that practice-ready is resource-intensive and we've always chosen to make that commitment. So, your concerns, I think are legitimate but law school-specific.

(2) more than 2/3 of our grads practice outside of New England. Though we do serve a local economy, it's not where the large majority of our grads go

ATLprof

JM,

"ATLProf has demonstrated this by responding to a criticism of the school (which related to students) by talking about the strength of the faculty."

Actually, that was Calvin. I was merely acknowledging his point.

"Because UNH Law focuses so much on the faculty (i.e. themselves) and not the students (i.e. others) it is doomed to fail in the next five years. It is a fait accompli. ATLProf, there are no other significant sources of revenue. So many schools are aggressively pursing LLM students that a rural, lowly ranked school like UNH will have no ability to compete for their money. I also believe the UNH main campus keeps completely separate finances from UNH Law so there will be no bailout, and the endowment for the law school is less than $20 million, so there is no cushion. They can perhaps (and likely will) staunch the bleeding by adopting a completely open admissions policy, but their reputation will suffer accordingly and it will be even less attractive (to students)."

"It is not what a rural school serving a local economy like UNH Law should be about."

WIth these two statements, you demonstrate that you know almost nothing at all about UNH Law.

There are certainly schools out there that fit your description and that are in serious trouble. UNH is not one of them.

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