Pay doubles forThe former Boston College Law School dean who was appointed Friday as the new dean of the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law will be making just under $250,000, almost double the annual salary of his predecessor.
new UH dean
Aviam Soifer, chosen as
head of the UH law school,
will earn about $250,000
By Sally Apgar
Aviam Soifer, a Boston College Law dean from 1992 until 1998, when he returned to teaching and research, was hired to oversee the UH law school's $3.7 million budget, 18 professors, 270 students and continuing push to improve.
At Boston College, one of the top law schools in the country, Soifer said he was paid "less than $250,000" to manage a $21 million annual budget, a faculty of 46 full-time members and about the same number of adjunct faculty. A first-year law class alone is about 270 students. He also was in charge of special projects, such as the building of a new law library and other facilities.
In a telephone interview yesterday to his home in Cambridge, Mass., Soifer said his current salary at Boston is slightly higher than what he expects to make at UH. But he said the move is worth it.
Mike Foreman, a linguistics professor and member of the Faculty Senate who monitored the interviews of candidates for dean of the law school, said the university will get its money's worth with Soifer.
"It's a high salary, particularly in these days when everyone is wondering where the money to pay for things is going to come from," Forman said. "And the faculty is concerned about their salaries, so this salary will certainly raise some eyebrows. But I was impressed with Soifer and think he is worth it."
Forman also said the faculty participated in the hiring process and that it was an open process as promised by UH President Evan Dobelle.
Soifer is the first of several permanent deans being named under Dobelle's stewardship to replace various deans who have held their positions since the previous administration. In the next few months, new deans are expected to be named to head Nursing and Dental Hygiene and the School of Travel Industry Management. Searches are also under way for deans for the School of Social Work and a director for the Pacific Biomedical Research Center.
At the same time, the university is trying to fill positions that are part of a systemwide restructuring of the university and its 10 campuses that was announced late last year.
The first of those systemwide positions was filled with the May appointment of Peter Englert as chancellor of the UH-Manoa campus. Englert, the vice chancellor of Victoria University in Wellington, is paid an annual salary of $254,000. A search is being conducted for vice chancellors for academic affairs and for research and graduate Education.
The new deans and chancellors are expected to be paid more than their predecessors, mostly because the university is seeking the best qualified candidates they can afford on the national and international academic markets.
Lawrence Foster, the law school's outgoing dean, was at the post for the last 15 years and was paid $128,808. Foster, who is very supportive of Soifer's appointment, is returning to teaching.
The highest-paid dean remains Edwin Cadman, the former chief of staff of Yale-New Haven Hospital hired in 1999 under the previous administration to turn around the John A. Burns School of Medicine, with an annual salary of $365,776.
"When you want to bring in superstars, you have to offer higher salaries," said Paul Costello, vice president for external affairs and university relations. "That's the nature of the market and the competition."
He added: "We want to expand on excellence, and when you do a broad national and international search, you get people with great professional depth and international experience who will bring a lot of excitement to UH."
Dobelle has been criticized for his hiring practices and salaries. At a session with legislators in January, he said his leadership style is to have a few key people with higher salaries and a lot of responsibility, rather than five or six people with lower salaries and the same responsibility but no one who is clearly accountable.
He also told legislators that UH is spending about $1.9 million less in administrative costs than it did 10 years ago.
William S. Richardson School of Law
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The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii is like a diamond in the rough to new law school Dean Aviam Soifer.
Incoming dean lauds
law school for diversity
and Asian outlook
By Sally Apgar
"The law school is a gem," Soifer said. "It's a gem that's not recognized or appreciated around the country."
Soifer said he wanted to come to the law school after spending a year here as a visiting professor from 1999 to 2000 when the Rice v. Cayetano case went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
He said the school is way ahead of other law schools in terms of diversity, an issue he has studied closely from the perspective of constitutional law.
Soifer said that unlike other academic institutions, the Richardson law school "stands out because of the way people work together to reach common goals."
He applauded the environmental law program and the fact that three of 18 faculty members are experts on Chinese law.
He said that more than any other law school in the country, it "looks out towards Asia with experts, programs and courses."
A graduate of Yale Law School, Soifer also holds a master's degree in urban studies and a bachelor's degree with honors in American studies from Yale College.
William S. Richardson School of Law
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