September 11, 2014
Northwestern's Ronald Allen first law professor to receive China's highest award for non-nationals: the China Friendship Award
Dean Rodriguez has the details.
ADDENDUM: Colin Picker (New South Wales) points out that one other U.S. law professor appears to have been so recognized.
September 07, 2014
What's actually going on at Suffolk Law?
Various blogs picked up on a brief, and unsourced, line in a longer story about Suffolk University to the effect that all tenured faculty were being offered buy-outs. All the tenured faculty? Really? I can imagine that like a number of schools seriously affected by declines in enrollments, retirement incentives and/or buy-outs are being made available, but it's hard to see the sense in buying out all your tenured faculty. If someone from Suffolk would like to confirm or clarify, I'm opening comments for that purpose. Please include a valid e-mail address (which will not appear).
September 04, 2014
Judge Posner "whacks" (truly) Wisconsin and Indiana
It's a very amusing read that lays waste to some rather pathetic arguments.
September 02, 2014
Columbia law professor Katherine Franke joins boycott against University of Illinois...
...and cancels scheduled talk, though she will travel to Urbana-Champaign at her own expense to participate in a symposium about the Salaita case.
New University of Illinois Law Faculty blog
I especially commend the piece by Robin Kar about the Salaita affair.
August 28, 2014
Gaming the U.S.News.com COLLEGE rankings
The case of Northeastern. To get a sense of how nuts this is, note that at #49 in the USNews.com list, Northeastern ranks ahead of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Washington in Seattle, both among the top 20 research universities in the United States by normal measures of academic excellence (academic reputation, research funding, membership in National Academies, citations, etc.).
August 27, 2014
Salaita v. University of Illinois: the Constitutional Issues
August 24, 2014
"University of Illinois repeals the First Amendent for its faculty"
More thoughts on the Illinois/Salaita fiasco. A number of law professors have been outspoken and informative on this issue--Michael Dorf (Cornell), Katherine Franke (Columbia), and Kevin Heller (London), among others--but more need to make their voices heard, especially those of us in Illinois. This is a travesty, that bodes ill for all our colleagues at state universities around the country. I hope my esteemed colleagues at the University of Illinois College of Law will speak up. Many of my friends in the humanities at Illinois worry that the Admin only takes seriously the professional schools and the "STEM" faculties.
August 22, 2014
It's official: Chancellor of the University of Illinois understands neither the First Amendment nor academic freedom
A lawsuit now seems inevitable. This isn't going to make Illinois Law's Dean search any easier either. The Board of Trustees has also spoken out in support of the Chancellor's illegal action. Even in Texas (where, as many readers know, I taught for 13 years), it's been a long time since the Board has done something this inimical to the integrity of the university.
UPDATE: The statement by the Board is below the fold for those who are interested:
August 22, 2014
Earlier today, you received a thoughtful statement from Chancellor Phyllis Wise regarding the university’s decision not to recommend Prof. Steven Salaita for a tenured faculty position on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
In her statement, Chancellor Wise reaffirmed her commitment to academic freedom and to fostering an environment that encourages diverging opinions, robust debate and challenging conventional norms. Those principles have been at the heart of the university’s mission for nearly 150 years, and have fueled its rise as a world leader in education and innovation.
But, as she noted, our excellence is also rooted in another guiding principle that is just as fundamental. Our campuses must be safe harbors where students and faculty from all backgrounds and cultures feel valued, respected and comfortable expressing their views.
We agree, and write today to add our collective and unwavering support of Chancellor Wise and her philosophy of academic freedom and free speech tempered in respect for human rights – these are the same core values which have guided this institution since its founding.
In the end, the University of Illinois will never be measured simply by the number of world-changing engineers, thoughtful philosophers or great artists we produce. We also have a responsibility to develop productive citizens of our democracy. As a nation, we are only as strong as the next generation of participants in the public sphere. The University of Illinois must shape men and women who will contribute as citizens in a diverse and multi-cultural democracy. To succeed in this mission, we must constantly reinforce our expectation of a university community that values civility as much as scholarship.
Disrespectful and demeaning speech that promotes malice is not an acceptable form of civil argument if we wish to ensure that students, faculty and staff are comfortable in a place of scholarship and education. If we educate a generation of students to believe otherwise, we will have jeopardized the very system that so many have made such great sacrifices to defend. There can be no place for that in our democracy, and therefore, there will be no place for it in our university.
Chancellor Wise is an outstanding administrator, leader and teacher. Her academic career has been built on her commitment to promoting academic freedom and creating a welcoming environment for students and faculty alike. We stand with her today and will be with her tomorrow as she devotes her considerable talent and energy to serving our students, our faculty and staff, and our society.
We look forward to working closely with Chancellor Wise and all of you to ensure that our university is recognized both for its commitment to academic freedom and as a national model of leading-edge scholarship framed in respect and courtesy.
Christopher G. Kennedy, Chair, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
Robert A. Easter, President
Hannah Cave, Trustee
Ricardo Estrada, Trustee
Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Trustee
Lucas N. Frye, Trustee
Karen Hasara, Trustee
Patricia Brown Holmes, Trustee
Timothy N. Koritz, Trustee
Danielle M. Leibowitz, Trustee
Edward L. McMillan, Trustee
James D. Montgomery, Trustee
Pamela B. Strobel, Trustee
August 20, 2014
When the FAR goes live shortly...
...it will once again include the feature that permits one to search by law school attended (a feature that mysteriously disappeared last year). Judy Areen, the new Executive Director of AALS, tells me they have a first-ever Chief Information Officer that fixed this. Thanks to Judy and the AALS!