Moffitt made $285K, Law School raked in cash from CNC courses

2/18/2013: Updated at bottom with Dean Michael Moffitt’s pay.

2/17/13: This is back of the envelope for the Football and Conflict course, the original post with exam  is here. Corrections welcome. I’m no economist, and many readers know more about this than I do. (Edited once already, thanks for corrections).

Under Brad Sheldon’s Oregon Budget Model, UO’s colleges divide up UO’s total tuition revenue according to a formula based on how many students are taking credits, how many majors they have, and how many graduates they produce. An undergrad student credit hour (SCH) was worth $153 last year to the college teaching it. They then have to pay a tax to Johnson Hall, to pay for Bean’s BMW and administrative sabbatical, as well as the legitimate costs of central administration. This is based on expenditures 2 years back, and works out to about 27% of new revenue for law. So they keep about $112 net for a SCH. (They’d get more if they could offer an undergrad major). For the professional law and CRES MA students the law school keeps all the after tax tuition: hence the incentive to give graduate level credits for the CnC courses. A grad credit is worth, very roughly, $220.

So each undergraduate CnC student in a 4 credit class produced about $450 in revenue for the law school. CRES 410 Football and Conflict, with 90 students in fall 2012 brought in about $40K, ignoring any grad student bonus.

What did it cost? While the Athletic Department had wanted to charge the academic side for use of the Jock Box classrooms, that was a bit much even for a booster like Bean. So the only real costs were for the instructor, the readers and graders, and administrative support. With some reasonable assumptions about pay, benefits, and teaching loads, cost per course was say $111,000/8 + $1,000 ~= $15,000.

Let’s call it $25,000 in profit, from that one class. No wonder Dean Moffitt felt like he was “living in a business school case study”. And what was his cut?

Quite the raise from the $128,116 he was getting 2 years before, as an associate professor:

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62 Responses to Moffitt made $285K, Law School raked in cash from CNC courses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dog on Shelton Math

    Your probably right for the UO law school
    but the $153 per credit hour I don’t think is
    quite right when out of state tuition is involved
    for other colleges -
    (which it probably isn’t for the law school).

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    • Peter Keyes says:

      The per sch figure is a weighted average of in-state and out-of-state, which is the same for all undergraduate sch, regardless of whether any given student in the class is in-state or out-of-state. Whereas for graduate students, the unit keeps the actual tuition, so having an in-state versus out-of-state student matters a lot.

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    • Anonymous says:

      dog says

      thanks for the clarification. I can never understand these
      SCH things anyway

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    • UO Matters says:

      So, the law school keeps all the tuition for law students and CRES MA students?

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    • Peter Keyes says:

      They pay the same tax back to the central administration that all units pay, but otherwise they keep the rest of the tuition. In general terms, professional schools with masters programs tend to make money on grad students, whereas CAS departments, with Phd students to support, more often lose money on grad students.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      Yes the money loss in case grad programs is a serious issue – as well as a very stupid outcome

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    • dr.duck says:

      misleading,but provides a ‘teachable moment’. the effective ‘tax rate for units such as LCB and CAS, which provide large subsidies to other units is much larger than the simple overhead rate. I’m all for Law or any other unit offering legit courses, but then use the real tax rate paid by LCB and ?CAS for all schools and colleges and use net proceeds to reduce the subsidy.Put differently, let the LCB and CAS budgets be run just like the CNC model!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Cue the usual athletics boosters/Frohnmayer-Kilkenny sycophants! Nothing gets them riled up like suggestions that classes designed to keep athletes eligible aren’t worthwhile.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Actually, the word around the faculty club foosball table is that the CnC courses were too tough for the football players.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You seem kind of…. how to say, it, “simple,” Anonymous. I’m a frequent what-you-might-call “Frohnmayer-Kilkenny sycophant.” I do not care–AT ALL–what your or anyone else’s opinions are about the intersection of academics and athletics. I’m not an athletic booster. What I care about–the ONLY thing I care about–is correcting the lies and distortions that Harbaugh makes on this blog, which, sadly, I need to do almost every day.

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    • UO Matters says:

      OK, what did I get wrong today?

      And please, pick a screen name.

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    • Screen Name says:

      I’m not here to dialogue with you, Bill.

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    • UO Matters says:

      People come on this blog all the time and tell me I am posting lies. I ask what’s a lie? And they just go away.

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    • Screen Name says:

      Bill, the only important thing is that people stop taking what you say at face value. It’s a frustrating uphill battle because you’re both very crazy and very vocal.

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    • UO Matters says:

      So, no lies today? Don’t worry, I’m not the litigious type, I just want to know if I post something untrue.

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    • UO Matters says:

      BTW, nice screen name.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Would you please stop publishing these salaries? It makes me feel like such a chump, sitting here commenting on student work, staying up late tonight to labor on yet more publications, rewriting lectures and redesigning spring courses over this next weekend, scheduling in committees and meetings, busting my summer on bigger projects, paying for my own travel when my funding runs out, and getting it all done, with some reasonable recognition in my field–and for what? To see all these salaries that are not just 2X or 3X mine but 4X (in this case)? This is the reason I don’t read the salary reports.

    Can’t you just report the juicy stuff that provides some energizing outrage without including this other stuff that just makes me feel stupid and miserable?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see if I have this straight…

    Jamie is pulling down $270K to help UO get out from under the Matt Court bond fiasco.

    Michael is pulling down $285K to help UO Law get out from under its own share of crushing debt.

    Whole lot of “Knight” here – Matt Court, Knight Law Center, Knight Dean of Law.

    Here’s a thought: Reasonable compensation based on principles of sustainability, public service, and delivering education.

    Here’s another thought: Do what Kilkenny did and serve without compensation for a year or two, but instead of using it to help the Law School usurp undergrad education, just use the money to help students graduate without debt.

    Here’s another thought: Live on just one of those bloated salaries. Can live quite well in Eugene for $270-285K, I suspect. $565K seems gauche.

    Here’s a final thought: Phil pays them. I mean, in a transparent way.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Wow, and I though I was blunt.

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    • UO Matters says:

      And comment of the month – stop by our office for your coffee cup.

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    • duckgoose says:

      I don’t know if either person got hired through appropriate channels, or if they are fully qualified for the job, or if they are doing a good job. But a salary in the $200k’s seems appropriate for a person responsible for the operation of a large and complex entity. It is just unfortunate that the salaries of many faculty are not at appropriate levels as well for their training and responsibilities.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Jamie’s a bitch, but competent. Michael’s a nice guy, but not so competent. The perfect couple.

      Lariviere promoted her to VPFA after a failed search for an external hire. She was on the search committee. I’ve heard people say she sabotaged it on purpose. Maybe, but the leading candidate had issues. Her excessive salary was a giveaway from Lariviere, he thought it would buy him some loyalty. Why not – it sure did when she worked for athletics.

      I have no idea how Michael Moffitt suddenly went from associate professor in the fringe field of ADR to Dean. Anyone?

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    • Anonymous says:

      idle questions…

      (1) who was on the search committee

      (2) who made it to the group of finalists

      (3) were there any other internal candidates? if so, what came of them? was he more qualified?

      (4) what were his major fundraising accomplishments?

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    • Anonymous says:

      And as I recall there were no other internal candidates, but it was an external search.

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    • Oryx says:

      UOM: I like this blog, but it’s recently been tending towards glib insults. Maybe the nutty comments on the athletics threads have gotten to you, but whatever the cause it’s really not ok to refer to a female administrator as a “bitch”, especially when followed by “but competent” to highlight that the first part is an insult. It’s also not relevant who is married to whom, how much money households vs. individuals make, etc. There are plenty of real issues on campus that need intelligent and candid commentary, for which this blog has been invaluable. If, as many blogs do, it descends into crude and off-putting blather (whether from you or from incoherent commenters), it will be ignored.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Point taken, thanks.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Live on just one of those bloated salaries? That’s dumb. If they are legitimately invested in those positions then pay them for their contributions. If there are shortcomings in those positions, however, I have no problem with someone fixing the problem. This place is jacked, though, and we are learning that Gottfredson is completely unable to exercise any of the oversight he is charged with. The Moffitts are just exploiting the system while they can.

