Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Friday, January 6, 2017

Adjunct Savings Are Often Not Reinvested In Faculty Development

Unless you have been living under a bus, it is apparent that adjuncts are being used more and more by colleges as well as by law schools. Adjuncts get paid a fraction-a very small fraction of what the full-timers get, generally have no benefits and almost always are not on a tenure track. 

A new survey looked into what colleges do with this savings. One would have hoped that these monies went into supporting the FT faculty or faculty development. Unfortunately, the study suggests that adjunct savings are often utilized to reduce institution costs. An Insider Higher Education article concerning this issue is available here. As the article states:

  • Private four-year colleges that use large proportions of non-tenure-track faculty members spend 37 percent less on full-time faculty members of all kinds than do similar institutions with small shares of non-tenure-track faculty members. But looking at spending on all categories of full-time employees, these institutions are spending only 19 percent less than those with small shares of non-tenure-track faculty members. So more spending seems possible on the administrative side of the house.
  • The same is true for public four-year colleges, although the spending gaps are 24 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
  • Public four-year colleges are using the savings in instructional costs from relying on adjuncts to increase spending on other areas -- namely maintenance, administrative and student-services staff. Most of this spending is in recruiting, admissions, counseling, student organizations and athletics.
  • Community colleges and private four-year colleges also reduced instructional costs, but they didn’t add to expenses elsewhere, so costs do not actually shift due to increasing reliance on adjuncts.

The above findings come from one of the reports, "The Relationship Between Part-Time and Contingent Faculty and Institutional Spending."

The other report -- "The Shifting Academic Workforce: Where Are the Contingent Faculty?" -- provides data on the pervasive use of adjuncts.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

January 6, 2017 in Adjunct Information in General, College Professors, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Student Loan Forgiveness

Students may find this site of interest.


Hat Tip: Lori Youngston

October 31, 2014 in Colleges, Law Students | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BA in Law

The University of Arizona has become the first college in the nation to offer a BA in law. A Findlaw article about the program, which still requires the student to attend law school if they want to be a lawyer, is available here. A press release from the school is available here

Personally, I think it is a good idea. It may give a student some idea whether they really would like to become a lawyer. I also think that legal concepts are important in a whole host of fields where people work with lawyers as clients. I am thinking of accountants, insurance agents, real estate brokers and even labor relations professionals.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 27, 2014 in Colleges, Information | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Restoring Trust at Yeshiva

Lawrence Cunningham (George Washington) wrote a thoughtful post yesterday at Concurring Opinions about ongoing financial problems at Manhattan's Yeshiva University, home institution to Cardoza Law School.  When the Madoff scandal hit the papers I remember reading that Yeshiva's endowment sustained a significant loss and it seems now that loss foreshadowed the broader troubles the university leadership now faces.  In his blog post, Prof. Cunningham summarizes and critiques Yeshiva's ongoing efforts to change direction and restrore trust in the aftermath.

Cunningham has a new book, Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values, releasing in October from Columbia University Press.  His recent posts at Concurring Opinions on the book's themes, including yesterday's post and an earlier post, "The Babe Ruth of Good Business," have piqued my interest.

Craig Estlinbaum

July 8, 2014 in Blogs, Faculty, Books, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Canned College Lectures

Glean is a relatively new service which has several videos on many different college topics such as calculus and chemistry. Students may find these videos helpful.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip: Professor Leilani Cohen, Atlantic Tech

January 9, 2014 in College Professors, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Ranking-Most Affordable Online Colleges

SR Education Group recently launched, a free online guide enabling students to compare all available U.S. online degrees on quality and affordability in 12 disciplines. The new site also releases its 2014 Most Affordable U.S. Online College Rankings (,


Mitchell H. Rubinstein

December 1, 2013 in Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Interesting Facts About Phd Programs

Kyara from Online-from, a commmercial site, wrote to inform us about an interesting  infographic Doctorate Degrees: Are They Worth It?

This infographic is full of statisical information about jobs and salaries. I found that the most interesting section outlined the youngest people who were awarded this disagree. One person was even awarded this degree at age 13!

