Which Law Schools Are Shedding Full-Time Professors (2013 Edition)?

I asked this question not even six months ago, but since the Official Guide‘s data are out already, I figured no harm’d be done revisiting it.

Followers of the law school applicant crash are likely to be interested in knowing which law schools are responding by letting go of faculty. Talk of buyouts is in the air, and tenured faculty are among the highest paid, making their departures relief to law schools’ budgets. The Official Guide can help illuminate where that’s going on. For the most part.

Unfortunately, some schools are more diligent about submitting their data than others. Also, it’s not uncommon for wide fluctuations to occur on a year-by-year basis or for downright absurd outcomes to occur, e.g. in 2011 when South Dakota reported only having a full-time faculty of one, which sounds like a Hollywood pitch. Property Prof Versus the Undead 1Ls would make a delightful zombie movie—and the gratuitous Blackacre jokes might even deter the hordes of applicants powered by Legally Blonde—but alas, it was certainly a data entry error.

Having said that, overall, the aggregate of the data probably tell a reliable story: Peak full-time law professor occurred in 2011, and by 2013 even part-time profs started to disappear. The bubble is slowly deflating.

Number of Faculty and Administrators by Type(Click to enlarge)

In fact, most of the full-time law prof bubble occurred in the 21st century. They had a good run, I guess. For a time, “law teachers, postsecondary” was one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.

But I know what you really came here for: Rankings! These are sorted by net two-year reduction by school with the fewest number of full-time faculty in 2011, the idea being that a small school that reduces its professors by the same number as a larger one sees a bigger impact.

Behold! Your vile, execrable, perverted obsession indulged:

**********

FULL-TIME FACULTY (FALL)
RANK SCHOOL ’11 ’12 ’13 ANNUAL CHANGE NET CHANGE
1. Chicago 67 70 46 -24 -21
1. Florida Coastal 69 60 48 -12 -21
3. McGeorge 49 43 33 -10 -16
4. St. Louis 55 49 40 -9 -15
5. St. John’s 52 39 38 -1 -14
5. Hofstra 56 54 42 -12 -14
5. New York Law School 70 57 56 -1 -14
8. Widener 51 51 38 -13 -13
8. Catholic 52 43 39 -4 -13
8. Fordham 85 81 72 -9 -13
11. Hamline 34 26 22 -4 -12
11. California-Hastings 67 57 55 -2 -12
13. La Verne 19 8 8 0 -11
13. Roger Williams 27 20 16 -4 -11
13. Touro 36 34 25 -9 -11
13. Pace 48 41 37 -4 -11
13. John Marshall (Chicago) 69 69 58 -11 -11
18. William Mitchell 39 35 29 -6 -10
18. Wisconsin 57 54 47 -7 -10
18. Stetson 58 48 48 0 -10
18. California-Berkeley 65 63 55 -8 -10
18. Brooklyn 66 63 56 -7 -10
23. Golden Gate 36 30 27 -3 -9
23. Albany 44 40 35 -5 -9
23. Seton Hall 49 41 40 -1 -9
23. Loyola Marymount (CA) 67 65 58 -7 -9
27. Detroit Mercy 31 27 23 -4 -8
27. San Francisco 38 33 30 -3 -8
27. Georgia State 50 43 42 -1 -8
27. Seattle 61 57 53 -4 -8
31. New Hampshire 21 14 14 0 -7
31. Dayton 24 23 17 -6 -7
31. Capital 32 31 25 -6 -7
31. Wayne State 34 30 27 -3 -7
31. Cleveland State 36 32 29 -3 -7
31. California Western 42 38 35 -3 -7
31. Indiana (Bloomington) 55 50 48 -2 -7
31. Boston University 55 54 48 -6 -7
31. Virginia 85 79 78 -1 -7
40. Faulkner 19 14 13 -1 -6
40. Regent 23 18 17 -1 -6
40. Florida A&M 25 20 19 -1 -6
40. Vermont 29 27 23 -4 -6
40. Arizona 38 33 32 -1 -6
40. Thomas Jefferson 39 39 33 -6 -6
40. Wake Forest 41 38 35 -3 -6
40. Penn State 53 51 47 -4 -6
40. DePaul 54 50 48 -2 -6
40. Washington University 67 66 61 -5 -6
40. Miami 82 79 76 -3 -6
51. Toledo 28 25 23 -2 -5
51. Whittier 29 24 24 0 -5
51. Quinnipiac 29 26 24 -2 -5
51. Texas A&M 31 29 26 -3 -5
51. St. Thomas (FL) 37 33 32 -1 -5
51. Chapman 44 40 39 -1 -5
51. SUNY Buffalo 45 39 40 1 -5
51. Nova Southeastern 52 49 47 -2 -5
59. Ave Maria 19 19 15 -4 -4
59. Western New England 27 23 23 0 -4
59. Baylor 27 25 23 -2 -4
59. Missouri (Kansas City) 31 27 27 0 -4
59. Northeastern 36 37 32 -5 -4
59. New England 37 35 33 -2 -4
59. Pittsburgh 40 39 36 -3 -4
59. Southwestern 56 57 52 -5 -4
59. Santa Clara 61 56 57 1 -4
59. Texas 83 75 79 4 -4
59. George Washington 87 87 83 -4 -4
59. New York University 141 137 137 0 -4
71. Wyoming 17 15 14 -1 -3
71. Samford 23 22 20 -2 -3
71. Campbell 23 21 20 -1 -3
71. Widener (Harrisburg) 23 22 20 -2 -3
71. Southern Illinois 24 24 21 -3 -3
71. University of St. Thomas (MN) 30 29 27 -2 -3
71. Oregon 30 27 27 0 -3
71. Nevada 32 23 29 6 -3
71. Texas Southern 33 30 30 0 -3
71. Southern University 39 35 36 1 -3
71. Connecticut 41 38 38 0 -3
71. Notre Dame 49 54 46 -8 -3
71. Cornell 53 55 50 -5 -3
71. Florida, University of 61 62 58 -4 -3
71. Emory 63 64 60 -4 -3
71. Suffolk 70 66 67 1 -3
71. Michigan 70 71 67 -4 -3
88. Liberty 19 17 17 0 -2
88. District of Columbia 20 20 18 -2 -2
88. Kentucky 24 21 22 1 -2
88. Gonzaga 26 22 24 2 -2
88. Northern Kentucky 27 29 25 -4 -2
88. Oklahoma City 27 25 25 0 -2
88. California-Irvine 28 27 26 -1 -2
88. North Carolina Central 31 28 29 1 -2
88. Charleston 31 31 29 -2 -2
88. Cincinnati 32 32 30 -2 -2
88. West Virginia 34 34 32 -2 -2
88. Loyola (LA) 40 39 38 -1 -2
88. Case Western Reserve 41 41 39 -2 -2
88. Vanderbilt 41 38 39 1 -2
88. Southern California 45 46 43 -3 -2
88. Colorado 48 46 46 0 -2
88. Georgia 50 47 48 1 -2
88. Lewis and Clark 52 51 50 -1 -2
106. Western State 17 11 16 5 -1
106. Arkansas (Little Rock) 19 19 18 -1 -1
106. Howard 21 20 20 0 -1
106. Mississippi College 26 26 25 -1 -1
106. Tulsa 26 25 25 0 -1
106. Arkansas (Fayetteville) 27 23 26 3 -1
106. Hawaii 29 28 28 0 -1
106. Washburn 30 32 29 -3 -1
106. George Mason 34 35 33 -2 -1
106. Washington and Lee 35 35 34 -1 -1
106. Utah 37 36 36 0 -1
106. Marquette 37 37 36 -1 -1
106. Tulane 43 45 42 -3 -1
106. Maryland 61 61 60 -1 -1
106. Illinois Institute of Technology 64 63 63 0 -1
121. North Dakota 12 9 12 3 0
121. Northern Illinois 17 15 17 2 0
121. Willamette 25 25 25 0 0
121. Louisiana State 29 26 29 3 0
121. St. Mary’s 31 31 31 0 0
121. Barry 32 32 32 0 0
121. Texas Tech 32 35 32 -3 0
121. Oklahoma 33 31 33 2 0
121. Alabama 38 39 38 -1 0
121. John Marshall (Atlanta) 40 49 40 -9 0
121. Florida State 41 43 41 -2 0
121. Illinois 43 43 43 0 0
121. California-Davis 46 46 46 0 0
121. Arizona State 49 51 49 -2 0
121. Michigan State 51 51 51 0 0
121. Temple 58 55 58 3 0
137. Montana 14 14 15 1 1
137. Appalachian 15 17 16 -1 1
137. Ohio Northern 19 19 20 1 1
137. Creighton 23 25 24 -1 1
137. Louisville 25 25 26 1 1
137. Brigham Young 25 24 26 2 1
137. Drake 26 25 27 2 1
137. Akron 26 30 27 -3 1
137. Valparaiso 27 31 28 -3 1
137. Syracuse 41 45 42 -3 1
137. Indiana (Indianapolis) 42 8 43 35 1
137. Houston 51 55 52 -3 1
137. Duke 55 59 56 -3 1
137. Pennsylvania 62 65 63 -2 1
137. Northwestern 76 84 77 -7 1
137. American 102 103 103 0 1
137. Georgetown 130 140 131 -9 1
154. Memphis 18 18 20 2 2
154. Drexel 24 25 26 1 2
154. Mercer 26 27 28 1 2
154. Nebraska 27 29 29 0 2
154. Arizona Summit 32 41 34 -7 2
154. South Texas 44 47 46 -1 2
154. Baltimore 50 52 52 0 2
154. Boston College 52 49 54 5 2
154. Minnesota 53 51 55 4 2
163. Maine 16 16 19 3 3
163. Idaho 19 20 22 2 3
163. Kansas 28 30 31 1 3
163. Florida International 29 29 32 3 3
163. Villanova 32 31 35 4 3
163. South Carolina 33 37 36 -1 3
163. Southern Methodist 38 36 41 5 3
163. Washington 51 48 54 6 3
163. Stanford 59 60 62 2 3
172. Tennessee 27 28 31 3 4
172. Missouri (Columbia) 28 26 32 6 4
172. City University 34 39 38 -1 4
172. Iowa 39 43 43 0 4
172. Cardozo 58 62 62 0 4
172. Harvard 116 125 120 -5 4
178. Duquesne 23 27 28 1 5
178. New Mexico 28 29 33 4 5
178. Richmond 32 31 37 6 5
178. Rutgers (Newark) 34 38 39 1 5
178. Pepperdine 35 40 40 0 5
178. North Carolina 44 49 49 0 5
178. San Diego 55 47 60 13 5
185. Elon 17 19 23 4 6
185. Ohio State 38 45 44 -1 6
187. Loyola (IL) 48 48 55 7 7
187. California-Los Angeles 72 76 79 3 7
189. Rutgers (Camden) 45 48 53 5 8
190. Yale 61 71 70 -1 9
191. William and Mary 39 38 49 11 10
192. South Dakota 1 15 14 -1 13
192. Mississippi 17 28 30 2 13
192. Denver 62 73 75 2 13
192. Thomas M. Cooley 102 96 115 19 13
196. Charlotte 39 62 64 2 25
196. Columbia 127 142 152 10 25
10TH PERCENTILE 21 19 19 0 -2
25TH PERCENTILE 27 26 26 0 -1
MEDIAN 38 37 35 -2 -3
75TH PERCENTILE 53 51 49 -2 -4
90TH PERCENTILE 67 66 63 -3 -4
MEAN 42.4 41.3 40.1 -1.2 -2.3
GROSS GAIN 221 276
GROSS DECLINE -421 -670
CUMULATIVE 8,352 8,158 7,958 -200 -394