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    • UO Matters says:

      To Oryx:

      a) thanks for using a screen name

      b) thanks for calling me out on the nastiness. I have no idea what I’m doing with this blog. I fell into it. I want it to be a good thing for UO and for the many other things I care about. I don’t want to be a bad person. I appreciate when people tell me I’ve crossed that line.

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    • Anonymous says:

      no one who was full professor at the time applied for the position? might into that to see if that’s true.

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    • Anonymous says:

      oh, i disagree.

      it’s completely relevant whether jm got moved out of the law school and into another capacity to clear the path for mm to become dean and not have her as his assoc. dean. a bit of a conflict there.

      the point is that they’re both charged with cleaning up financial messes and bringing fiscal stability. ceo’s sometimes take salary cuts as at least symbolic measures to help convey a message that fiscal responsibility is everyone’s concern – and burden.

      here, however, we have a power couple making $555K a year, and questions about appointments.

      hmmm…

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    • Anonymous says:

      http://projects.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25666972-41/law-moffitt-dean-students-legal.csp

      “UO law professor Michael Moffitt was selected from a field of four finalists to take over the post from Margie Paris, who will return to the law school faculty this summer. Moffitt is the fourth dean in a row to be selected from the faculty ranks.”

      Initial 6-year contract…

      Were there any internal candidates who didn’t make it to the round of finalists?

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    • Open says:

      Nice find:

      “I love and believe in legal education.”

      and let me tell you, it sure pays the bills.

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    • Bluto says:

      270k is a hell of a deal to get out from under the Matt Court bond fiasco. You’d have to pay me a lot more than that to take the job.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Stop being a cheapskate! That was such a good comment that you should throw in a bottle of Scotch from your private reserve with that coffee cup.

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    • UO Matters says:

      “I am a river to my people”. But there are limits.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, but I’d prefer to see both the scotch and the coffee cup go to the CnC adjunct, who before all is said and done might not even have a pot to piss in. Plus, his piece on the NCAA and Penn State is outstanding.

    http://www.uomatters.com/2013/02/law-schools-cnc-prof-on-ncaa-and-penn.html

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    • Cat says:

      I think Michael Moffitt should be paying that poor guy’s severance–and it should be more than scotch in a coffee cup–out of his 285K.

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    • UO Matters says:

      I like the direction this thread is moving in.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Very late to the comments, but this post was just directed to my attention.

    It’s not uncommon for law schools to pick a pure academic for Dean, and Moffitt has fine credentials in that regard. He’s highly published in his field, and a very well liked instructor of one of the doctrinal law courses. He was also capable and likeable as an assistant dean. It was expected by most of the law school, both students and faculty, that he would be taking over when Dean Paris finished out her term. It was also understood by all that if he was not elevated to dean, he would be parting ways with UO. He interviewed with several other schools, but since I didn’t directly hear the details of where, I won’t repeat what I was told.

    The problem with Moffitt’s selection is that he was basically fast-tracked from the very start. The outside applicants were ridiculously weak, to the point that students were laughing about it. The process felt like an open sham to most observers because the law school clearly didn’t reach out to serious external candidates. There was a second problem, known to some, of an arguably much more qualified long-time professor being told that he couldn’t put his name in for consideration due to fear of inter-faculty conflict and complication. I only heard about this secondhand from faculty members who were willing to discuss it, but everything I heard was consistent. This faculty member, who was a respected figure around the Law School for over 15 years, a UO Law grad (and undergraduate), also made a number of substantial contributions to the law school that were sincere attempts to move it in the right direction, including a badly needed Portland presence for the students. He created and ran that program with no additional salary or title beyond his endowed professorship.

