December 14, 2018

More on the Kesan case at Illinois

This time in CHE, with additional details about the complainants and Professor Kesan's creepy behavior.   The title of the article suggest something "went wrong," but I confess that's not obvious beyond the fact that it took far too long for the investigation to conclude.   His behavior, which is damning in its own right, doesn't appear rise to the level of "hostile climate" sexual harassment (at least not on the record that is public), as the investigation concluded.   The University could adjust its sexual harassment rules to cover cases like this, but as it is, he was found to have violated other university rules and sanctioned.   Did he reform his behavior subsequently?  That we don't know.

December 14, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 01, 2018

AAUP investigation of Vermont Law School for "eviscerating tenure" could jeopardize Vermont's reaccreditation (Michael Simkovic)

The American Association of University Professors recently authorized an investigation of Vermont Law School following a restructuring that stripped most of Vermont's tenured faculty members of tenure and slashed their pay.  The restructuring was reportedly undertaken without sufficient evidence of financial exigency and did not follow proper procedures.  I've previously noted that if allegations prove true, this restructuring could present challenges for Vermont when it seeks to renew its ABA accreditation because the restructuring may violate ABA standard 405.  A negative report from the AAUP could influence the ABA site visit team and the Section on Legal Education.  Vermont's next site visit is scheduled for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Even without regulatory action, a negative report could severely damage Vermont's academic reputation.  Vermont remains home to well-respected legal scholars, such as Jennifer Taub, but since the restructuring the overwhelming majority of its classes are taught by adjuncts and lecturers.

AAUP's announcement of the investigation appears below:

Continue reading

December 1, 2018 in Faculty News, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Student Advice | Permalink

November 21, 2018

Eleven lateral moves that made law professors take notice during 2017-18

Judging from my inbox and other conversations, these were the lateral moves during 2017-18 that readers thought were most significant, for either the hiring or the losing school, and sometimes both. 

*William Boyd (environmental law, energy law) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of California, Los Angeles.


*Samuel Bray (remedies, property, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Notre Dame.


*Anupam Chander (law & technology, international trade) and Madhavi Sunder (intellectual property, gender & the law), both from the University of California, Davis to Georgetown University.


*Melissa J. Durkee (international law, transnational law, corporate) from the University of Washington, Seattle to the University of Georgia.


*Victor Fleischer (tax, corporate law) from the University of San Diego to the University of California, Irvine.


*Andrew Gold (private law theory, fiduciary law, corporate) from DePaul University to Brooklyn Law School.


*Gillian Hadfield (law & economics, contracts, institutional design, regulation of markets) from the University of Southern California to the University of Toronto.


*Justin McCrary (law & economics, empirical legal studies, corporate) from the University of California, Berkeley to Columbia University.


*Melissa Murray (family law, law & sexuality) from the University of California, Berkeley to New York University.


*Anne Joesph O'Connell (administrative law) from the University of California, Berkeley to Stanford University. 


*Angela Onwuachi-Willig (employment law, family law, civil rights, law & race) from the University of California, Berkeley to Boston University (to become Dean)

November 21, 2018 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

November 16, 2018

UCLA Law Prof Sander sues University of California seeking anonymized admissions records to determine whether the university is still considering race in admissions

IHE has the details.

November 16, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 13, 2018

More on the case of Professor Kesan at the University of Illinois

Blog Emperor Caron has some new details and information.

November 13, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

November 09, 2018

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2018-19

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2019 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in.   (Recent additions are in bold.)  Last year's list is here.  Feel free to e-mail me with news of additions to this list.


*Danielle Citron (privacy, civil rights, freedom of expression, Internet law) from the University of Maryland to Boston University.


*M. Elisabeth Magill (administrative law, constitutional law) from Stanford University to the University of Virginia (to become Provost).


*Jedediah Purdy (property, environmental law, constitutional law) from Duke University to Columbia University.

November 9, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

October 31, 2018

Valparaiso Law School to close

IHE has the details.  Good wishes to the students and the faculty.  Hopefully some other law schools will hire some of the excellent and experienced faculty there.

October 31, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Profession | Permalink

October 30, 2018

Chicago's Martha Nussbaum wins $1 million Berggruen Prize in Philosophy for 2018

Announcement here.

October 30, 2018 in Faculty News | Permalink

October 24, 2018

More on the allegations against Yale's Jed Rubenfeld

A more detailed account from Slate.  This passage sums up the accounts pretty well:

These students, alumni, and faculty all had slightly different reads on exactly how out of line Rubenfeld’s alleged behavior was (and some faculty members had no firsthand knowledge of it at all). Some described Rubenfeld as flirtatious and line-crossing; others called his behavior harassment. The picture we got from these conversations is not one of straightforward abuse but rather a fraught and uncomfortable situation full of insinuation and pushed boundaries that can make learning difficult and has the potential to push women out of the pipeline for the most prestigious and competitive areas of the law. This type of behavior, which is frequently dismissed as “borderline” or “creepy” and not worth making a formal fuss over, can have very real consequences.

If the allegations about this pattern of conduct are confirmed, then Yale would be within rights to fire him after an appropriate process.  This wouldn't be the first time Yale Law has ousted a faculty member over allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

(A sidenote:  the article does wildly overstate how important Supreme Court clerkships are.  The one thing they do guarantee are huge signing bonuses (on the order of 300K these days) from the top law firms!)


October 24, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

October 23, 2018

University of Illinois law professor Jay Kesan found to have violated Univeristy's Code of Conduct, but not to have violated sexual harassment rules

Details of the case, which dates from 2015, are here.  A colleague at Illinois asked me to share a statement issued by the law faculty protesting the insufficient sanctions imposed in this case: Download JOINT STATEMENT OF LAW PROFESSORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

I've never before seen such a damning statement issued by law professors about a colleague's misconduct.


October 23, 2018 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink