Headline: School of Law
Among the 13 academic units on campus shouldering the burden of the budget cuts, the UCD School of Law is facing a $700,000 decrease in funds, or 4.2 percent, of its typical budget which, on average, is nearly $17 million.
While these budget reductions are minimal relative to those of UC Davis’ other academic units, they are still having an influence on which operations and events can or cannot be paid for. The law school is reducing travel, networking and discretionary expenses in an attempt to alleviate any potential strains on its academic mission and to avoid the possibility of layoffs, according to Dean Kevin R. Johnson.
“It has been difficult for the School of Law…we’ve had to tighten our belts, [but] so far we’ve been able to stabilize things,” Johnson said. “I think the faculty and staff have been feeling it…these are hard times, but all the units will have to undergo [these] cuts.”
However the situation still seems dire from the perspective of many students.
“Law school is already so expensive without these tuition hikes,” said first year law student Samantha Batista.
With students paying $33,949 in registration fees, and their non-resident peers paying an additional $12,245, enrollment at the School of Law is already expensive.
“There’s a point to going to a [public] school…it should be more cost-effective than a private university,” said Kathleen Kenney, a second year out-of-state law student originally from Nebraska.
However, Kenney also understands the difficulty of the situation.
“The law school administration has really positive intentions…they’re doing the best they can and I really appreciate that,” she said. “This isn’t their fault.”
Nevertheless, tuition hikes are not the only obstacles the School of Law is running into.
Announced in September 2007 and starting a year later, the School of Law is embarking upon an expansion and renovation project for their King Hall facility, which is located near Mrak Hall on campus. The project, costing approximately $30 million according to the School of Law’s website, was slated for completion at the end of this year, but now may not reach that point until late 2010.
Even so, Dean Johnson remains supportive of the administration.
“The new chancellor and provost are doing a very good job…I’m very confident in their leadership,” he said. “And [the law school is] going to survive and we will improve.”