According to Business Insider on Wednesday, the incoming dean at the University of Illinois College of Law asked for a pay cut for his new job. He wants to make less than his predecessor to help combat what he sees as too high costs for a legal education. Vikram David Amar, 52, said he negotiated his salary down to be part of the solution to help students.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Vikram Amar, brother of Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar, comes to Illinois from University of California-Davis School of Law, where he is an expert in constitutional law and civil procedure and has been a top administrator for academic affairs.
The next dean and Iwan Foundation Professor of Law at the 118-year-old University of Illinois College of Law succeeds Bruce Smith, who stepped down in 2014 after five years as dean. Law Professor John Colombo has served as interim dean since then.
The National Law Journal indicated that in Amar’s new position, he will earn $324,900 annually instead of $326,651 that the former dean earned for the 2013-2014 school year. That’s slightly less than what he could have received. Also, he turned down a $25,000 summer stipend. Even with Amar’s negotiation for a lower salary, his earnings are still higher than what many law deans make. The average salary for law school dean is $300,000, according to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
Amar is correct by citing the high cost for a law school education. The University of Illinois is one of the most expensive public law schools in the United States. The yearly cost of attendance is $59,993 for Illinois residents and $67,743 for out-of-state students.