June 02, 2021
UPDATE: Stanford relents. (The Stanford Law Dean has also sent a message to alumni noting that the Law School had nothing to do with this travesty.)
The Stanford Law student responsible for this very funny satire is now under investigation by Stanford, and his graduation is endangered! What an embarrassment for Stanford!
(Thanks to Jeremy Bearer-Friend for the pointer.)
May 27, 2021
May 25, 2021
May 24, 2021
Although the reason given is the historical John Marshall's racist views, I strongly suspect this will also have a positive effect on the school's peer evaluation scores in the USNEWS.COM rankings because of the well-known halo effect of school names on scores (better to be a law school at the "University of Illinois" than a "John Marshall" law school). (Recall the case of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles a few years back, where the loss of the brand known among law professors caused the reputation scores to plunge.)
UPDATE: Derek Muller (Iowa) calls to my attention that the law school already got a huge boost in reputation score from the initial name change; we'll see if this new one has a further effect.
May 21, 2021
Judge at center of U of Toronto hiring scandal found by Judicial Council to have made a "serior error;" judge expresses "remorse"
The Review Panel did find...that it was an error for Justice Spiro to raise such concerns [about the faculty candidate] in the manner he did. The judge properly recognized the mistakes he made and expressed remorse. The Review Panel found this error serious but that it did not warrant removal of Justice Spiro from office.
MOVING TO FRONT FROM MAY 19--AFTER I POSTED THIS ORIGINALLY, YALE REMOVED THE REPORT; A YALE LAW STUDENT KINDLY SUPPLIED AN ALTERNATIVE LINK FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO READ THE REPORT
...and the effect of class background on the student experience. As the report notes near the start, during the 2018-19 academic year,
"Students called out the 'whisper networks' and gamesmanship that funnel prized opportunities, like clerkships and Coker Fellowships, to those under the wings of a few connected faculty. Those networks were exposed for what they truly reward: savvy over skill, and privilege over equity."
May 17, 2021
May 10, 2021
There's an alarmist, and not entirely accurate, report here. I received an anonymous e-mail to the same effect. I do not know who sent it, or if they were even at Northwestern. A few points:
First, there were several faculty on the Dean search committee. The finalists did not, however, meet the full faculty, which is unusual, but also not unheard of at other schools (including other top law schools). Outside Deans (and Presidents and Provosts) are always hired with tenure in the appropriate unit and, more often than not, without doing a job talk. I assume the search committee would have been tasked with making sure candidates were suitable for tenure in the law school and prepared a report to that effect. If not, that would be a violation of normal procedures.
Second, the final candidate, Dean Hari Osofsky of Penn State-University Park, is not a "Critical Race Theory" scholar. (There was another finalist who does work in CRT, who would have been an excellent choice too by the way.) My impression is Professor Osofsky has been a successful and quite capable Dean, which no doubt explains why she was also a finalist for the Presidency at the University of Iowa. (Osofsky was, by the way, previously a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, a top 20ish law school.)
May 04, 2021
The Provost has issued a statement regarding the case we noted previously, that reads in part:
We recently received complaints relating to a post by USD Law Professor Tom Smith on his personal blog concerning the causes of COVID-19. The complaints alleged violations of various university and School of Law policies.
As a threshold matter, we sought to determine whether the blog post at issue was protected by our policy on academic freedom. After a thorough legal review, it was determined that the expression was protected by that policy.
This conclusion in no way amounts to an endorsement by the university of the opinions shared in the blog post.
Happily, the Provost reached the correct conclusion; it should not have taken so long. This is about as easy an academic freedom case as one can imagine.