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Friday, November 15, 2013

Paul Campos and the Future of Law Schools

Paul Campos comes to the conclusion that even though 80-85 percent of law schools (in his rough estimation) are losing money, very few will close because there is plenty of room for cutting expenses.  Based on my own sense of things, I think he's right.  But I don't agree with his assessment that the rise in law school expenses has been "a spectacularly successful exercise in rent-seeking."  His initial example for this rent-seeking is the drop in student-to-teacher ratio over the last 33 years.  But is this drop really a bad thing?  Isn't it better to have smaller classes?  When you are looking for schools for your kids, do you say: this elementary school has *huge* classes -- terrific!

Not to rehash these issues for the ump-teenth time, but I wish reformers like Campos would at least acknowledge some of the benefits of the current (but likely passing)  model for legal education, such as smaller classes, more clinical opportunities, and more extra-educational services.  Sure, that's expensive, but is trying to provide a better product rent-seeking?  Not to say that there aren't examples of rent-seeking, such as higher salaries and cushy benefits.  But smaller student-teacher ratios mean you are hiring more teachers, not more expensive ones, and tenure existed in the 1980s, too.

Campos doesn't come out and say this, but apparently he wants to return to the days when law schools had largely big-lecture Socratic classes, a couple of clinics, and students teaching legal research and writing.  If so, I wish he'd say it.  I think there's a good argument for the old method: a "VW Bug" version of legal education may make more sense for more people than a Cadillac one.  (The nice cars do have Corinthian leather!)  But once he came out with something concrete, people would have grounds for criticizing his approach.  

As a famous Vulcan once said, "As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create."  I wish Paul Campos would help us start rebuilding.

Posted by Matt Bodie on November 15, 2013 at 05:38 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink

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Yes but all of these "benefits" have to be weighed against their cost to the student, no? It was never true that smaller classes sizes and clinical programs helped students obtain gainful employment (on average) and today that's less true than ever. Meanwhile costs have soared.

Maybe some people involved in law schools have good intentions. However, the process of extracting more and more money while offering less and less value via student loans and tuition hikes is rent-seeking.

The current law school model needs to be passing and it needs to be destroyed. And Paul Campos doesn't need to change a thing until it is.

Posted by: Steven | Nov 15, 2013 8:40:53 PM

The problem with your position is that it's at odd with the generally accepted notion that teaching ability is ranked very low in the deck of priorities in the legal academy, particularly when it comes to hiring and tenure. Since when does the classroom experience become so important to legal academics?

There's also the assumption that smaller classes are better, but frankly there's scant evidence that class size matters when we're talking about graduate level education. Medical schools do just fine with large class sizes after all.

Posted by: zipper | Nov 15, 2013 10:01:41 PM

I would be surprised if the rise in costs was attributable to expanding clinics and smaller classes, maybe some, but at most schools I am familiar with, including my own, the increase in clinics has been pretty minimal and classes are generally the same size as they have always been (it also seems that smaller classes are frequently taught like larger classes, in which case it is not clear what the benefit is, maybe in elementary school smaller classes might always be better but not so clear for law school). The real cost increase has been in the explosion of administrative staff, program directors etc., costs that likely have a minimal relation to the learning experience. To give you one example, our Records office has basically tripled in size over the last decade even though we have the same number of students and the system is now nearly totally automated. It would be like banks tripling the number of tellers they have. So my sense is there are definitely costs to be cut but that won't provide jobs for all of the students who are graduating -- reducing student debt might be good in itself but if there are not jobs at the end of the day, I suspect many students will find the debt reduction a minor victory.

Posted by: anon | Nov 15, 2013 10:18:07 PM

I think teaching loads are one of the big issues here. Many schools lowered their teaching requirements over the last 20 years to encourage more scholarship, on the theory that professors will write more if they are spending less time teaching. Schools could do this because they had the money to hire more faculty. But lowering the teaching loads generally meant lowering the loads for every member of the faculty, which meant lowering the teaching loads both for those who would spend the extra time writing and for those who would spend the time learning to play the tuba. The result was a better student/faculty ratio in part through a windfall for unproductive faculty members without a considerable difference in class size that could benefit students.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 16, 2013 12:12:20 AM

I hear you on that point, smaller classes are better. But the recent growth in law schools in the past few decades only serves to demonstrate that they are a business. They are just trying to make money off students.

