November 02, 2016
UPDATE: Now 23 of the professor's colleagues have called on the faculty member to resign if the allegations are true. That reflects poorly on them, and suggests they have no regard for contractual and constitutional rights to academic freedom, including the right to engage in racially insensitive extramural speech. Absent a finding that the professor treats students or colleagues in racially discriminatory ways, there is no reason for the faculty member to resign (apologizing might be a good idea though!).
ANOTHER: The Daily Mail (not my favorite source, though they often get the facts out quickly on stories like this) reports that the offending faculty member was Prof. Nancy Shurtz, and gives some context for why she was dressed that way at the Halloween party.
HERE IS A BETTER SOURCE identifying Prof. Shurtz, and includes a statement from her.
STILL ANOTHER: Prof. Shurtz issues a written explanation and apology. She exercised bad judgment. Her 23 colleagues exercised even worse judgment. It's now their turn to apologize!
September 22, 2016
Tennessee Law Prof. Glenn Reynolds--aka, "InstaIgnorance" as I used to call him back in the day--has Twitter account suspended after encouraging motorists to run down protesters in Charlotte
Several readers have flagged this story for me. Reynolds is a benighted soul, alas. A criminal law colleague calls to my attention:
TN Code § 39-12-102 (2015)
(a) Whoever, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, directly or through another, intentionally commands, requests or hires another to commit a criminal offense, or attempts to command, request or hire another to commit a criminal offense, with the intent that the criminal offense be committed, is guilty of the offense of solicitation.
(b) It is no defense that the solicitation was unsuccessful and the offense solicited was not committed. It is no defense that the person solicited could not be guilty of the offense solicited, due to insanity, minority, or other lack of criminal responsibility or incapacity. It is no defense that the person solicited was unaware of the criminal nature of the conduct solicited. It is no defense that the person solicited is unable to commit the offense solicited because of the lack of capacity, status, or characteristic needed to commit the offense solicited, so long as the person soliciting or the person solicited believes that either or both have such capacity, status, or characteristic.
I doubt there will be a prosecution, but who knows? His real mens rea is more likely "dumb and insensitive" than "malicious."
UPDATE: Lawyer Jason Walta writes:
I'm kind of bemused by the seemingly shocked response of the chancellor and law dean. Have these people never met Glenn Reyonolds? Were they previously unaware that he's on faculty there?
The fact of the matter is that this stuff is Reynolds's entire métier, stretching back to when he called for vigilante executions of "looters" during Katrina or lauded William "Gosh I didn't mean to shoot my wife in the head" Burroughs as some kind of Second Amendment hero.
February 19, 2016
UPDATE: There's a longer article on this brouhaha here. I find I agree with a lot of what Mike Seidman (Georgetown) is quoted in the article as saying in the wake of this dispute. In general, institutions should not adopt positions; faculty should adopt positions. But the convention of recognizing and mourning the passing of a member of that community is so well-established that I don't think anyone could imagine that such official expressions mean that everyone in the community has the same views about an individual's life and career. I doubt there has been a more severe critic of Justice Scalia than my colleague Judge Posner, and yet Chicago, of course, also mourned Justice Scalia's passing and recognized his professional career, as one would expect. I am sure no one thinks this means that Judge Posner is now retracting his previous criticisms of Justice Scalia's jurisprudence!
October 08, 2015
October 06, 2015
MOVING TO FRONT FROM OCTOBER 2--UPDATED
Glenn Reynolds (University of Tennessee) leads the way as usual. President Obama is disgusted, as well should we all be. Reynolds's disgraceful irrationality on this subject is of longstanding. He really is "part of the problem."
UPDATE: A reader sends along this apt 2012 article about gun control. He writes: "This is an issue where there aren't really two sides to the debate that should be seriously considered. This is an issue where there are the facts about gun control and mass killings, and then there are awful rationalizations for the carnage offered by the likes of Glenn Reynolds. As someone who fills out the U.S. News surveys, I am factoring in to my assesment of the reputation of the University of Tennessee the "disgraceful" as you said antics of this facilitator of murder."
ANOTHER: William Page (Florida) sends along another apt piece, noting the utter insanity of thinking that it would contribute to public safety to have armed civilians in the middle of an unfolding crime scene.
September 25, 2015
(Thanks to several readers for sending this along.)
August 31, 2015
August 25, 2015
Paul Campos, who has admitted in writing that, as an academic, he is a "fraud," takes to the pages of CHE to question the scholarly integrity of an actual scholar, mostly through innuendo and repetition of points made already by Steven Lubet (Northwestern). Campos writes:
How did a book consisting of so many [sic] unsourced, contradictory, and improbable events get published by a prestigious academic press and praised to the skies by prominent scholars and intellectuals?
Quoting this line to me in an e-mail, a colleague elsewhere offered an answer: "Well, Paul, the same way you got tenure! Academia is weaker than people think." To be clear, the criticisms of the Goffman book are underwhelming (contrast this investigation, which largely supports Goffman), while the evidence, including his own words, that Campos is a malevolent fraud is overwhelming.
Looking on the bright side, I suppose it's a sign that the "law school crisis" is over that Campos has found a new bandwagon to join in his relentless quest to remain in the media spotlight.
April 13, 2015
Stephen Diamond (Santa Clara) has the details. He won't be missed, it's fair to say.
April 06, 2015
Somehow Paul Campos--fresh from his latest smear piece on Michael Simkovic--got an opinion piece in The New York Times reporting his latest discovery: namely, that state spending on higher education has increased, not declined over the last several decades. How did he arrive at this contrarian conclusion? By looking at absolute dollars spent on education and largely ignoring or downplaying the increase in the number of students during this time. (And nothing, as usual, about Baumol's disease, which is crucial to any serious understanding of higher education costs.) We already knew Campos was not exactly an intellectual giant, but this latest muddle disappointed even my low expectations. For more detailed discussion, see IHE and Slate. And for some actual data on the growth in student population, try this, and on the decline in state spending, this.
(Thanks to Michael Simkovic for suggesting the title.)
UPDATE: CHE collects more responses to this idiocy.
ANOTHER: Still more on this fiasco, which will hopefully mean we won't have to hear from this ignoramus in a major forum again.