Everyone has theories on which bottom-feeding law school will be the first domino to fall. Some have pointed to Indiana Tech.
This post isn't about that domino falling, unfortunately, but it could be bigger than the flop of Indiana Tech. Without further ado, visit the following link at the Thomas M Cooley Law School web page:
Quick summary: the law school is suffering financially and enrollment is continuing to decline, so the law school will be "reinventing" itself by firing faculty and staff, and review all programs, campuses, and expenses.
The date of the posting is yesterday: July 1.
It appears that something more might be going around behind the scenes, however. Above the Law is reporting that what was originally posted had this (and at the time of me posting this I do not believe that ATL has updated that Cooley has edited their original announcement):
As part of the plan, Cooley will also hold off enrolling incoming first-term students at the Ann Arbor campus for fall 2014, though all currently enrolled Ann Arbor students will continue to be able to pursue the school’s full curriculum.Visiting Cooley's announcement page now, it appears that any mention of the incoming class at Ann Arbor has been scrubbed. What does this mean?
Let's take in the big picture for a second. Looking at the full-time 1L enrollment numbers at Law School Transparency, Cooley has been experiencing massive drops since Fall 2010. 582 in Fall 2013 (though 582 too many), which is down . . . wait for it . . . 1,000 since Fall 2010!
We know that Cooley has multiple campuses, five, in fact, with four in Michigan and one in Florida. One thing that you might not know about Cooley is that the vast majority of its students are part-time. Thus, they are only being hit with $26,000 a year, instead of over $40,000. So Cooley makes less in student loans per year than one might assume, but the students are hooked in for a longer period of time.
I think the most obvious course of action will be to sell off a couple of the campuses in Michigan. Fire the faculty and staff at the closing campuses. Shunt the incoming students to the other campuses. Continue to raise tuition by an average of 10% a year, while claiming to "work to keep tuition as low as possible."
Thus, if you have your "Cooley Board of Directors" hat on, it seems like there are two likely scenarios for the incoming 1L class at the Ann Arbor campus: they will either enroll there, or they will enroll at another one of Cooley's Michigan campuses.
Finally, I would provide more staff to Laura Leduc, the Dean and President's daughter, who made over $100,00 a year as "Director of Planning," in 2011. pg. 42. She will need additional staff in order to oversee the sweeping changes that the Board will be implementing, as she has since been promoted to Associate Dean of Planning, Assessment, and Accreditation.
Rest assured, we'll keep an eye on the "Financial Management Plan" that the Cooley Board of Directors implements. If they follow my plan, I expect a juicy tenure-track position to be made available to me at the "flagship" Lansing campus.