May 04, 2018

Some choice words from the founder of Thomas Cooley Law School, Thomas Brennan

From Politico:

The recent tax records show that school’s 88-year-old founder, Thomas Brennan, a former Michigan state Supreme Court justice who stepped down as Cooley’s president in 2002, has continued to be paid more than $329,000 a year as an emeritus professor even though he works only five hours a week. An audit released last year revealed that under his contract, Brennan is entitled to receive a salary “based on two times the salary of a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, plus certain other benefits, until his death.”

 

The school said Brennan was also unavailable for an interview. He has continued to speak out publicly, however, through his “Old Judge Says” blog, in which he offers commentary that might easily be perceived as anti-Islamic, homophobic and radically insensitive. In a 2016 post, he remembered with affection the blackface minstrel shows of his youth. He recalled how he and his brother performed in local minstrel shows in the Detroit area, “our faces blacked to the teeth.”

 

“In these days of political correctness, the whole idea of minstrelsy seems preposterous,” he wrote. “But the truth is that minstrelsy was fun.”

 

Other blog posts have criticized the move in Southern states to remove the statues of Confederate Army generals from public spaces. “Political correctness is running amuck,” he wrote. “The Civil War did in fact occur. And there were good people on both sides.” He has labeled Islam “a primitive belief system which comingles [sic] religious doctrine with civil law.” He described the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage as “evil.” The decision, he said, meant that “our beloved nation will slide further toward Armageddon.”

Quite a racket the old parochial bigot has going!


May 4, 2018 in Faculty News, Law Professors Saying Dumb Things, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 25, 2018

The rise of female law deans

It's striking that the Deans of the very top law schools (there are 18 for those keeping count, not 14 as the dumb-dumbs indoctrinated by USNews.com believe) are now almost 50% female:   Yale (Gerken), Stanford (Magill), Columbia (Lester), Virginia (Goluboff), Duke (incoming, Abrams), Northwestern (incoming, Yuracko), UCLA (Mnookin).  Just on the cusp of the top 18 schools, you find three more female Deans (Richardson at Irvine, Staudt at Wash U/St. Louis, O'Rourke at BU).


April 25, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 24, 2018

Paul Krugman explains how the war against taxes became a war against education (Michael Simkovic)

In today's New York Times, Professor Krugman writes about the war on education. Krugman's generally smart post overlooks an important part of the story.  Many wealthy Democratic Donors also want low taxes and are therefore also hostile toward teachers unions and increases in public funding for education.  Republicans are not the only ones's responsible for the current state of K-12 education, in which high preforming college graduates are fleeing teaching for better opportunities.  Krugman writes:

 

"State and local governments . . . are basically school districts with police departments. Education accounts for more than half the state and local work force; protective services like police and fire departments account for much of the rest.

 

. . . [W]hen hard-line conservatives take over a state. . . they almost invariably push through big tax cuts. Usually these tax cuts are sold with the promise that lower taxes will provide a huge boost to the state economy. . . . This promise is, however, never — and I mean never — fulfilled; the right’s continuing belief in the magical payoff from tax cuts represents the triumph of ideology over overwhelming negative evidence.

 

What tax cuts do, instead, is sharply reduce revenue, wreaking havoc with state finances. For a great majority of states are required by law to balance their budgets. This means that when tax receipts plunge, the conservatives running many states can’t do what Trump and his allies in Congress are doing at the federal level — simply let the budget deficit balloon. Instead, they have to cut spending.

 

And given the centrality of education to state and local budgets, that puts schoolteachers in the cross hairs. 

 

How, after all, can governments save money on education? They can reduce the number of teachers, but that means larger class sizes, which will outrage parents. They can and have cut programs for students with special needs, but cruelty aside, that can only save a bit of money at the margin. The same is true of cost-saving measures like neglecting school maintenance and scrimping on school supplies to the point that many teachers end up supplementing inadequate school budgets out of their own pockets.

 

So what conservative state governments have mainly done is squeeze teachers themselves.

 

Now, teaching kids was never a way to get rich. However, being a schoolteacher used to put you solidly in the middle class, with a decent income and benefits. In much of the country, however, that is no longer true.

 

At the national level, earnings of public-school teachers have fallen behind inflation since the mid-1990s, and have fallen even more behind the earnings of comparable workers. At this point, teachers earn 23 percent less than other college graduates. But this national average is a bit deceptive: Teacher pay is actually up in some big states like New York and California, but it’s way down in a number of right-leaning states.

 

Meanwhile, teachers’ benefits are also getting worse. In particular, teachers are having to pay a rising share of their health insurance premiums, a severe burden when their real earnings are declining at the same time.

