Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wanted: dean for new law school

I don't get this. Last week, Erwin Chermerinsky was hired to be the inaugural dean of UC-Irvine's law school, which will open in 2009. A week later, he got sacked.

Who in the academic world does not know that Erwin Chermerinsky is a left-wing law professor? And how can opposition to Chermerinsky from conservatives on the university's board of regents lead to his firing? The notion does not make sense -- rightists on the board should know fully how academic freedom in this country is endangered by radical left-wing domination of the academy, respect the principle of academic freedom, know enough about Chermerinsky to understand he's a leftist but not someone who would squelch opposing views, and certainly have no fear of installing a dean with left-wing views when that dean has Chermerinsky's high standing in the profession. Unless Chermerinsky had detailed to the board his plan for strict speech and anti-harrassment codes, his desire to hire disciples of Stephen Reinhardt, Catherine MacKinnon, and H. Lee Sarokin and delineated his intent to discriminate against certain classes of student, there seems no reason to revoke the job for political reasons.

What a bad call.

Then again, it's a board of regents -- they often do not make sense.

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