Law professor Stephen Perry recently turned down a generous offer from New York University, deciding instead to return to Penn in the fall.
Perry taught at NYU as a visiting professor this past year while on a leave of absence from Penn.
"I think it's absolutely great," Law School Dean Michael Fitts said. "I think he's a first rate academic. His decision to turn down NYU is a wonderful statement about us and also about him."
Perry, who specializes in tort law, was on vacation and unable to comment this week.
The job offer came with a large rent reduction in a Greenwich Village apartment worth upwards of $1 million, according to NYU Associate Law Dean Jeanne Smith.
Smith said that the terms of the offer meant that Perry would only have to pay somewhere between $1500 and $2000 in monthly rent for the NYU-owned apartment, which she said was far below the market value for the property.
However, she said that while the rents seem low, they were not subsidized, as was reported in the New York Observer last May.
"Compared to what the rents are in Manhattan, they seem subsidized," she said. But, she noted, the rents are merely reduced because the university owns the property.
"Most of our faculty who live in University housing pay reduced rent," she added.
Fitts would not reveal the details of Penn's counteroffer to the NYU's package.
"I'm not going to discuss any of the financial details of any of our faculty," he said.
Perry's decision to stay at Penn comes on the heels of the departure of three senior professors this spring.
This spring, Law Professors Heidi Hurd and her husband Michael Moore left to teach at the University of San Diego after 11 years at Penn, and Law Professor Herbert Gorman retired after 35 years with the University.
But Fitts said that this departures were merely the result of "lifestyle changes" among the three that left.
"These are natural changes in the law school," he said.
Smith said that while at NYU, Perry was well-liked by his fellow faculty and the students he taught.
"He's a lovely man," she said. "We wanted him here."
Smith also said the package offered to Perry included no special perks that aren't offered to other professors NYU tries to lure to its staff.
"It wasn't anything too shocking," she said of the offer. "We offered him secretarial support, a nice office to hold all his books, but nothing too shocking."
Perry will return to the recent addition of four junior faculty members to the Law School as part of Fitts' plan to expand the school's faculty.
Fitts said that the faculty as a whole responded positively to Perry's intention to return to Penn.
"People are very happy," he said. "Penn Law School has a really first rate jurisprudence group, and Stephen is absolutely at the top of jurisprudence scholars in the country."Comments powered by Disqus
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