Posted by: Dave | Nov 16, 2013 2:35:48 AM

As per Orin, teaching requirements are lowered to accommodate more scholarship, which is what faculty prefers; meanwhile, the benefits of scholarship to students are usually indirect, if any. Whatever can be said of law school administrators and their compensation in the last 20 years, compensation for law faculty has also gone up substantially in real terms, as every school has tried to recruit a virtually identical faculty of T14 JDs of similar qualifications and practice experience. Those new professors are hired more on the basis of their intended research than any perceived aptitude for teaching, and in fact this forum has encouraged would-be professors not to dwell overlong on their interest in teaching as they apply or interview for tenure-track positions.

None of the above would be possible without a quadrupling of private law school tuition and quintupling of public law school tuition in real terms since 1980. Since there is at best an incidental relationship between the above and leaving those tuition-paying JDs better prepared for work as attorneys, then yeah, it sounds a lot like rent-seeking to me too.

Posted by: Morse Code for J | Nov 16, 2013 2:46:29 AM

I have wondered if true innovation in legal education might best be initiated via a pilot project carried out on a satellite campus of an established law school. Trying to initiate reform within an established institution is incredibly difficult because of all the entrenched interests, but trying to start a school from scratch is incredibly expensive and risky. I don't know anything about the details about how ABA accreditation and rankings work, but if a satellite campus could tap into the resources of the main campus (particularly the administrative apparatus and the library), this could help overcome those hurdles.

If such a thing were possible, I think one could come up with creative ways to structure teaching loads to maximize what you are getting out of faculty while preserving release time to write--perhaps, for example, by teaching one course at a time as a 3-week intensive instead of teaching four courses over a 14-week semester. I think this could have very interesting educational benefits for students as well.

Thinking outside the constraints of the current system, it is possible to imagine a model that is both leaner and more effective, in terms of encouraging intensive engagement by faculty and students. A minimalist physical plant and alternative library access would help tremendously with costs, too. And with the current hiring climate, I don't think it would be difficult to find faculty members willing to work hard and teach core courses.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | Nov 16, 2013 9:03:16 AM

I disagree with Bodie's last lines, that Campos hasn't been clear about what he's advocating. I think what Campos is advocating is pretty clear:

1) There are far too many law school graduates, there need to be about half as many.
2) Law faculty are paid far too much to do far too little.

I think that the very process of destruction is in itself the process of recreating. Fewer students will lead to less faculty hiring which will lead to higher teaching loads which will lead to cost control. Knowledge in the 'marketplace' will lead (ideally) to more reasonable tuitions, which will impact faculty salaries.

The end of this process will be a reasonable approximation of what things should have looked like all along.

Ending unlimited student loans would vastly accelerate this process.

Posted by: i think it's clear | Nov 16, 2013 11:47:47 AM

Teaching loads are a complex area for cost savings. As Orin Kerr notes, there are clearly cost savings to be had by requiring those who are not active scholars to teach more, given that the reduced teaching loads many schools have adopted were designed to facilitate scholarship not class preparation. No real argument anyone can make here and at most every school (including those at the very top) there is a significant portion of the faculty that is more likely to be spending time learning the tuba than engaging in scholarship. But that will only get you so far -- and competition for high-quality faculty remains tight which will make it hard to increase teaching loads on serious scholars without the risk of losing them. I personally think scholarship is an important component of a faculty member's duties and I think if we trimmed its importance for law schools, you would ultimately attract a different kind of person to law teaching -- more people retiring from or opting out of practice, sometimes that can work but it is probably not the best model for hiring as a general method (if it were, you would see more schools do so). In large cities, holes in teaching loads are satisfied through adjuncts who tend to be very cheap, and in fact, represent cost savings over regular faculty. The real costs savings for law faculties will come in not replacing retiring senior faculty, and at that level, the savings will be substantial and there will then have to be some shifting around of courses for faculty and perhaps increasing course loads as well. It is not rocket science but it is not easy to do either.

Posted by: anon | Nov 16, 2013 2:12:13 PM

@anon/2:12 p.m.:

Some of my least engaging professors were some of the more widely published on my school's faculty. By contrast, some of my most engaging professors were adjuncts out there doing the job in X field without a single publication to their names.

