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Law School Enrollment Management document sample
Law School Enrollment Management document sample
Higher Education Executive Associates 5581 N. Irish Pat Murphy Drive Parker, CO 80134 303-840-8628 Fax 303-840-8629 16 January 2004 Report Strategic Planning Retreat University of Baltimore Faculty and Staff of the Law School 8 January 2004 David G. Rice, Facilitator and Recorder 1. Structure of the Day A. Introduction The Meeting began at 9:45 AM. Approximately forth individuals were present, including both faculty (c. 25) and staff (c. 15) from the School and from the Law Library. Dean Holmes offered opening comments regarding the plans for the day, and circulated to the group the December 16, 2003 proposed revisions to the ABA standards for approval of law schools. He asked the group to review this document for discussion at a later date. He then turned the meeting over to Professor William Fryer. Professor Fryer circulated the most recent version of the University Strategic Plan, noted highlights, and responded to questions. Some respondents felt that at several points little or no attention had been paid to the needs/issues of the Law School, for example, in the arena of enrollment management, which seemed to them to be fundamentally an undergraduate issue. Professor Fryer noted that it would be important to reflect in the School's future planning process how the Law School could respond creatively and imaginatively to the goals and objectives of the University strategic plan. Dean Holmes and David Rice supported that position B. Morning Session David Rice then facilitated a SWOT analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the Law School. Some respondents wished to turn immediately to the vision statement circulated to the law school community by Dean Holmes in December, and to which several faculty members had offered extensive commentary and shared that commentary via email with the school community prior to the meeting on 8 January 2004. David Rice and Dean Holmes suggested that that topic would be better taken up during the afternoon session, and that we should first review the present strengths and weaknesses of the Law School. Although other members of the group pointed to past history of goal setting and planning with limited or no results, the group agreed to move forward with the proposed plan for the day. Many members of the group were concerned about the most recent pass rate on the bar exam (65 % as opposed to 80% for the University of Maryland). While this outcome was clearly undesirable, it was a concrete example for many that it was time to look closely at what the Law School was doing and how it could be improved. These circumstances created an immediacy and sense of purpose that served the morning session well. because the participants focused on identifying issues that might have contributed to that outcome. University of Baltimore Law School, Strategic Planning Retreat, 8 January 2004 2 STRENGTHS Faculty Accessibility Respect for teaching, scholarship, and service Ability to attract and retain good faculty in a difficult market Productivity Reputation Diversity of styles in teaching Favorable peer comparison Location of law school Accessibility to transportation/Roads Attractive to students pursuing careers Strength of LARW Program Presence of excellent librarians Value for price Diversity Emphasis on clinical education/practical experience Alumni/ae good will Advising "Don't take out frustration regarding university/system on students" tax court connection family law litigation skills international law advocacy program seeing student as an individual WEAKNESSES Lack of fiscal resources, more specifically, lowest or close to lowest expenditure per FTE student among ABA accredited law schools Limited broad-based alumni/ae contact Need to connect fundraising to alumni/ae network Inadequate physical space, allocation of space, utilization of space = inadequate building Drain on resources needed to support law school due to funding needs of Yale Gordon College and the Merrick School of Business Core Curriculum Nature of core curriculum Timing, pace of first year subjects Balance between required courses and concentrations Bar passage rate Need to be more demanding of students Unevenness of student preparation, need for remediation Staffing - balance between full-time and part-time faculty What constitutes good writing and how shall it be incorporated more effectively in the curriculum Faculty involvement Perception of other colleges of the UB law school Issues regarding parking availability Issues of safety and crime Communication - external, internal, consistency of communication Advocacy program may pull attention and resources away from other needed areas Financial constraints of students University of Baltimore Law School, Strategic Planning Retreat, 8 January 2004 3 Testing techniques Class size Overemphasis on Baltimore at the expense of a more state-wide, regionally-based recruiting/service area clients C. Lunch Dean Holmes provided a buffet lunch to the participants from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM. As part of the plan for the day, no scheduled activities took place during this period. Faculty and staff had the opportunity to mix and mingle, and to engage in informal discussion of the issues raised during the morning session. D. Afternoon Session The afternoon session began at 1:15 PM and concluded at 3:00 PM. While some with previous commitments could not remain for the afternoon session, or had to leave earlier, well over thirty individuals continued to participate in the discussion. The focus of the session was to determine characteristics, which would contribute to a new vision for the University of Baltimore Law School. The purpose was not to craft a vision statement for the Law School, which would parallel that, contained in the University's strategic plan. This task would fall to the study group charged with crafting a strategic plan for the law school David Rice began the session by noting that Dean's Holmes December 2003 vision statement was designed to stimulate reflection and discussion within the law school community. It was not intended as an authoritative statement, nor intended to close doors or limit discussion. He then noted that this technique was fairly common in higher education and is reflected in the strategic planning literature. The group then offered a series of observations in response to the question: "What do we want the University of Baltimore Law School to be." General comments focused on the need to develop a special identify reflecting the importance of the UB law school to Maryland and the region, as well as draw a clear distinction between the UB and the UM experience. Clearly many favored a richer focus on practical legal education for service in the community. Others looked at the possibility for becoming more of a center