December 13, 2011

LEGAL EDUCATION UPDATE: University of Texas Chancellor Orders Review of Use of Foundation Funds to Pay 19 Law Faculty Over $300,000. Clearly, I’m teaching at the wrong UT, salary-wise.

UPDATE: Reader Luke Pingel emails:

Glenn – As a long-time reader and occasional e-mailer who generally gets the “gist” of your links, I have to say the link to the pay scandal at UT Austin needs clarification.

There are two issues at UT Austin. One is a genuine scandal, the other – to me anyways – demonstrates a genuinely healthy university with a stellar group of law professors. The “forgiveable” loans are a real problem. Something stinks there and the whole thing needs to be investigated and someone should be fired and/or prosecuted.

But the second item about a list of law professors who make more than $300K is absolutely NOT a scandal. The reason I write is because I went to a second tier law school. In my 2L year one of the professors on that list was a visiting professor at my school. In a very law-geek kind of way I knew I had to take his class precisely because he was from UT Austin. I was sick and tired of the second rate ideas from the second rate (or lower) professors from my law school and I wanted to take a class from the best of the best. I was not disappointed.

Richard Markovits is the best professor I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, period. He was brilliant and engaging, iconoclastic, intellectually curious, rigorous and absolutely uninterested in ideological fluff. I left his class every day energized and excited about law. For students who were genuinely interested in learning Constitutional Law without all of the politically-correct garbage that was (and still is) taught at my law school, Professor Markovits was a gift. For one class of one semester we had the pleasure of taking a class from a professor who taught his class as if we were all sitting in a top 10 law school. It is an experience I will always treasure. Markovits is easily worth twice what they pay him and the students at UT Austin are lucky to have him. So, if it takes $600K to keep him, they should pay it. And if Professor Markovits is any indication of the caliber of the professors on that list, then good for UT Austin.

You are welcome to use my name, if you post this.

Glad to hear it.

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