UO Law rises from #100 to #82 in US News after $1.5M bailout

“Above the Law” has the news about US News rankings, here. UO was #77 when we hired Michael Moffitt as Dean, and I believe #82 is as high as we’ve been since.

UO was helped by a change in the algorithm that reduced the weight on temporary jobs that law schools give to graduates to boost employment numbers. Lewis and Clark, for example, hired a remarkable 20% of its own graduates last year. They fell from #72 to #94 after the algorithm change. UO hired many fewer students, in part because Rob Illig went batshit crazy over Margie Paris’s plan to use his raise to pay for these jobs.

Instead, UO Law Dean Michael Moffitt figured out another way to play USNews. He got $1.5M in “Temporary Stabilization Funding” for scholarships to bring in high LSAT students. Where did this money come from, and how many years will it continue?

You’ll have to ask Dean Moffitt’s wife, VP for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt, for that info. And I expect the faculty union will, if she ever shows her face at the bargaining table.

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16 Responses to UO Law rises from #100 to #82 in US News after $1.5M bailout

  1. million dalla lawya says:

    Rob Illig. An instant classic in UO history right there.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I personally like the idea of the Law school not becoming a total dumpster fire. I suppose others (i.e., those with an axe to grind) feel differently.

    • uomatters says:

      Agreed on keeping Law out of the dumpster.

      But given the obvious potential conflict of interest between Moffitt and Moffitt, and the university’s tight budget constraint, and the high likelihood that these subsides will have to continue for years given the structural problems with law school finances in general, it would have been wise to get some broader buy-in on this decision.

      Say what you will about UO’s old “new budget model”, at least it was transparent. People supported it because under Moseley and Frohnmayer there were all kinds of sneaky deals that never saw the light of day. Under that model the Law school was already grand-fathered in for about $1M in subsidies, which were supposed to gradually be reduced. Instead they’re up to $2.5M, in one year.

      Is this the best use of UO’s tight funds? It would be good to have an informed discussion. Just like it would have been good to have a discussion about abandoning the “new budget model”.

      Instead the Moffitts have taken UO back to how things were done under Frohnmayer and Moseley. Shameful.

      • awesome0 says:

        What I don’t like about the lack of transparency is it is motivated by 1 of 2 things.

        1. Corruption (speaks for itself)


        2. Condescension. In this case, some admins think we can’t handle the truth, and so they choose to shield us from it because we won’t understand how what they’re doing serves the great good. We’re adults. We’re academics. Our life is one continuing rejection and occasional moments of triumph. If saving the Law School is important, lets hear the case for it. If someone departments are dying, give us the bad news.

        Also I feel 2) can be perceived as 1, or it can slowly morph into it.

  3. US News says:

    All programs, schools, at specialities with a ranking under 50 should be abolished immediately!!!

  4. US News says:

    What is economics ranking?

  5. uomatters says:

    As of 2013, tie for #56: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/economics-rankings/page+3, which puts us towards the low end of AAU publics.

    As for pay, we’re way, way below last place. UO econ full prof salaries were 67% of the AAU average in 2013. http://ir.uoregon.edu/sites/ir.uoregon.edu/files/UOwithAAUPublicsbyDept_2013-14.pdf

    Things are a little better now, thanks to those pinkos in the faculty union. Higher salaries also helped us hire some good new assistant profs.

    • Hannah Arendt says:

      I’m really surprised by the consistency of rankings across departments. My department is ranked in the 50s-60s by US News and we’ve been given pretty clear signals that we are not highly regarded. It turns out that most departments are in this range with the exception of psychology, geological sciences, and the ed school. Not to fetishize US News, but still…

  6. TheyRafraid says:

    I seriously wonder if Francis Dyke ever gave her husband’s department additional funding like Jamie Moffitt did with her hubby. The whole Moffitt to Moffitt hand off stinks to high hell. In most cases here a department is failing the blame usually lands squarely on the department head and contracts are not renewed and a search for a new department head ensues. Not here though.

    • The real XDH says:

      Nope – she did not. “Her husband’s department” was needing to come out of a ca. 500K deficit created by her husband’s predecessor. Said department scraped by until deficit was eroded to the last 100K, which CAS wrote off. Even after that, another 200K in debt “magically” appeared which also had to be tackled by her husband’s successor…

      • uomatters says:

        I don’t think you are correct – or at least I don’t think you are making the most reasonable interpretation of the financial history. Here’s the data for 2013-14: http://brp.uoregon.edu/sites/brp/files/brp/budget_model/FY14%20OBM%20Budget%20Report.pdf

        Law was getting a $2,086,489 “GF supplement”. Under the old “new budget model”, that was a subsidy from UO’s general fund, to the law school. That money came mostly from CAS. Add on Moffitt’s new $1.5M, and it’s a $3.5M subsidy for the Law School.

        • The real XDH says:

          No, no, no – I was talking about Dyke, not Moffitt

          • dog says:

            under JTM/Dyke/Joe Stone there were habitually some departments that ran up rather large year end deficits 300-500 K. This is what XDH is referring too. Most of those departments slowly worked
            down this debt and it was eventually forgiven by CAS. At any given time in CAS there were usually 2-4 departments in this situation – some in Sciences some elsewhere.

            This occurred when CAS, under M. Nicols, took a longer view of the the debt/re-payment situation, than they do now.

            While this departments were chastised, eventually worked out.

            Under the current CAS policy “No department shall have any disposable income because the might carry that forward …”
            we are all being penalized.

          • The real XDH says:

            As usual, “dog” is correct in his recollection of times past and assessment of current times. If I have the correct “dog”, he too as a former DH knows all too well the fickleness of CAS…. I am just glad I am an XDH….