Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, April 29, 2013

Brooklyn Law's Dean Allard Replies to Concerns about Academic Freedom

On Friday, Dean Nicholas Allard at Brooklyn Law School, sent me a constructive reply to the concerns raised on Thursday about the proposed definition of "adequate cause" (and, in particular, "demonstrated incompetence") for termination of tenured faculty.  Dean Allard also kindly gave me permission to share his response with the academic community.  I post it below in its entirety:

I appreciate your acknowledgment of Brooklyn Law School as a school of long-standing and good reputation.  I also share, and applaud, your commitment to academic freedom, and I welcome a vigorous discussion about how best to achieve it.  It is a critical issue and a core value at Brooklyn Law School.

The recent change to our faculty regulations that you wrote about added the concept of “demonstrated incompetence,” which, as I understand it, is a long-recognized and widely accepted regulatory term supported by the AAUP and others.  Our regulations did not previously include any reference to “demonstrated incompetence.”

The definition of the term “demonstrated incompetence” that was also included in the new regulations was not meant to expand its scope, but quite the opposite: the intent was to offer additional language to clarify a term that seemed potentially vague without further explication.  The
particular language of the definition obviously has raised concerns and will be addressed.  To that end, I welcome further input from the faculty — and from other sources, like the AAUP, as referenced by the post on your blog — and that is exactly why the matter has been referred to our Faculty Hearing Committee for its review and guidance.

Last week I asked the Hearing Committee, which is the panel of BLS professors that applies internal regulations to tenured faculty, to review the definition for “adequate cause.”  Under our regulations, this committee assures that peers are responsible for performance review — an important safeguard of both due process and academic freedom.  I await their suggestions, concerns, and improvements, which I will take to our Board of Trustees to address. 

I have full confidence that faculty peers will apply the standard fairly and in alignment with Brooklyn Law School’s tradition of outstanding scholarship. 

I view this as welcome news, and will be interested to see the final standards that emerge from the process.  I think this will also be an instructive process for other academic institutions.


April 29, 2013 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Why Tolerate Religion?" in DC Tomorrow

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Academic freedom (and due process) under threat at Brooklyn Law School?

Recent Passings: George Bunn and John Sutton Jr.

In recent days, two significant senior colleagues have passed away.  George Bunn, former law dean at the University of Wisconsin, died last Sunday.  He was 87.  In addition to his 17 years on the faculty at Wisconsin, which included leading the school from 1972-75, he was the first general counsel for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1961-69.  John Sutton Jr. passed away last Friday at the age of 95.  He served on the University of Texas law faculty from 1957-2003, and was the school's dean from 1979-84.


April 25, 2013 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Six law faculty elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

They are:  T. Alexander Aleinikoff (Georgetown; currently on leave at the U.N. High Commission for Refugees); Tom Ginsburg (Chicago); Christine Jolls (Yale); Dan Kahan (Yale); John Manning (Harvard), and Pamela Samuelson (Berkeley).

ADDENDUM:  As we have had occasion to note before, there are sometimes surprising errors of omission in who is and is not elected to the AAAS, usually explicable in terms of institutional affiliations or intellectual (sometimes personal) animosities (as in the case of the non-election of most of the major American Legal Realists a half-century ago--Harvard dominated in the Academy then, and Harvar was the bastion of anti-Realist reaction).   While faculty are usually elected later in their careers, it really is quite astonishing at this point not to find all of these fairly senior faculty (60 or older) already elected (this is off the top of my head, and is hardly an exhaustive list; some of the prior omissions were rectified in the interim):   Bernard Black (Northwestern), R.A. Duff (Minnesota), Michael Moore (Illinois), Stephen Perry (Penn), Paul Robinson (Penn), and Larry Sager (Texas), among others.


April 24, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

Kerr & Lessig on the Need to Reform CFAA

Read this and then send it to your elected representatives!


April 24, 2013 in Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Dean Search List Updated

I've posted an update of my annual law school dean search list here.  There isn't any new news, for readers who watch these matters regularly, but I've compiled all the hires - and the new openings - for those who don't. 


April 24, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lateral Hiring List Updated

I've updated my lateral hiring list here.  It includes both junior and tenured hires.


April 23, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Constitutional law scholar Eisgruber named Princeton President

Christopher Eisgruber, the current Provost at Princeton, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, a law professor at NYU for more than a decade, and a leading scholar of constitutional law, especially the law of religious liberty, has been named the new President of his alma mater, Princeton University.


April 21, 2013 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kloppenberg to Lead Santa Clara

University of Dayton law professor Lisa Kloppenberg has been named the new dean of the Santa Clara University School of Law.  Kloppenberg was Dayton's dean from 2001 to 2011. 


April 19, 2013 in Faculty News | Permalink