Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Michigan Lawyer Sues University of Iowa for "Age Discrimination"
Story here. One suspects there is age discrimination in academic hiring, but just on the paper record there are too many other possible explanations for why Mr. Dobkin was not hired apart from his age (55): law schools, and especially one of Iowa's stature, have a scholarly and research mission, and one might be skeptical that someone in practice for so long is prepared to make the transition to a scholarly career; or perhaps they reviewed the writing of a somewhat scholarly nature that Mr. Dobkin has done and judged it mediocre or worse; or perhaps they were concerned because his academic pedigree is significantly weaker than that of candidates with whom top law schools have ordinarily had success. The university has so many other explanations for why Mr. Dobkin was not interviewed that it's almost inconceivable this lawsuit will yield any remedy for Mr. Dobkin. One he assumes he must know this--or have been so advised by his attorney--and so is pursuing the matter to draw attention to the more general issue about possible age discrimination in academic hiring.