It is with very mixed feelings that I must report that my great colleague Cass Sunstein at the University of Chicago has accepted the senior offer from Harvard Law School. (We can't win 'em all!) But the good news (for us Chicago [or Chicago-to-be] folks) is that, as Cass told me, he will be keeping his Chicago apartment and an office at the University of Chicago Law School, and he will also continue teaching part-time at Chicago as the Harry Kalven Visiting Professor of Law (probably in the winter quarters). So I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I will still get to enjoy Cass's warm collegiality and amazing intellectual energy for at least part of each year.
Cass kindly gave me permission to share a portion of an e-mail he sent to colleagues at Chicago:
Everything I know, I have learned at the University of Chicago Law School. It is an amazing institution. It is a unique combination of high standards, curiosity, intellectual excitement, refusal to follow the herd, focus, generosity, personal kindness, intensity, desire to get it right, a nonsense-free zone, toughness, gentleness, amusement, and a sense of fun amidst it all -- and much more.
The University of Chicago Law School was an astoundingly good place back in 1981, when I arrived. Miraculously, it is even better now -- a stronger institution today than it has been at any time during my years here.
UPDATE: A reader asked how Sunstein's move would affect last summer's study of per capita scholarly impact, in which the top six schools (with the per capita figure in parentheses) were: 1. Yale (790), 2. Chicago (750), 3. Stanford (660), 4. Harvard (590), 5. Columbia (430), and 6. NYU (420). Moving Sunstein from Chicago to Harvard (which, by the criteria I used last summer, one would have to do, since while he will continue teaching at Chicago, he will not be a tenure-stream faculty member), the results would be 1. Yale (790), 2. Stanford (660), 3. Harvard (650), 4. Chicago (550), 5. Columbia (430), and 6. NYU (420). (Chicago is less than half the size of Harvard, hence the differential impacts.) By way of comparison, NYU's per capita impact would drop to 390 without Ronald Dworkin. the most-cited member of that much larger faculty (which would put NYU in a tie with Berkeley). Although this is undoubtedly a serious loss for the public law faculty at Chicago, Chicago still retains a dominant position in areas like law and economics and law and philosophy, among others.
Who cares, you say? Blog Emperor Caron, of course! Curious that four of the top five have almost nothing to do with law; four of the top five are right-wing blogs; and three of the top five have almost no intellectual content. Welcome to the blogosphere!
Yale Law School has voted out an offer to my old friend Scott Shapiro (legal philosophy, philosophy of action), who is Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Students thinking about JD/PhD programs should keep an eye on what happens here: Shapiro's departure will be a big blow for Michigan on this score, and a significant boost for Yale, whose Philosophy Department has also made a number of strong appointments in recent years. (For the benefit of law readers: while Yale Law School has long had a dominant position in legal academia, Yale Philosophy has had many ups and downs, though is now solidly among the top 15 programs in the US.)
Here. They are: Neil Cogan, the current Dean at Whittier; Raymond Nimmer, currently Interim Dean at Houston; Linda Greene, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; and Craig Nard, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University.
I recently came across this UK magazine's survey of readers identifying the "top 100" public intellectuals from a couple of years ago. Since it was a UK-based survey, the list doesn't have the same kinds of parochial horizons the same exercise would generate in the US (so, e.g., Noam Chomsky, quite plausibly, is #1, and by a wide margin). Interestingly, two U.S. law professors did make the list: Larry Lessig at Stanford University came in at #40; and Martha Nussbaum at the University of Chicago came in at #53. If we cast the net a bit more widely, then we should also include the economist Jagdish Bhagwati (#42), a University Professor at Columbia University whose appointments include one in the Law School; and, of course, Judge Richard Posner (#32), who continues to teach part-time in the Law School at the University of Chicago. Among U.S. universities, Harvard had the most faculty on the list with nine (Amartya Sen, Steven Pinker, Samuel Huntington, Niall Ferguson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Larry Summers, Howard Gardner, Robert Putnam, Elaine Scarry), followed by Princeton University with four (Paul Krugman, Peter Singer, Bernard Lewis, Daniel Kahneman); University of Chicago with three (Richard Posner, Gary Becker, Martha Nussbaum); Columbia, MIT and UCLA with two each (at Columbia: Jeffrey Sachs and Jagdish Bhagwati; at MIT: Noam Chomsky and Neil Gernshenfeld; at UCLA: Jared Diamond and James Q. Wilson). Stanford had two at the time--Lessig and Richard Rorty, the latter of whom is now deceased. A handful of other U.S. faculty made the list: Daniel Dennett (Tufts University), Steven Weinberg (University of Texas, Austin); Paul Kennedy (Yale University); and Ali Mazrui (SUNY-Binghamton).
UPDATE: Reader Adam Tucker points out:
The list is a 1-100 ranking made by people voting on a longlist of 100 - so the names were chosen in advance. All the voters could do is change the order. This makes the "other possibilities" list below it even more interesting - whilst some of the names on that list are
laughable (Bono?!) I'd have thought that some (e.g. Friedman, Hawking and, lower down, Sen) merit a place on the proper list. It would be interesting to see what a free vote rather than a structured would have come up with.