Maybe applicants for tenure-track positions would like to have the same balance of teaching and scholarship typical for law schools in the years preceding the crash, but ultimately I disagree that reallocation of priority to teaching courses will make teaching that much less desirable for people who like being able to (a) set their own schedules, (b) define their own deliverables and (c) make a damn good salary without the stress of the firm associate lifestyle. If there's a shortage of qualified applicants, it's not apparent from the posts here about law school hiring cycles, VAPs left out in the cold, etc., etc. Even if there were, I'm unconvinced that this hiring method does more than to assemble a group of persons bearing a series of exclusive credentials as a proxy for quality as professors, while those credentials do little to ensure that quality by themselves.

The status quo exploded for most of your students five years ago. If you are still showing a profit on the status quo at your school, fantastic; keep doing what you're doing. If not, then asking yourselves why and doing something about it should be more important than how much time you will be allowed to write on whatever fascinates you.

Posted by: Morse Code for J | Nov 16, 2013 4:00:31 PM

Quite frankly, I think the debate over the importance/relevance of scholarship is quite tired, my only point is that if schools deemphasize scholarship, they are likely to attract different candidates. (Kind of a red herring to say there are lots of candidates currently because most are not really qualified for jobs, and don't get them, and many of those who are qualified are attracted in part by scholarship.) Some might think that is a good thing, I personally do not, and the rankings clearly value scholarship -- whether they should or not, different question, but no dispute that they do.

Posted by: anon | Nov 16, 2013 5:50:51 PM

Matt,

Do you know of any studies that show that a lower student-faculty ratio has lead to smaller doctrinal classes?

Posted by: Scott Fruehwald | Nov 16, 2013 5:54:34 PM

@anon/5:50 p.m.:

If the crisis has done nothing else, it has proven how irrelevant the rankings are in terms of whether a school affords you a shot at full-time, bar-required work after you graduate. In a given year, there are about 20 schools who can outperform the average in a statistically significant way, and about 30 schools which underperform it in a statistically insignificant way. In 2011, the rest managed to get about 55% of its graduates into full-time, bar-required jobs. At USN&WR, putting LSU ahead of the University of Minnesota is ridiculous, in no small part because of Minnesota's scholarly reputation. At NALP, putting LSU ahead of the University of Minnesota is just reading the employment surveys accurately.

The issue isn't whether scholarship is a net benefit to legal education, but whether there is a way of allocating resources to permit continued operation with stagnant or (maybe rapidly) declining tuition revenues. If you can keep the same teaching loads you've always had while collecting sufficient tuition to run your school (while keeping your ranking stable, because that's still important for some reason), that's wonderful. But what if your school is in its first or second year of operating losses with no end in sight? Hold bake sales?

Posted by: Morse Code for J | Nov 16, 2013 9:05:57 PM

If I was going to law school again and I had the choice between going to a school with a low student-to-teacher ratios, lots of clinics and seminars (including lots of law & ____ seminars!) to choose from so I could get the most out of my three years and not only get a credential but get an education that would expand my ways of thinking, or I could go to a law school with a high student-to-teach ratio, no interdisciplinary courses, few clinics and little individual attention from over busy faculty, but I could save ten thousand dollars - I'd choose the first type of law school without hesitation.

What goes on in law schools *matters*. Law schools are not just vehicles for reliably getting risk avoiding students a legal job as cheaply and as fast as possible, they are institutions that shape the profession and shape the minds of people who enter it. A robust legal education rather than a deprofessionalized un-academic qualification on the cheap is worth investing in and defending.

I wholeheartedly agree with Matt's post

Posted by: Anon | Nov 16, 2013 9:18:03 PM

@anon/2:12 p.m.,

I tend to doubt that increasing teaching loads back to what they were 10-15 years ago will lead to a different kind of candidate applying to teach. That's true for four somewhat-related reasons:

1) I suspect most candidates don't know what the teaching loads are law schools. (I had no clue, certainly.) If they don't know, they aren't going to make a different decision based on that.

2) The difference at most schools is only one extra course every two semesters, between a 2-1 package and a 2-2 package, or a 2-2 package and a 3-2 package. It's a big difference from a standpoint of finding time for scholarship, I think: Teaching can be enriching but exhausting, and I'm sure most of find that it is much easier to get writing done in a lighter teaching semester than in a heavier teaching semester . But it's not such a dramatic difference that it is likely to change who tries for the job.