for the study of Maryland Law. Others saw the need to enhance the centers, still others hoped to take advantage of the opportunities for education in international law. Some questioned the balance between doctrine and clinical education. Others queried the relationship between the goal of preparing the students to pass the bar versus educating them to be outstanding lawyers. Specific observations and responses included: Refocus on students and those basic elements in curriculum and services which lead to student success Do what we can reasonably afford Become the best in technology as applied to pedagogy and other appropriate areas Create a culture in which students are encouraged to be philanthropic A distinguishing mark of the UB legal culture should be to critiques the law and the legal system Educate the critical student Add substance to the curriculum concentrations Inculcate a sense of professionalism in the students beginning in the first semester Publicize the uniqueness of the University of Baltimore Law School Identify and capitalize on the expertise within the school 's programs and on its faculty in teaching, scholarship and service Market the many success stories of the students, faculty, staff and school Create an attractive solution to the problem of class size Emphasize the "personal touch" Become multi-focused Community members should pursue different strengths Evaluate and improve the three centers, and the law journal Become a center for the study of Maryland law Remember that we are a "fighting, inspiring, passionate faculty" University of Baltimore Law School, Strategic Planning Retreat, 8 January 2004 4 Form a broader comparison group, set benchmarks and standards to measure issues of efficiency and effectiveness Reward and recognize all aspects of teaching, scholarship, and service Change requirements for part-time faculty to reflect the need for a substantial service component Recognize and reward the role of the staff Make creative use of the law library Recognize the importance of the law library and its staff Build a building to house everyone and provide services, support, and space for people and programs Add ten new faculty (full-time and tenure-track) to provide smaller class size, reduce dependence on adjuncts, and improve teaching, scholarship and service Create a "lawyers in residence" program Reallocate resources to support the core curriculum more effectively Develop a UB law school education which leads to an improved, consistent, and strong pass rate Create a technical support infrastructure to manage and support the use of technology throughout the School Improve focus Improve concentrations Improve numbers, visibility and resources available for those providing student support Increase funds available for student scholarships, financial aid, and work-study Admit and nurture students who are engaged in and by the curriculum Help students learn the skills to be effective lawyers Increase endowment Help students use the summer more creatively, including enhanced employment opportunities Improve academic rigor Improve academic support programs Add appropriate "social space" Create equitable funding bases within the University of Baltimore and between the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland system Foster faculty collegiality and student-centered programs Attract more firms who will offer more resources and offer jobs to UB law school students and graduates Create recognition avenues for service Continue and develop scholarly excellence Create opportunities for student study abroad/student exchange 2. Facilitator's Observations Let me begin by thanking all who participated in the planning sessions on January 8th. The discussions and comments were wide-ranging and based on many years of experience and great good will, particularly towards students. Within the faculty there are clearly several different perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the law school, and on the directions that should be taken for the future - today's session confirmed what HEEA discovered during the interviews and studies conducted last year. The faculty and staff present gave every indication of commitment, dedication, and eagerness to improve the UB law school education and experience. Their perspectives, as well as those of administrators, accreditors, students, alumni/se and friends, if well managed and integrated by the School's strategic planning committee, should yield a strategic plan - vision, mission, goals and objectives - which will serve both the Law School and University well. Let me offer some additional thoughts: There is an understandable tendency to concentrate on the immediate issues of concern. It will be important for the strategic planning committee to translate specific observations and issues into a larger framework. The university strategic plan provides a good model of how to balance the general and the specific, and move from the past to the future It is important to remember that the Law School remains part of the University, and an integral part to be sure! No university strategic plan should be measured by the number of times or in what places one or another of its administrative units is mentioned. For example, as I noted in the afternoon, graduate admissions in general, and law school admissions specifically, must be part of a comprehensive university enrollment management plan University of Baltimore Law School, Strategic Planning Retreat, 8 January 2004 5 The University of Baltimore offers a wonderful opportunity to explore synergism and to create unusual, even unique multidisciplinary solutions to the educational and community issues of the 21st century. The law school has a wonderful opportunity to carve a special place for itself in American legal education. It is an old cliche of architects that form follows function! I would hope that the strategic planning process in the next six months would help the law school and the university determine what physical, technological, and human resources are needed to meet the school's planning outcomes. It will then be possible to design a fiscal and fund-raising plan, with timetables and benchmarks, to provide the necessary funds During the day I mentioned some areas that would be appropriate for goals. They included: What offices and services best contribute to student success, and how shall they be enhanced? How shall we connect alumni/ae with the Law School both as providers of services and as potential fundraisers/sources of financial support? How shall we create a culture which is data-driven, i.e. which uses data in a focused manner and carefully chooses what data to monitor in order to inform decision making? Thanks again for the opportunity to be of service, and please let me know if I may be of continued services in supporting you and the committee as the strategic planning process continues.
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