    The law school lost that faculty member, and while I don’t know that it was specifically over the dean selection as opposed to other grievances, Moffitt’s administration has since dismantled most of the Portland program. The widely held opinion around the law school is that most of the academic offerings and programs suffer to benefit the development the CRES and CNC programs. UO Law’s revered environmental program and always stagnant business law offerings have taken an increasingly apparent backseat to CRES in terms of promotion and funding. Alternative dispute resolution and conflict studies is not a serious job or academic option for 99% of the people who get involved with it. Professional mediators and negotiators are almost always seasoned litigators or other attorneys with experience in the field. It is viewed by many faculty members as a novelty field that contributes little to the law school’s reputation and efficacy.

    The CRES program is good for marketing the law school and generating revenue. It sucks for ordinary law students, and based on the job prospects of many CRES students, it’s no boon for their futures either. We could cut the Dean’s salary in half and use the saved sum to pay three excellent adjuncts who teach practical, useful legal courses that actually benefit law students. The Dean’s salary is now higher than an equity partner at most of the mid-size private law firms in the state of Oregon.

    If I were certain his service was creating value commensurate with the salary, I would not complain. But tuition is up, job placement is down, rankings are down or stagnant, applicant numbers are down, and the class of 2013 has lost over 20% of its students. I’m not suggesting Moffitt needs to go, because I only know part of the story and he could be helpful and productive in many ways I don’t realize. But something must change. The law school is drifting from its core mission and doing a disservice to the normal students who pay ever higher amounts, almost always with high interest debt, to get a quality legal education and preparation for the job market.

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    • UO Matters says:

      I would like to thank you for posting this thoughtful analysis on my blog.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “But tuition is up, job placement is down, rankings are down or stagnant, applicant numbers are down, and the class of 2013 has lost over 20% of its students.”

      I agree with most of what you say, but I don’t think job placement or applicant numbers are down. My understanding through the grape is that we’re actually one of the few law schools that hasn’t seen a significant (or even any drop at all) in applicant #s this year.

      Just trying to be fair.

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    • Anonymous says:

      My pleasure. I realize that it’s off-topic, long-winded, and a catchall, but after browsing the comments here and on other posts, there seems to be some confusion as to Dean Moffitt’s qualifications for the job and the law school’s general opinion of him. I can only offer my impression of the broad consensus, so I hope my comments aren’t taken as anything more than that.

      Thank you for calling attention to these matters. No matter how anyone comes down on these issues, there should always be more transparency and scrutiny for a public institution. The law school has experienced its own struggles in this area for years with very little improvement. Massive salaries are a serious issue, and if they come coupled with weakened academic standards and poor allocation of resources, then the discussion needs to continue. Dean Moffitt’s tactless gloating about the CRES program in the NYT went around the usual email chains like wildfire, even before you exposed the contents of the Sports Conflicts final, and I sincerely hope that the embarrassment this has created will spur some self-enforced remedial measures from the law school faculty and admin. Many people have been annoyed (or embarrassed, or infuriated) by the school’s drift toward marketing itself as an interdisciplinary and sports-centric grad program. Maybe this negative publicity will be a tipping point for refocusing and increased accountability.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s impossible to get accurate admissions numbers. This is any law schools most closely guarded information. This is a bit unfair given the drop in overall applicant volume to law schools nationally, but the real story of UO’s applicant levels can be gleaned from the standard LSAT/GPA admissions split. Despite the rise in national awareness of U of O as a brand, LSAT numbers have remained stable or dropped. Traditionally, nearly all top 100 law schools see an uptick in median numbers over time due to ever-increasing applicant quality and volume. L&C long ago surpassed U of O in the numbers game and has continued to harvest a numerically superior (and larger) applicant pool. Additionally, the CRES program does not even have set admissions numbers, as I understand it. Since its inception there have been questions about whether there are any serious academic standards for admission aside from an undergraduate degree, willingness to attend, and a cleared tuition payment.

      More than a few faculty members have suggested the obvious solution to this problem: shrink the class size. There are not enough jobs for our graduates as it is, and a smaller, more qualified class would benefit the students and school. Naturally, Dean Moffitt proposed increasing class sizes to over 200 students early last year, but this thankfully stalled out (as far I know).