3) Even if a lighter teaching package makes the job marginally more desirable, the world of legal academia is so dramatically different from other legal jobs that the teaching package is unlikely to make a difference.

4) Even if some schools increase their teaching packages, other schools won't, and candidates won't know ex ante where they will get a job (if anywhere) to know what the teaching package might be.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 16, 2013 11:40:53 PM

@Anon/9:18 p.m.:

"What goes on in law schools *matters*. Law schools are not just vehicles for reliably getting risk avoiding students a legal job as cheaply and as fast as possible, they are institutions that shape the profession and shape the minds of people who enter it. A robust legal education rather than a deprofessionalized un-academic qualification on the cheap is worth investing in and defending."

When Matt wished at the end of the article that Campos would "help us start rebuilding," I read it to mean "stop saying all of these negative but truthful things in public so that we may return to pretending that the status quo isn't terrible for the majority of our students and graduates." Statements like yours tell me that I'm not wrong to think that.

So long as legal educators seriously believe the problems of legal education are just messaging or a uniquely soft market for your graduates' talents (soon to turn around, five years and counting), then no true rebuilding is possible.

Posted by: Morse Code for J | Nov 17, 2013 8:16:47 AM

I'm of the view that going from 2/1 to 2/2 would not make a significant difference in scholarly productivity for most faculty members. I don't have anything to compare it to, since I have been on a 2/2 every year except my VAP and first TT year. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I would be doing so much more, or so much better, with a lighter load. At least once I had taught a class a couple of times.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Nov 17, 2013 8:57:20 AM

Whether moving to a 2/2 teaching load would make a difference to scholarship or faculty interested in law teaching one can surely differ on, but it also seems a red herring as it is unlikely to lead to any cost savings, at least at most schools. I am not aware of any school that is currently suffering from having too few faculty members to teach courses -- expanding the course load could lead to smaller classes but not sure that will lead to any gains for students unless the classes are taught differently. It is simply not possible to expand teaching loads and cut faculty, at least those who are tenured (and as noted by someone earlier, adjuncts are the cheapest solution and cutting them would make no sense). Costs savings will come in reducing faculty through retirements/buyouts, reducing administrative costs and other savings. If the reason to increase teaching loads is to move to smaller classes with more focus on practice, that might be beneficial but it is not about cost savings and it is not clear that existing faculty would be equipped to make these changes, particularly among those who either never practiced (some) or practiced long ago (most).

Posted by: anon | Nov 17, 2013 10:39:07 AM

"they are institutions that shape the profession and shape the minds of people who enter it."

At the low low price of $200,000 in relatively high interest non-dischargable debt.

What a bargain.

I paid sticker from 2004-2007 to subsidize the only people in my school with a shot at a job that would cover the loans I was taking out. Reverse robin hooding the federal dollars to better qualified classmates and my .8mm Dean (when you add the housing perks).

I hope that the school goes bankrupt and closes forever. Then it can't hurt anyone anymore.

"what will this do to the market for professors?!?"

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Posted by: terry malloy | Nov 17, 2013 1:35:57 PM

Anon @ 10:39 writes that increasing teaching loads "seems a red herring as it is unlikely to lead to any cost savings," and that "[c]osts savings will come in reducing faculty through retirements/buyouts." As I see it, though, they are two sides of the same coin over the relevant time window. Many schools reduced teaching loads over the last 20 years because they had the money to expand their faculties. If schools are trying to cut costs by reducing their faculties over the next 5-10 years through retirements/buyouts, a successful reduction of the faculty will put pressure on the schools to raise teaching requirements.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 17, 2013 10:05:34 PM

Orin, will it? If the decrease in students and in jobs on the other end really is structural rather than cyclical as the most passionate of the reformers claim, then why wouldn't reductions in faculty through retirements etc. simply maintain the student/faculty ratios of the past? E.g., If a school is both financially sustainable and offers a good education with, say, a 30/1 full-time t/tt ratio, whether that ratio is 900 students/30 faculty (flush times) or 600 students/20 faculty (lean times), wouldn't it amount to roughly the same teaching load, but with fewer sections of big required courses, and fewer electives?

