Law school dean asks for a smaller salary because the cost of law school is so outrageous

Vikram David Amar University Illinois Law School DeanVia UC DavisIncoming University of Illinois College of Law dean Vikram Amar

The incoming dean at the University of Illinois College of Law is taking a pay cut at his new job, making less than his predecessor in order to help combat what he sees as too high costs for a legal education.

“I told the provost early in our negotiations, ‘I make a good living at Davis. I need to make sure that I can pay my bills and the like.’ I don’t want to be a martyr, but I do think that the cost of legal education is a problem. I want to not contribute to the problem but rather begin to be part of the solution,” incoming UI law dean Vikram Amar tells local Champaign-Urbana newspaper The News-Gazette.

In his new position, Amar will earn $US324,900 annually, The News-Gazette reports, slightly less than the $US326,651 paycheck the former UI law dean earned in 2013-2014. Additionally, college officials told The News-Gazette that Amar declined a summer stipend — typically worth around $US25,000.

However, this salary is still higher than what many law deans make. As The News-Gazette points out, the median salary nationwide for the position in 2014 was $US300,000, according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

Amar has identified what many see as a growing problem with law school. UI, for example, is one of the most expensive public law schools in the US. The university estimates a total cost of attendance of $US59,993 for Illinois residents and $US67,743 for out-of-state students for the upcoming academic year.

Amar is currently the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the University of California-Davis School of Law and is an expert in constitutional law.

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