      For Job placement, I can only speak with anecdotal authority, but I know of or am in contact with well over a hundred alumni ranging from 2008-2012. The prognosis is not great. UO Law routinely produces grads in the top 10% of the class who are unemployed at graduation and end up taking a year or more to find stable employment. Without an inside track or personal connection, the odds of a median UO Law graduate finding stable, full-time employment within 6 months of graduating are depressingly slim. I know of many highly qualified graduates who are not at the very top of the class (but have law review membership, top 1/3 grades, good previous work experience, good summer positions and clerkships, etc) who do not have stable employment more than a year after graduating. Many of them are working for free in hope of accumulating any experience and avoiding a resume gap. This is obviously not entirely the school’s fault, and UO Law has historically poor placement even pre-2008, but there are issues.

      First, the superficial revamp of the CSO was just window dressing. Candidates for the new director of Career Services included a local underemployed attorney who counted running a deli meat and cheese distribution service among his credentials. Ultimately, we hired one of our legal writing instructors, who while very nice and capable, has never had to seriously look for a legal job in Oregon (she previously worked at one of the most elite law firms on the West Coast and graduated from UCLA in the top 5% of her class). I won’t disparage the person who held the job before her, but he was let go due to widespread anger over his lack of ability to perform one of the school’s most critical roles.

      Second, the law school under-funds and under-staffs the programs that have traditionally helped pipeline grads into jobs. The prosecution clinic is small and not comprehensive, summer clerkship placement is loosely administrated and mostly left to the initiative of students, and the Portland program is dessicated or non-existent, depending on who you talk to. These are the things that the school should be relentlessly developing to ensure that more students have a legitimate shot at building a career. A poor job market is a major factor, but it does not excuse the school’s refusal to treat the situation as a crisis and make adjustments.

      Dean Moffitt’s top priority should be developing the core academic programs and opportunities for the large majority of ordinary law students, not marketing his dubiously useful interdisciplinary programs.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for sharing. I agree with everything you say. It’s pretty damn depressing on many levels.

      I’m not really sure, though, if you’re criticizing the new CSO? I’ve been impressed by Dean Hanley & Co. I have no idea what the numbers are; I’ve just heard anecdotally that a good number of 2Ls got jobs from last Fall’s OCI (at least better than what we’re used to).

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    • Anonymous says:

      To the very thoughtful, detailed and accurate poster: Moffitt needs to go – now. It’s not just that he was coddled and fast-tracked. It’s that a lot of hijinx and irreversible damage occurred to install him where he is, and he’s taking the Law School off a cliff. Wonder what the ABA thinks of all of this?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with most of what has been posted above. Moffitt’s appointment was premeditated…to the point that he was even coached on what answers to give to questions that he’d be asked during the process (the other candidates were not). The other candidates were also painfully weak compared to other Dean searches.

      He very well may do a great job at the law school, but it was apparent from the beginning who was going to be appointed Dean.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “I’m not really sure, though, if you’re criticizing the new CSO? I’ve been impressed by Dean Hanley & Co. I have no idea what the numbers are; I’ve just heard anecdotally that a good number of 2Ls got jobs from last Fall’s OCI (at least better than what we’re used to).”

      My issue with appointing Hanley is that although she was the best among the final candidates (but again, they are an incredibly weak field), her experience is not great for this job. She has exceptional credentials for a lawyer or instructor: great academic pedigree, elite clerkships, and experience with one of the top firms in the country. What she does not have is deep roots in the Willamette Valley legal community, or anywhere else in the Northwest. The person in charge of helping law students transition from grad school to the working world should be intimately acquainted with professional circles in Eugene, Portland, Salem, and beyond, and they should have years of exposure the state’s legal employment market.

      Dean Hanley moved back to Oregon to start a family and take a less strenuous career track. She doesn’t have strong ties to the NW or Oregon professional communities. And she certainly has never had to seriously search for a legal job when the alternative is unemployment. In short, while smart, hard-working, and capable, she has zero relevant experience or qualifications for her position. And on top of that the law school released a few staff members of the already skeletal CSO after the revamp. The solution to this problem would have been to offer a more competitive salary and spend more time searching in order to lure someone away from the private sector. Instead, in the middle of a full blown employment meltdown, the law school took the path of least resistance by selecting an internal hire who has no experience whatsoever with this sort of work.

      I’ll be mercifully brief Re: OCI. OCI is not a realistic avenue for finding a job for 95% of the law school. Of the small number of employers who show up for it, only a handful actually hire any students, the rest come as a courtesy. Of the few that bring on summer clerks or associates, an even smaller fraction ends up hiring anyone. The class of 2011 famously produced less than five individuals with full-time jobs due to OCI. I know 2012 didn’t fare much better. When less than 5% of your class can expect something from a program (and that 5% must be top 15%+, normally), then you shouldn’t take any positive rumors about that program seriously. The main benefit of OCI to an average student is practicing interview skills, something many of them are unlikely to get much of a shot at post graduation.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The law school should have initiated a review of CNC courses, based on reasonable concerns raised, among other places, by U of O Matters.

    Instead, it appears to be terminating an entire program whose activities have included programs for inner-city youth in Portland, working with conflict issues in Eugene Kidsports (in conjunction with Bev Smith), and internships in sports and conflict resolution in Africa.

    CNC is a centerpiece of the law school’s ADR Center, one of only three programs in the law school of national distinction (it is 6th ranked in the country– see http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/dispute-resolution-rankings). This rash action will harm the ADR Center, perhaps fatally. Some of it most senior faculty members are considering resigning in protest.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of the 16 people listed on the ADR Faculty page, only 4 are TRF Law Faculty (including Moffitt, and two Asst Profs), 2 are TRF from outside law, and the rest are adjuncts. Given this, it’s hard to know what it could mean to say “some of its most senior faculty members are considering resigning in protest.”

      And since none of the TRF were teaching ANY of the CNC courses, it’s hard to imagine how it could be a “centerpiece” of the program.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The ADR page is not up to date, as anyone familiar with the law school can see. Tom Lininger is listed as an asst professor, for example, whereas in fact he holds one of the school’s most distinguished chairs. Also, you dont understand what “adjunct” status means: you seem to think it means temporary, or something of the sort; it is a status that is sometimes given to professors in other depts for adm purposes. Finally, you dont understand what either ADR or CNC is, so of course you dont understand what it means for one to be the centerpiece of the other. The ADR is not a curricular entity (I dont think any centers are at the U of O–the Humanities Center isn’t, for example), and, as said, the central purpose of CNC has not been to give courses either.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting. What then is the central purpose of CNC? You’re right: OHC doesn’t teach courses, CSWS doesn’t teach courses. In fact, none of these have faculty besides the directors. They do however report to the VPRI as research centers. Does CNC? When did it become a research center? There may be much I supposedly don’t understand, but among them is how it can be detrimental to a program to cancel the courses it offers if, in fact, the courses are not central to the program. (And if I’m confused about what an adjunct is, your explanation clarifies nothing.)

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    • Anonymous says:

      ADR is a center. CNC is an affiliate project of the center, hence, not itself a center. See the ADR website for the other affiliates. The ADR faculty are affiliate faculty, same as CSWS’s affiliation faculty (see http://csws.uoregon.edu/?page_id=1934). On the central purpose of CNC, see the note just above on the other things CNC does. CNC was in existence for several years before it got involved in courses; indeed, when Kilkenny gave money to the program there were no courses given and no plans to give them. That decision came much later. Finally, the point of the post above is that you are right: it makes no sense to cancel ALL of CNC because of the problems with the courses its involved with. If the law school can explain this to you, please let me know. (For explanation of adjunct status, talk to your dept head if you are at the U of O.)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks. I might point out that I do, in fact, know what an adjunct is. I was merely reacting to the Anonymous who assumed I didn’t and then didn’t actually provide the edification I supposedly require. (Likewise I can hardly be faulted for the ADR’s failure to keep its website up to date.)

      As for CNC, has the Law School in fact shut down the whole program? The only thing UOMatters has reported, based on the announcement on the webpage, is that the courses are cancelled.