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Nov 17, 2013 11:36:56 PM

Paul, fair question. Each Dean has a choice of how to respond to lower application numbers. Over the long run, each can use a mix of faculty size, student body size, tuition, and tuition discounts to aim for a balanced budget and its own preferred U.S. News optimization based on that school's financial situation, culture, and rough rank in the pecking order. I suppose my intuition is that changing student body size is a more of a short-term answer than a long-term answer, as a Dean can reset the student body size in only 3 years while changing faculty size obviously takes much longer. On the other hand, most schools are designed for a particular student body size: They have a number of buildings, classrooms, and other resources that reflect that size and represent somewhat fixed costs, so it will be less efficient to depart from that over the long run. But I suppose it depends on the school.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Nov 18, 2013 12:36:21 AM

At my institution, declining enrollments are being met with a strategy of 1) not replacing departing faculty members; 2) hiring more adjuncts or possibly VAPs; 3) possibly requiring faculty members to teach more core 1L/bar courses. At this point, #3 is not yet being done and is more of a long-term idea if things don't turn around. This may depend on the institution, but I agree with Paul that there's a long way to go to get to an actual faculty shortage such that higher teaching loads would make more sense. Also, instead of increasing actual loads, you could make equal efficiency gains by requiring faculty to teach more large courses rather than 10-person seminars.

I'd personally be fine with higher teaching loads if coupled with slightly lower expectations for academic-year productivity, but I don't see most schools going there yet.

Posted by: junior prof | Nov 18, 2013 1:09:21 PM

I'm feeling a little old -- back in 1999, I was on a "listserv" called Humanizing Legal Education. This movement was part of the reason that the faculty-student ratio changed (along with rankings, building "centers," etc.) There was a thought that being in 100 person first-year classrooms (all my classes had 107 people) contributed to the stress of law school. Students didn't feel comfortable engaging, didn't have access or contact to the professor, etc. I haven't seen 100 person first-year classrooms in awhile. I've taught a 30 person first-year class. Obviously, this takes more faculty, and one of the reasons was to improve the law school experience -- even if pedagogically, 60 people may not be a lot better than 100. But, as Matt said, we were responding to a generation of students whose parents were hooked on the rhetoric of small classrooms.

Posted by: Christine Hurt | Nov 18, 2013 2:07:45 PM

Critics shouldn’t waste time offering alternatives to passive-aggressive professors who will sniff, say they are not convinced, and return to their self-satisfied rent-seeking. Critics should continue to shift the demand curve by hammering away with hard stats.

Posted by: maddy | Nov 18, 2013 3:35:51 PM

Good point, Christine.

I suppose this may seem obvious, but whether small class sizes matter depends on what the faculty does with those smaller classes. Some faculty will engage in more assessments in their smaller classes --- e.g., give a graded midterm if they are teaching 40 1Ls, but not if they are teaching 100 1Ls. Some will offer more opportunities for students to test their knowledge --- e.g., assign problem sets to review in class or office hours. And for some faculty, a smaller class gives them the opportunity to get to know their students better and identify which students are struggling before the exam.

Are there some faculty who teach a class of 25 no differently than a class of 100? I'm sure there are. But the idea that class size matters in kindergarten but not law school, as a matter of principle, simply isn't true.

Posted by: carissa | Nov 19, 2013 11:12:27 AM

Even burning tuition money would provide some obvious benefit to the local gas station and any student who happens to wander by and wants to roast marshmallows. What matters is the cost-benefit analysis, and the cost-benefit analysis is sorely lacking in most critiques of the critiques, which naturally leads to the conclusion that the speaker is willfully ignorant at the least and at worst, has some ulterior motive.

You talk about the current system as beneficial because it provides a better product. But what do you mean by that? Does it reduce stress? Have more opportunity for feedback and evaluation? Increase professional opportunities for students?

You also seem to assume that a decrease in ratio produces a measurably different outcome. But maybe having lower ratios produces only a marginal benefit, because those above goals are dependent on factors outside the control of the law school or factors that, for whatever reason, law schools are simply unwilling to touch. Say student stress is mostly driven by the pressure to perform on the curve for a limited number of jobs or inherent in the casebook method/issue spotter exam itself. Whether you had a school with one section of 100 students or 10 sections of 10 students thus does not reduce stress, in fact, the second group of students would have a lot more debt and consequentially a lot more stress.

"Campos doesn't come out and say this, but apparently he wants to return to the days when law schools had largely big-lecture Socratic classes, a couple of clinics, and students teaching legal research and writing."

