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LSU Law Center Approves Buyout Program for Professors
By Jim Vassallo

The Law Center at LSU has offered incentives to seven professors should they retire next summer, according to The Advocate.

The Law Center is trying to cut costs in the middle of declining interest in law schools nationally.

All of the professors are older than 65 and are tenured members of the faculty. They have until Monday to make their decision.

They would need to retire on June 30. If they do, they will receive a bonus of close to one year’s salary. If all of the professors decide to retire, the school would save $1.12 million.

Law Center Chancellor Jack Weiss said the following at an LSU Board of Supervisors meeting: “This is really part of a necessary effort to provide additional financial flexibility for the Law Center.”

The retirement plan was approved with a unanimous vote at the meeting.

Fall 2014 enrollment for the Law Center hit 570 students, with 200 of them first-year students. It is a small increase from the previous year, but there has been a major drop in interest over the past couple of years.

In 2011, LSU had first-year enrollment of 238. The drop for fall of 2014 is 16 percent.

“The pool of applicants has declined substantially,” Weiss said.

Tuition at the Law Center has increased of late, moving to $20,997 per year.

Weiss said that the buyout would keep the school from worrying about a loss in tuition revenue. Close to 80 percent of the law school’s budget is made from tuition.

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

LSU can pull the offer if less than four faculty members accept the buyout.

There are 45 faculty members at the Law Center. Two of the professors who qualify for the buyout include former LSU system general counsel Ray Lamonica and former Law Center Chancellor John Costonis.

Weiss views the buyout program as a method for faculty to “retire with dignity and positive feelings” about the LSU law school.

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

The buyout program will allow the school to hire some of those who retire on one-year contracts. The school could also fill the open jobs with cheaper hires.

“We will need to replace some of the retirees with other hires, but we’ll have a flexibility to decide to what extent do we want to do that or use the savings for other purposes,” Weiss said.

Posted on: 12/21/2014 08:17 PM | Number of feedback 2


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