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Diamond me no diamonds! Raise me tuitions no tuition raises!

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Back in January there was a bit of a spat with a Santa Clara professor by the name Steve Diamond that you may recall. Among the many wildly untrue statements he made, such as that Law School Transparency is only in it for the money, is that the faculty at Santa Clara are responding to the crisis in the legal industry with financial responsibility:

At SCU we have already committed, and have been committed for several decades, to all of the things you suggest - lower salaries, more teaching, more administrative work by faculty and lower tuition than is the norm at schools like Stanford. [...]

We constantly debate those choices and try to find the right balance - which has included in the last few years decisions to freeze salaries, not raise tuition and increase administrative work for faculty. [Emphasis added]

When we pointed out that SCU had raised tuition every year since 2005, Diamond responded:

The SCU faculty did vote to block a proposed tuition increase recently. Nothing was made up.

Perhaps nothing was made up, perhaps there really was a vote to block a tuition increase. If so, Steve Diamond neglected to include one of two pertinent facts: (1) the vote failed, or (2) the vote was ineffective.

The tuition rate at SCU was $43,680 for the 2012-13 school year. The new tuition rate for the 2013-14 school year is an even $45,000. That's just a hair over a 3% increase. That's better than the 4.5% increase from 11-12 to 12-13, or the 6.2% increase the year before that, but it's still an increase to tuition. There was a decision not to raise tuition, and a vote to block a tuition increase, and yet up, up, up it goes. We know what's happened.

You see, Santa Clara could have increased tuition by the same 4.5% rate, and so by increasing it only by 3% it's really decreased tuition by $645. In fact, Santa Clara has over two years brought tuition down $2,132 ...from the amount it would have been at if it maintained the 6.2% increase.


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