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Author Topic: Is UChicago in Decline?  (Read 2566 times)

czarevich

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 02:19:33 PM »
Since Obama began lecturing at the school, U of C's quality has surely plummeted. 

He seems like a pretty intelligent guy, even if one doesn't agree with his politics...



I'm just being facetious  ;D

SCK2008

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2008, 02:20:46 PM »
Yes I know.  Bush had a pretty solid lecture on sovereignty though.  Now there is an intelligent man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi49tvs8jp8&feature=related
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Forsythe

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2008, 04:03:13 PM »

Thanks for the sympathy; however I was fairly fortunate in that things did work out for me rather well this cycle, although differently than I originally planned.

U Chicago is (wisely in my opinion) an LSAT heavy school, and as long as top LSAT scores are a zero sum game Chicago needs to change its strategy. I think Harvard, a single school, alone takes ˝ the 174+ LSATs in the entire country.  After YCNS take their share, there simply are not a lot of 172+ LSATs left (who are not hard splitters), yet Chicago has to find about a 100 of them (50  of them 174+) that want to go to Chicago in order not to slip.  This will be incredibly hard if they are competing as just another top 10 school.  This is their situation they will be in if they continue to be tied at #7 in USNWR.  (Which I am sure we all agree is an unfair ranking)

BonJoviLover46

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2008, 05:01:40 PM »
Are T10 students really that silly?  Penn attracted 100 more students because they jumped a few spots?  Were these the 100 who simply opened US News before choosing?

I can see that happening between 70-50, but I would expect T10 admits to be the compulsive types who had researched.  Wouldn't they know that most employers still consider Penn to be an inferior T10 school?  (see: clerking, academic placement.)

SCK2008

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2008, 05:17:43 PM »
"EVERYONE STOP BEING SO NEUROTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE. CALM, CALM."


Credited.
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SCK2008

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2008, 05:28:51 PM »
"EVERYONE STOP BEING SO NEUROTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE. CALM, CALM."


Credited.

apologies for my poor (well, lacking) citation.  these wise words are fully credited to the poster known most commonly as "Wallace Stevens."

Your signature gave it away so no need to apologize; I apologize for not acknowledging Wally either.  Street Legal had some interesting comments on the topic as well...
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Matthies

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2008, 06:30:19 PM »
You guys need to keep everything in perspective!

The odds are good that you will all have pointless jobs, slaving away long hours at a huge firm where most people will never even learn your name, doing mundane research, reporting to some dickhead who treats you like *&^%, making a lot of money yet never seeming to get ahead of your mountains of debt working 14 hour days all so you can have a stroke at 43.

You’re the lucky ones - keep those smiles on your faces!
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Peter A

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008, 06:32:02 PM »
I e-mailed Leiter this thread (he has answered my questions before), and here's what he wrote back:

I was surprised to see a reference to an "aging faculty"; the opposite is the case, which may be part of the problem as to 'perception.'  There are very few full-time faculty over 65 (Landes, maybe Helmholz, maybe Epstein), while the cohort, for example, of law & economics faculty in their 30s and 40s is pretty clearly now the best in the country--including now the latest addition, Omri Ben-Shahar, who directs the L&E program at Michigan.  This is a cohort that includes faculty who have turned down offers from Harvard and Yale, among other places--but, for understandable reasons (they are younger, some of their work is quite technical), they don't have as high a profile as someone like Sunstein (but hardly anyone has *that* high a profile).  (Sunstein, by the way, is keeping not only his office at the Law School, but his apartment in Hyde Park, so he will be around "a lot," which may understate it.  The University of Chicago has an absolute rule barring any U of C faculty member from having two tenured appointments, which is the only reason he is going to be an on-going visiting prof at U of C.  His changing from full-time to part-time is a real loss, to be sure, as I noted on my law school blog--among other things, it drops the per capita scholarly impact of the Chicago faculty to 4th, still well ahead of Columbia and NYU.)

Back to faculty age:  all the new hires, including the laterals, are in their 30s and 40s, and by my rough estimate, nearly 2/3rds of the full-time faculty this fall will be under 50, which is an unusually high percentage.  One thing Chicago has not, and will not, do is hire retired, or almost retired, faculty from peer or better law schools, as, for example, NYU has (rather surprisingly) done on several occasions in the last couple of years.

U of C's location is not a reason people come to U of C, unless it's to be in Chicago more generally, that's fair enough.  As a factual matter, though, U of C usually wins the "cross-admit battle" with NYU, for the obvious reasons:  it's smaller, more intellectual, and has much better clerkship and academic placement, and the firms hire more deeply into the class.  (NYU, by taking such a large number of transfers, is also hurting its reputation with the firms.)

The one factor you identify that is clearly contributing to a perception of "decline" is undoubtedly US News.  This year--being #7 instead of #6--was a fluke, resulting from Berkeley's fictional job placement stats.  But even putting that aside, being #6 since 1999--despite being top 5 in almost all the main categories (reputation, job placement, LSAT etc.)--is still too low (and being tied with Penn is just silly, as even my friends at Penn admit).  In 1999, US News began adjusting expenditures for differences in cost-of-living, and the formula they are using hurts Chicago (together with certain peculiar accounting practices which, I suspect, leads U of C to underreport the actual expenditures, because they go via central university channels).  That is the entire reason for the artificially low ranking in US News, and nothing else.

Interestingly, the big expansion in faculty size starting this fall--it will be the largest number of full-time faculty in the Law School's history--will actually help with the US News problem.

Please let me know if you have more questions.

Best wishes,
Brian Leiter
University of Texas, Austin
(512) 232-1319
http://www.naymz.com/search/brian/leiter/793046

BonJoviLover46

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Re: Is UChicago in Decline?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008, 07:07:39 PM »
*utterly shocked*   :o

This thread is over.