Tuesday, December 23, 2014

LSU offers buy-out option to senior law faculty

The story from the Baton Rouge Advocate notes that the 2014 1L class at LSU actually increased slightly from last year though the larger trend over the past few years has been a decline in matriculants as it has been at most law schools nationwide.   The school has offered a year's salary to seven of its forty-five law faculty, all of the buy-out candidates are over 65, to retire this summer.  The Law Center's Chancellor says it is "critical" that the school "right-size" and gain the financial flexibility it needs to move forward.  The Chancellor says he expects some of those who were offered the buy-out will take them but he's not sure that everyone will.  The school has retained the right to renege on the offers if less than four accept.  Here are more details from The Advocate:

LSU Law Center offers buyouts to 7 professors as interest in law schools dwindles nationally

 . . . .


“It’s critical that we have the flexibility to right-size the faculty of the Law Center,” [Law Center Chancellor] Weiss said. “The financial cash flow advantage of this plan gives us overall flexibility in terms of our program.”


LSU has the option to renege on the offer if fewer than four faculty members choose to participate.


The Law Center has about 45 faculty members, most of them tenure or tenure-track professors. Among the professors who qualify are several well-known names, including former Law Center Chancellor John Costonis and former LSU system general counsel Ray Lamonica.


Weiss said he’s not sure how many will go for the buyout.


“Certainly, some will,” he said.


He said he sees the incentive program as a way for faculty to “retire with dignity and positive feelings” about the LSU law school.


The Law Center worked with LSU leaders to come up with the plan.


“The plan has significant benefits for the Law Center,” said Daniel Layzell, LSU vice president for finance and administration.


LSU Law Center is in a re-organization effort that will put it under the umbrella of LSU’s flagship campus.


The initial cost of doling out one-time payments to those who choose to take the retirement incentive would be $1.36 million if all seven take the offer.


Half of that will be covered with a loan from the flagship’s budget.


The plan allows the university to hire some of the retirees back on flexible one-year contracts. Or it could fill jobs with new, cheaper hires.


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