Comments:

(1). I seriously doubt Chicago let go of a third of its faculty this year; its enrollments are about the same as ever, and there isn’t a corresponding surge in part-time profs or similar offsets. Either Chicago misreported this year or did so in previous years and is now correcting it.

(2). The rest of the large reductions happened at schools that you’d expect them to, except maybe Berkeley.

(3). Incidentally, it’s nice to see that Indiana-Indianapolis found the 35 profs it lost last year. Again, another misreporting.

(4). In November, I was incredulous of Columbia’s 15-prof binge, but it appears to be continuing. In the last two years Columbia has increased its full-time faculty by 20 percent. Maybe that’s where all the Chicago profs went?

That’s all for now. Peace.

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9 Responses

  1. You need to examine how the ABA measures # of faculty. It is a complicated formula, in which lecturers and faculty serving as Deans count as fractions of full-time faculty, visiting faculty get counted sometimes, and other peculiarities. Most of the fluctuations in any year are due to the formula and the shifts in the transient, non-permanent faculty. One can not draw any conclusions about whether tenure-stream faculty have or have not been shed.

    • You’re confusing how the ABA counts faculty in the questionnaire with how it calculates faculty-student ratios. The numbers of faculty by each class given in the Official Guide (full-time; other full-time; deans, librarians, and others who teach; and part-time) are whole persons.

      • That’s probably right. But even the listing in the Official Guide takes account only of those in a particular term.

      • Correct. The table is for the fall term only. Usually, there’re about 1-3% more full-time faculty teaching in the spring. Unfortunately, the Official Guide publishes the terms by calendar year rather than academic year, so fall term is what I’m going to publish.

  2. South Dakota went from 1 full time professor in 2011 to 15 in 2013? That could not be correct.

  3. Cooley gained 13 grifters while Charlotte trumped them with 25 scam artists. Amazing!

  4. “Behold! Your vile, execrable, perverted obsession indulged:” LOLOLOL

  5. This post demonstrates how poor the data quality is on some of these surveys. Unfortunately, proposals to audit some of the data always seem to be rejected by the accrediting organizations.

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