Monday, March 14, 2016

Berkeley law grads, apparently having learned nothing about due process during their legal education, call for ex-Dean Choudhry to be fired from his tenured faculty position

This is really disgraceful for a bunch of alleged adults and lawyers, to call for the firing of a tenured faculty member based on a university investigation and a complaint, the latter of which is obviously not an adequate basis on which to base any conclusions.  I agree that the university investigation should have been sufficient to remove him from his role as the Dean, but the demand that he be fired from Berkeley "in any capacity" is shocking.  (The letter states:  "As long as Choudhry remains at Boalt or the University of California in any capacity, we cannot in good conscience contribute financially to Berkeley Law or to the University."  Ordinarily, everyone would recognize the inappropriateness of alumni making financial threats unless tenured faculty are fired.)

As a law professor in the UC system wrote to me:

Keep in mind we do not know what actually happened.  The Title IX proceeding gives the respondent no procedural rights.  He is not allowed to examine witnesses or to hear their testimony.  Sujit's admission is to violating a policy that did not require a finding that he knew or should have known his conduct was offensive.  The process and findings are confidential because the process is intended to err on the side of the complainant, and to permit quick remediation of the situation.

Was there an offense adequate for the revocation of tenure?  Perhaps, but right now, we have no idea, and the Berkeley law graduates should be embarrassed by their contempt for process and fairness.

ANOTHER:  And now the Chancellor of the UC System, a politician not an academic, has ordered Berkeley to begin proceedings that could lead to dismissal of the former Dean from his tenured faculty position.  At least there will be a process of some kind.

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