Tuition Special: Where Do We Go From Here?

Love him or hate him, former Dean Daniels had a clear vision for U of T Law. He imagined a school so great that Canadian professors and students would choose to reject offers from Harvard, Yale, and Columbia because of their desire to go to U of T.

And yet here we are. Tuition has grown by 650% since 1995. Financial aid struggles to match soaring 8% tuition increases. Class sizes have remained relatively the same. Fifty-seven percent of upper year courses are taught by adjunct professors who, more often than not, essentially perform the service for free. Hiring rates are falling. Student debt is rising. And U of T still isn’t the equivalent to Harvard or Yale.

The plan hasn’t worked. The only ones who have clearly benefitted are the professors, with some doubling or nearly tripling their salaries.

One could argue that it simply hasn’t been long enough yet and we’ll get there. Maybe, but shouldn’t we have something to show for it by now? Or are professors and students just going to leave or reject Harvard to come here overnight? We’re not outright rejecting the notion that the Daniels dream could one day be attained. And we’re not ignoring the reality that some of our greatest professors are due to retire soon so we need to attract the best new ones. We just think the current method of professor compensation isn’t sustainable or logical.

It is time for Dean Moran to clearly articulate a vision for what she wants the law school to be and provide logical reasons for why it has worked or will work. We hope it will be a vision that is good for the students and not just the professors.

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