So reports Einer Elhauge (Harvard)--in addition to those we've reported previously (Michael Klarman [Virginia], Martha Nussbaum [Chicago], William Rubenstein [UCLA], and Cass Sunstein [Harvard]), Professor Elhauge also now confirms offers to Yochai Benkler (Yale), Richard Ford (Stanford), Pamela Karlan (Stanford), Robert Post (Yale), Seana Shiffrin (UCLA), Reva Siegel (Yale), and Henry Smith (Yale). My guess is they may get half these folks, but time will tell!
A couple of faculty, including one Dean, wrote in to remark that the number of visitors at the top schools is double what it was 10-20 years ago. The question is what explains this development? My hypothesis is that the efforts by Harvard and Columbia to expand their faculties has created enormous pressure all the way down the "food chain" (compounded by the fact that Harvard occasionally raids Columbia, as well as many other top schools). This has resulted in more lateral movement, and also more need for visiting stints to size up potential new faculty hires.
In addition, of course, there has been a general tendency towards reducing teaching loads and increasing research leaves, which no doubt creates curricular pressures. Interdisciplinary hiring, which is particular pronounced at the very best law schools, also often creates curricular gaps that need to be filled with visitors who (imagine this!) can actually teach core substantive law courses.
Do readers agree that there are more visiting professors now than 10 or 20 years ago? If so, what explains this development? Comments are open; as usual non-anonymous comments are far more likely to be approved. Post only once; comments may take awhile to appear.
Via Solum, I see that Mark Greenberg (UCLA--but whom we're fortunate to have at Texas this calendar year as a Harrington Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Law School) has put on-line a revised version of the very fine paper on my work that he gave at a conference at Columbia six years ago. In my just released bookNaturalizing Jurisprudence, there is actually an extended discussion of Greenberg's critique at pp. 112-117, where I note that Greenberg's "cleverly framed objection [is] the most intriquing one
registered against my account over the last decade," but then argue that "it gets
both Quine, and my own use of Quine, wrong in subtle ways" (p. 113). The issues here are somewhat tricky and technical, but philosophically-minded readers interested in Quine and in my arguments for naturalized jurisprudence will surely profit from Greenberg's paper and should also take a look at my discussion of his arguments in the book.