 

So we’re left with a nation in which teachers, the people we count on to prepare our children for the future, are starting to feel like members of the working poor, unable to make ends meet unless they take second jobs. And they can’t take it anymore.

 

. . . [E]xtreme right-wing ideologues . . . really believed that they could usher in a low-tax, small-government, libertarian utopia.

 

Predictably, they couldn’t. For a while they were able to evade some of the consequences of their failure by pushing the costs off onto public sector employees, especially schoolteachers. But that strategy has reached its limits. Now what?

 

Well, some Republicans have actually proved willing to learn from experience, reverse tax cuts and restore education funding. But all too many are . . . lashing out, in increasingly unhinged ways, at the victims of their policies."

 


April 24, 2018 in Faculty News, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Science, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

April 23, 2018

Longtime Northwestern faculty member Kimberly Yuracko named Dean

She succeeds Dan Rodriguez.  I will post a link to the university's announcement as soon as it appears.

UPDATE:  Northwestern's announcement.


April 23, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

April 19, 2018

Corporate Practice Commentator's top 10 corporate and securities law articles of 2017 announced

Here is the announcement, I've inserted institutional affiliations of the scholars whose work was recognized:

 The Corporate Practice Commentator is pleased to announce the results of its twenty-fourth annual poll to select the ten best corporate and securities articles.  Teachers in corporate and securities law were asked to select the best corporate and securities articles from a list of articles published and indexed in legal journals during 2017.  More than 565 articles were on this year’s list.  Because of the vagaries of publication, indexing, and mailing, some articles published in 2017 have a 2016 date, and not all articles containing a 2017 date were published and indexed in time to be included in this year’s list.

The articles, listed in alphabetical order of the initial author, are:

Choi, Stephen J. (NYU), Jill Fisch (Penn), Marcel Kahan (NYU), and Edward Rock (NYU). Does Majority Voting Improve Board Accountability? 83 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1119-1180 (2016).

 

Cox, James D. (Duke), Fabrizio Ferri (Columbia Busness), Colleen Honigsberg (Stanford), and Randall S. Thomas (Vanderbilt). Quieting the Shareholders' Voice: Empirical Evidence of Pervasive Bundling in Proxy Solicitations. 89 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1175-1238 (2016).

 

Gelpern, Anna (Georgetown) and Erik F. Gerding (Colorado). Inside Safe Assets. 33 Yale J. on Reg. 363-421 (2016).

 

Goshen, Zohar (Columbia) and Richard Squire (Fordham). Principal Costs: A New Theory for Corporate Law and Governance. 117 Colum. L. Rev. 767-829 (2017).

 

Hwang, Cathy (Utah). Unbundled Bargains: Multi-agreement Dealmaking in Complex Mergers and Acquisitions. 164 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1403-1451 (2016).

 

Judge, Kathryn (Columbia). Information Gaps and Shadow Banking. 103 Va. L. Rev. 411-480 (2017).

 

Morley, John (Yale). The Common Law Corporation: The Power of the Trust in Anglo-American Business History. 116 Colum. L. Rev. 2145-2197 (2016).

 

Pollman, Elizabeth (Loyola/Los Angeles) and Jordan M. Barry (San Diego). Regulatory Entrepreneurship. 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. 383-448 (2017).

 

Subramanian, Guhan (Harvard). Deal Process Design in Management Buyouts. 130 Harv. L. Rev. 590-658 (2016).

 

Rauterberg, Gabriel (Michigan) and Eric Talley (Columbia). Contracting Out of the Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis of Corporate Opportunity Waivers. 117 Colum. L. Rev. 1075-1151 (2017).


April 19, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

April 17, 2018

Two law professors elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

They are:  Risa Goluboff (Dean at UVA) and Mark Lemley (Stanford).


April 17, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

April 05, 2018

Northeastern law professor Jessica Silbey wins Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018 competition

She appears to be the only law professor to win a Guggenheim this year.


April 5, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

March 29, 2018

Amy Wax on the radio...

...at least until she got cornered by the (very polite) questioner.  Of course, Prof. Wax's comments attempted to violate the confidentiality of African-American students at her school, who, like all students, are entitled not to have their academic performance broadcast to the world by a faculty member.


March 29, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

March 23, 2018

Entry-level hiring report for 2018

Professor Lawsky (Northwestern) is once again compiling the information.


March 23, 2018 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Faculty News | Permalink

March 21, 2018

Sunstein wins Holberg Prize

The New York Times story.   The Holberg Prize has had its share of controversy, but I expect this year's prize will not contribute to it!

(I've been travelling, hence the delay in getting to this.)


March 21, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink