Michael Moffitt in NYT on UO’s new law courses

At the University of Oregon, Michael Moffitt, the law school’s dean, has started clinics on nonprofit groups, environmental policy and probate mediation. He has also set up law courses for students in other parts of the university, which brings revenue to the law school. 

“The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” Mr. Moffitt said. “But if you are getting a business degree, you need to know about contract law. City planners need to know about land-use law. So we at Oregon are educating not just J.D. students. 

“Demand is through the roof,” he added. “I feel like I am living a business school case study.”

Sounds great – but go to the list of classes the law school is offering to undergraduates, here. About 250 students are enrolled in the kinds of solid courses Moffitt tells the NYT about. But 300 are in Kilkenny’s sports conflict courses. Probably a good idea not telling the Times that little detail. (Thanks to Anon for tip in the comments.) 2/11/2013.
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8 Responses to Michael Moffitt in NYT on UO’s new law courses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dog on Education as a Commodity

    Whether or not Moffitt meant to say this “The problem is that we have been selling only one product,” or not nevertheless is representative, in my opinion, of the whole reason that education has become broken. We do treat it as a commodity with customers and the need for marketing. Whether or not this is ultimately a good thing, a I don’t know. I do know its not what I signed on for as an Academic.

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  2. Cheyney Ryan says:

    A major reason why the law school now teaches undergrad courses in this area is that CAS never had the slightest interest in doing so. I was in the philosophy dept for over two decades, teaching courses in phil of law/jurisprudence. Several times, several of us with law backgrounds, as well as PhD’s, lobbied for CAS to back undergrad courses in law, including a legal studies program of the type other major universities have. The reaction ranged from indifference to hostility. I am now in the law school, teaching undergrad courses for them. Undergrad courses, like research grants, generate revenue for their units. That’s not an argument against them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Says

      I am not interested in generating revenue for my “unit” (yes I have research grants). I am interested in the scholarship of ideas and more interdisciplinary courses. Since its interdisciplinary there is no “unit” to generate revenue for. Hence we don’t do this on any sensible scale at the UO. If my job is primarily to generate revenue for my unit, again, I didn’t sign on for this and obviously I have little value as a faculty member with that attitude.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      Sign me up for a law professor salary (compensating wage differential for teaching law students) and I’ll teach a class or two.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Just like academics to turn on each other with the barbarians at the gate.

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