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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