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


November 29, 2013 in College Professors, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Adjunct and Student Learning: Mixed Messages

From Coleen Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed:

Most of the existing research on the employment of adjunct faculty and student success shows a negative relationship, not because adjuncts are bad teachers but because their working conditions prevent them from being as effective as they could be. But earlier this fall, a much-cited study disputed by some, showed the opposite: that students actually may learn more from adjunct faculty members -- at least at research universities that can afford to pay part-timers well and that may discourage tenure-track faculty members from focusing on teaching. Now, a preliminary study is mixing up the literature once again, concluding that employment of adjunct faculty has no impact on student success in community colleges.

Full article here.

Craig Estlinbaum

November 27, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Death of an Adjunct

Daniel Kovalik, senior associate general counsel of the United Steelworkers union, shared the story last week of the recent death of 25-year Duquesne adjunct professor Margaret Mary Vojtko in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  This story has also been featured on National Public Radio.

Hat Tip:  The Faculty Lounge.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 23, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New York State’s Student Internship Program Offers Hundreds Of Internships

Source: New York State Department of Civil Service
Civil Service Commissioner Jerry Boone recently announced that New York State has hundreds of internships available, and reminded college students to apply for Fall semester internships before the application deadline on September 3, 2013.
New York State created a one-stop website at that allows students to view and apply for internship opportunities across an array of state agencies both downstate and upstate.
The website is one component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’sNew New York Leaders initiative, which is focused on attracting new talent to state government through both a fellowship program and an internship program.  With the internship website, applicants can view job descriptions, create profiles, specify interests, and upload resumes, writing samples and letters of recommendation.  Students can apply for multiple internships at the same time.
“The internship program is designed to attract and mentor a new generation of talented leaders for New York State,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.  “I continue to encourage talented college students to consider devoting time to public service while acquiring valuable skills and marketable work experience.”
“New York State continues to offer a wide variety of opportunities across numerous professional occupations,” said Civil Service Commissioner Jerry Boone.  “Governor Cuomo’s internship program offers opportunities for hands on experience in finance, engineering, public relations, information technology and health care, as well as a host of other professional disciplines.”
The program is open to resident graduate and undergraduate students as well as students who attend schools in other states, but reside in New York.  Opportunities include both paid and unpaid positions.  Internships may include academic credit depending on the policy of the educational institution.
Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law
Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 22, 2013 in Colleges, Law Schools, Law Students | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bond Rating at Albany, Building for Sale at Louisiana College

From Scott Waldman, Albany Times-Union last week:

Colleges and universities spend a lot of resources ensuring enrollment does one of two things: stabilize or increase.

Albany Law School is headed in the wrong direction. The school's enrollment has dropped 14 percent in just two years.

The school now enrolls 617 students, down from 720 in the 2010-2011 academic year. That loss has caught the attention of the Standard & Poor's bond rating agency, which downgraded the school's outlook from positive to stable. Standard & Poor's said the situation at Albany Law reflected a national trend of law schools losing students and tuition income...  Full Story Here.

The article concludes by suggesting a "day of reckoning" may be at hand for an industry that has been focused on "relentless expansion." Well, that day of reckoning may already be visiting the Louisiana College's proposed Judge Paul Pressler School of Law that was announced in 2007 but has yet to admit a student.  Alexandria's, a Gannett Co., reports today that the school has put the building it purchased to house the law school up for sale:

The Shreveport building Louisiana College purchased to be its law school in 2011 is now for sale.The former Joe D. Waggonner Federal Building, which was intended to house LC’s Judge Paul Pressler School of Law, is listed with Sealy Real Estate Services LLC in Shreveport.

The story does not address the proposed law school's future plans.  If opened, the law school would be the fifth in Louisiana, joining Tulane and Loyola in New Orleans and also LSU and Southern in Baton Rouge.  There is no law school in Lousiana's northern half.