      Who would do the shutting down? The Law Faculty? Presumably the law faculty associated with ADR and CNC–if there are any law faculty involved in CNC–would be in a position to make the case for them among their colleagues. That’s how faculty governance works. (And one of the things it means to be an adjunct, for better or worse, is that all-too-often one does not have the same role in that governance as TRF.)

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    • Anonymous says:

      The CNC website, U of O Matters has linked it, indicates that the entire program is suspended. My impression is that the decision has been made by Michael Moffitt. The law faculty as a body have not discussed the issue, to my knowledge. The input is from the law school curriculum committee, the group that forwarded the CNC courses to the university course committee two months ago, with a ringing endorsement, and now feels that the courses are all worthless. There are law faculty involved with CNC (it was started by law faculty). They have urged keeping CNC to their colleagues in the halls of the third floor, but there has been no formal consultation or meeting as a group. A major problem is that a central role in CNC course offerings has been carried by adjuncts, as people know. (By the way, both of them have PhD’s and several decades of combined experience teaching at the university level.) They have now been notified that they are no longer teaching as of March 15. Anyone looking at this would have to conclude that what’s driving it is bad publicity, not concern for substance or process. I fear the story may only get worse as the fact become more known.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that it’s unfair to demonize everyone involved with CNC and CRES. Alternative dispute resolution has a place in any modern, competitive law program. But the school grew the program too quickly and then marketed it beyond its appropriate role for a number of reasons. The instructors are, for the most part, good people with good credentials who care about their field. But the course offerings, staffing and funding, promotion, and overall standards for the program raise serious concerns that are thankfully now coming to light. It’s just unfortunate that negative publicity was the only way to achieve this.

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    • Believer in Due Process says:

      Unfair, indeed. Good people that have done everything the law school has asked them to do are now being terminated, with nothing approaching due process, because of that negative publicity. Are those law professors so concerned with ‘procedures’, in bemoaning how the situation arose, going to show the same concern with procedures in how it is resolved? Hey, law school: you run a great ship over there. You create programs for bad reasons, without thought, you terminate programs for bad reasons, without thought. Did some of you used to work for the Pentagon?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently the ADR program is one of just three programs in the law school with high national ranking. Otherwise, the law school ranks poorly. Now that they’re eliminating ADR, in the name of “standards”, are they going to eliminate the other two programs that bring them distinction? This will help their marketing, at a time of declining enrollments.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Context is everything. The UO Law School took a precipitous fall some years ago after a failed Dean search, one result of which was that, over a period of years, several of its senior faculty and most respected scholars left UO. The current Dean has done nothing to improve the Law School’s ranking, even with the growth of ADR (which has been highly ranked all of that time). These kinds of specializations don’t really do much in terms of the US News Rankings. They’re bragging points, but not much more.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I just want to second what the previous commenter said. The law school crows about the ‘specialty rankings’ – as they should, because it’s a legitimate accolade – but a high national ranking in a specialty field according to the mostly arbitrary standards of one magazine is not a factor in the school’s overall quality and reputation. If you look at those specialty lists, many poorly ranked law schools pop up. There is no real set criteria for assigning the specialty rankings beyond informal surveying, number of students formally involved with some kind degree or program specialty, and amount of money spent.

      Oregon’s ADR program is ‘ranked’ because the Dean and former associate dean/prominent professor is a founder of Harvard Law School’s ADR center, Oregon offers a conflict resolution master’s program, a nascent clinical experience, and marginally more negotiation/mediation-centric course offerings than schools of comparable size. While that offers more opportunity for students interested in ADR, it doesn’t speak to the quality and oversight of the programs themselves.

      The normal curriculum law courses and clinical offerings are fine. Again, I think we all realize that the problem here was growing the interdisciplinary MA program classes too rapidly, with too little oversight. I don’t think that pressure came from entirely within the law school, so Moffitt and company are not entirely to blame. But as a law school dean, he should have put his foot down and prioritized quality control when the university started requesting more jock box classes, and the ADR program should not have been front and center for law school publicity for the last three years.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    But the Acting Chancellor’s new salary is just fine?

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