FIU College of Law in the Roger Williams Survey

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4 Responses

  1. Andrew Perlman says:

    Actually, I think a newer school will typically do better in the Roger Williams study than a more established school. As you note, a newer school has more junior faculty, and junior faculty tend to write more articles per year than tenured faculty. They also tend to care more about placements, which is the only metric measured by the RWU study. Finally, the RWU study has a fairly limited time horizon (15 years) from which it draws its data, so junior faculty won’t be unduly prejudiced relative to other possible metrics (like citation counts), which take some time to accumulate.

    Moreover, it seems to me that a new school will tend to hire senior faculty who are still at least modestly productive and placing articles in decent places. So the senior faculty at a new school is probably going to have a more impressive recent scholarly record, on average, than the senior faculty at similarly situated schools.

    That’s not to diminish in any way the accomplishments of FIU. Rather, it’s just an explanation for why it shouldn’t be too surprising that a newer school would do well in that study. For more on why I think the study is problematic, see my comments after this post: http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2008/09/faculty-product.html

  2. Howard Wasserman says:

    Andrew: Your point about young faculty writing more is well taken, but I do not believe it entirely overcomes the time period covered. Fifteen years brings in most still-going-strong senior full professors, those who are committed to writing and continue to do so. Someone about to be tenured has almost exactly 1/2 that time period (if we include pre-hiring writing) in which to work and more recent hires even less time than that. Maybe that just means junior-heaviness is a wash–neither a benefit nor a hindrance in the study.

  3. Andrew Perlman says:

    Howard, you may be right. I think that, all things being equal, a faculty heavily weighted towards junior faculty/recently tenured faculty will do better in this study than a similar school that is weighted towards more senior faculty. But that’s just an intuitive guess; it’s hard to tell without breaking down the data school by school.

  4. Guest says:

    Why does FIU have a law school? Are there too few law schools in Florida?