This statement more or less describes my law school experience five years ago at a T10 law school with a low student-faculty ratio. My 1L classes were large lectures with 100+ students, except for the 12-person legal writing class, taught by recent graduates. Nobody cared about legal writing because the class wasn't graded. Most of the 2L and 3L core/bar prep classes, evidence, corps, crim pro, and the mandatory ethics class, were large lectures. Most of the seminars were taught by adjunct practitioners or visiting profs. There were a few clinics, which were always oversubscribed.

This is not to say that my law school should have doubled down and hired twice as many professors. It's to say that you might want to think about whether reducing the ratios has produced the result you seem to think it has.

Posted by: BoredJD | Nov 19, 2013 6:37:05 PM

As pointed out (and as would be clear to anybody who's a law professor), a smaller student:teacher ratio only leads to smaller class sizes if the teaching load remains the same, and it hasn't. So your first assertion is dishonest.

"As a famous Vulcan once said, "As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create." I wish Paul Campos would help us start rebuilding."

What are you helping to rebuild?

Posted by: Barry | Nov 20, 2013 11:05:08 AM

To second Carissa, if we have concluded that multiple assessments throughout the semester and copious feedback (written and/or verbal) are valuable practices where the goal is to *teach* students (as opposed to merely sort them), it is clear that smaller class size facilitates those practices. I am at a loss to figure out how anyone could be agnostic as to the importance of class size.

On another note, I taught legal writing to 1Ls when I was a 3L. I was utterly unqualified to do so, as any 3L would be. Having 3Ls teach legal writing shows tremendous disregard for the skill and its role in practice.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | Nov 20, 2013 12:31:53 PM

I think the reason to be agnostic as to class size is that many Professors teach their class in the same way regardless of the number of students -- so, for example, we have what are considered small first year sections but if you walked into one of those it would look virtually identical to a large section just with fewer students. I am not sure there is any obvious benefit to that, though some students feel more comfortable speaking up in a smaller class. The small sections offer a mid-term but they do not typically do memoes, drafting exercises or teach different material. So as I think a number of people have said, the likely benefit to a smaller class will depend on what occurs in that class. Smaller is not always better just for the sake of being smaller.

Posted by: MLS | Nov 20, 2013 3:10:31 PM

So, this all seems to be a debate about pedagogy. For anyone who wants to know how they can be more effective teachers in a smaller class (yes, this applies to all doctrinal classes!), read some of Michael Hunter Schwartz's brilliant books: http://ualr.edu/law/faculty/michael-hunter-schwartz/

Posted by: Anon | Nov 20, 2013 3:18:45 PM

I posted some thoughts about this over at Lawyers Guns and Money.

As Bored JD and others point out, it's far from clear that lower student to faculty ratios have significantly altered the actual law school classroom experience. For example, while that ratio has decreased by 50% since the late 1970s and 20% just since the late 1990s, teaching loads have also declined dramatically. (It seems quite plausible that that average teaching load for TT faculty at ABA schools is 20% lower than it was 15 years ago, especially when taking into account the proliferation of research leaves and the like even at relatively low-ranked schools).

So it's not even clear that average class size has declined, despite the explosion in the size of law faculties.

Posted by: Paul Campos | Nov 20, 2013 4:47:59 PM

I suppose there are a number of anecdotal claims flying around here, including my own. It's an empirical question as to what portion of the change in ratios led to lighter faculty teaching loads and what portion led to smaller class sizes. But it's also a question going forward -- how do we balance cost versus quality/quantity of services?

Posted by: Matt Bodie | Nov 21, 2013 7:16:28 AM

Correct - smaller classes do not cause better teaching, but I think it is undeniable that they create an opportunity for better teaching, at least for those inclined to use more interactive and progressive teaching techniques.

Posted by: Susannah Pollvogt | Nov 21, 2013 11:30:08 AM

I really think that, in addition to improved assessments, one shouldn't underestimate the importance of time spent with individual students outside the classroom. I frequently try to help students with a number of job-related matters and, as someone who is also productive on the scholarly end, I simply can't devote the same amount of time to such endeavors during semesters when I have a 100+ person course to teach. I do think that schools have to take a closer look at the practice of requiring the same amount of teaching from people who do as those who do not produce scholarship during the year (and some schools already draw these distinctions).

Posted by: anon | Nov 23, 2013 3:30:56 PM

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