Craig Estlinbaum

April 13, 2013 in Colleges, Law Schools, Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

College Degree Becoming New High School Diploma

There is nothing new about college graduates having to take unskilled jobs. However, the New York Times recently published an interesting article outlining this problem, here

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

March 21, 2013 in Colleges | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Even Harvard Students Cheat

Did you hear about this one?? Harvard University recently asked several students to leave after being found to have cheated on a take home exam in a government place. Details in the Feb. 1, 2013, NY Times, here

Mitchell H. RUbinstein


February 27, 2013 in Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Profology and Other Adjunct News


The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Bob Ertischek, an adjunct professor at Monroe Community College in Rochester, has created a social media network for people working in higher education.  The site is called Profology.  The site describes itself as "a place where faculty and other higher education professionals can meet, exchange ideas and work to improve pedagogy, research, classroom technology and assessment, and more."  The platform actually opened in beta in 2011, and went fully operational sometime last year, but I just heard about it, so it's news to me.  And now, maybe to you.

IRS and Adjuncts

The IRS has posted guidance in the Federal Register relating to compensation for adjunct faculty, according to a Huffington Post report earlier this month.  From the HuffPo story:

The IRS noted in the Federal Register that "educational organizations generally do not track the full hours of service of adjunct faculty, but instead compensate adjunct faculty on the basis of credit hours taught." In short, most colleges are only paying part-time instructors for time spent in a classroom, and nothing for time spent grading or preparing.

The Treasury Department and the IRS are considering and "invite further comment on how best to determine the full-time status of employees" like educators, who may work many hours after students leave the classroom.

Correctly classifying adjunct, part-time or non-tenured faculty has taken on increased importance as the Affordable Care Act provisions relating to employer coverage come into effect.

Adjuncts and Governance

A joint subcommittee of the Association’s Committee on Contingency and the Profession and the Committee on College and University Governance, approved a final version of a report, "The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments."  The report includes a broad range of recommendations designed to address the fact that more and more teaching at college and universities is performed by adjunct, part-time or non-tenured faculty.  Collene Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed has a summary and commentary on the report here.

Craig Estlinbaum

January 24, 2013 in Adjuncts in the News, College Professors, Colleges, Faculty in the News, Tax Law Information | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Law School Proposed for South Texas

At least two Texas legislators, Rep. Eddie Lucio, III of Harlingen and Rep. Armando Martinez of Weslaco, have filed bills to establish a public law school in the Rio Grande Valley.  The two bills are similar to one another - the primary difference is that Lucio's bill would place the law school in the University of Texas System, while Martinez's bill would authorize the school to be created and operated by any willing and existing university system.

A law school in the fast-growing Rio Grande Valley has long been a goal for South Texas's legislative delegation.  While the need for a new law school in this national market is doubtful, the Rio Grande Valley is greatly underserved.  The nearest public law school to the Valley is the University of Texas at Austin some 300 miles away.  The Rio Grande Valley appears by far to be the largest region in the nation, measured by population, located so far from a public law school.  The two MSA's that make up the Valley have almost 1.2 million in population according to the last Census.

Texas created a public law school in the Dallas during the 2009 session - the University of North Texas Dallas (UNT-Dallas) College of Law is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2014.  With law schools facing declining enrollment in this tough job market, getting yet another law school opened in Texas looks to be an uphill battle this session.

The Texas Legislature meets for 140 days during odd-numbered years, called special sessions excluded.

Craig Estlinbaum

January 15, 2013 in Colleges, Law Schools, Legislation, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vermont Buyouts and Other Law School News

This is a tough time to be a law school dean.  Consider Vermont Law School dean Marc Mihaly, who only four months into the job, is now facing a $3.3 million budget deficit.  With a  14% projected revenue decline on the horizon, Mihaly has announced a voluntary buyout for VLS staff which he says could be extended to faculty if there are not enough takers.  He also announced that VLS will increase its LL.M program and certificate offerings to make up for the revenue loss. Taja-Nia Henderson at Concurring Opinions, has some interesting comments on the problems and risks associated with law school faculty buyout programs.

