Here is what I believe to be a reasonable comment [in Roman]over on the tax prof blog about the tax (non) "issues" at UF and my responses [in italics]. Two comments: First, I think I have never seen any instances in which people who claim to have the best interests of a program at heart have done so much to communicate that it is declining. What are they thinking?
Second, the information from the alum comes from inside the law school as does mine. I could be wrong, thus, I want to invite anyone who wants to from the law school to correct me. I will turn over the blog to them. For most part all of these are turf protection statements and are not relevant with respect to the quality of the program. That is not determined by who signs off on schedules or what room a course is taught in. Instead it is based on the quality of the students and instruction.
Professor Harrison: First, try and be less patronizing and more respectful. If anyone is being blindly loyal, it's you to the dean.
1. Mike Friel stepped down as the Associate Dean and Director of the Tax Program a couple weeks ago; he will remain as an adjunct professor this fall and for up to 3 years.
2. Professor Lidsky, a constitutional law professor, is now the Associate Dean for Graduate Tax.
3. Professor Mashburn, a Senior Associate Dean, is now assigning graduate tax courses- which had always been handled by the Graduate Tax administration.
4. The Tax Program has lost its dedicated classroom and the 60-minute hour class has been reduced to 50 minutes.
5. Control of student records, registration, and admissions have been removed from the Graduate Tax Administration and is now in the purview of the general law school.
6. Based on recent retirements (Dilley & Hudson), leaving faculty (Marian who maybe saw what was coming), and planned retirements, the Tax Program will be down from 10 to five faculty members as of next year.
7. The Tax Faculty is no longer called the “Tax Faculty”; rather, they are law professors who teach tax-related courses.
8. The Administration has promised the Program that they can keep the tax office space for one year.
9. The Tax Program’s staff administrator position has been taken away.
10. ½ the Research Assistant budget has been taken away, and it appears a larger cut is coming.
The best way to see it do well is to stop repeating those who say it is in decline. And think about modernizing seriously. This fall 80% of those applying were accepted and 45% or 67 students will register. More attention needs to be paid to recruitment, tracking of graduates, and making the program accessible to those who cannot afford a year in residence in Gainesville. In terms of modernizing, most of the measures make the Program leaner and reduce duplication of efforts, both very much needed in light of declining applicants and students.