Meanwhile, Penn State Law dean Philip McConnaughay, facing declining enrollment at the dual-campus school, has proposed to "spin off" the Carlisle campus into a separate, autonomous entity beginning in 2015.  This proposal came after state and local officials rejected his proposal to consolidatete the 1L program into the University Park campus.  Interestingly, Penn State acquired the Carlisle campus in only 12 years ago.

Ten new law schools that are either ABA accredited or seeking accreditation have opened the doors in the last ten years with new schools in Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas planning to open.  With enrollment declining and legal jobs paying enough to reasonably retire law school debt harder to find, it seems obvious that some industry restructuring, including possible consolidation or school closure, will occur.  We can expect more stories such as the ones coming out of Vermont and Pennsylvania as this process unwinds.

Craig Estlinbaum  


November 28, 2012 in Bar Association Matters, Colleges, Law Schools, Law Students, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Becoming A Lawyer Blog

I just came across Becoming A Lawyer, a blog by law school publisher Wolters Kluwer-one of the giants in law school publishing. It provides helpful information to prospective law students. For example, the article I just read is about being a law student and a parent at the same time. If your a college student thinking about law school and even if your a 1 L, you may want to check this blog out.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 22, 2012 in Blogs, Faculty, Blogs, General, Blogs, Legal, Colleges, Law Students | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

National Labor College Closing, Well Sort of

For as long as I can remember, the AFL-CIO owned and operated the National Labor College. Located just outside of D.C., it was a place where union loyalists could get a quality education. As you can imagine, the college also offerred excellent classes on labor relations.

The New York Times is reporting that the AFL-CIO is selling the National Labor College. It just became too expensive, here. Well, all is not lost as the National Labor College will continue to offer online classes and may relocate soon.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 1, 2012 in Colleges, Unions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

South Texas College of Law Sweeps Writing Awards

From the South Texas College of Law website:

June 27, 2012 - For the first time in the history of the prestigious American Society of Legal Writers’ Scribes competition, one school took first, second, and third place: South Texas College of Law. The Scribes award is given to authors of the best written legal brief submitted in a national moot court advocacy competition this past academic year. South Texas students authored eight of the 68 briefs entered in the competition. This is the 5th time South Texas has won first place in the competition—no other law school in the U.S. has won it more than once. “The Scribes Award is recognized by all academics as the gold standard for legal writing,” says Associate Dean and Director of Advocacy T. Gerald Treece. “These briefs are judged anonymously and three of ours were the best of best from across the country.”

Formal presentation will be made on August 3 at the Scribes' annual luncheon during the ABA Annual Meetings in Chicago.  Congratulations to winning authors and to Dean Treece and the South Texas advocacy program for this impressive sweep.

Craig Estlinbaum

July 3, 2012 in Announcements, Colleges, Law Students | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A 3 Year College Degree

An interesting article in the May 30, 2012 Washington Post entitled New momentum for the three-year degree? outlines the fact that at least two colleges are now offerring 3 year college degrees. The article describes the advantages of a 3 year degree as follows:

The three-year degree holds great promise as a solution to several problems vexing higher education.

One is affordability. At Wesleyan, the annual sticker price is $58,232, although the average student receiving grant aid pays only $21,854. A three-year degree eliminates most or all of that fourth-year tuition and potentially puts the student in the job market a year early.

Another is attainment. President Obama wants the nation to regain the world lead in college attainment (the share of adults with degrees) by 2020. A three-year degree accelerates the pace of completion and opens more seats in the higher-education pipeline. Plus, it’s well-documented that students who remain in college longer stand a progressively worse chance of ever graduating

Presumably, the students still have to take the same amount of classes. This is actually nothing new. I knew students who graduated early by taking classes over the summer and during intersession. 

Frankly, I doubt that this is a good thing. While I have no doubt that many students can finish their degrees earlier, I also have no doubt that rushing things will result in them learning less-much less. There is also a maturity factor that young college students often do not appreciate. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

May 31, 2012 in Colleges | Permalink | Comments (2)