Defending patently false statements made by the administration, Conway stated on national television last week that they were simply offering “alternative facts.” It didn’t take long after that for sales of George Orwell’s novel 1984 to skyrocket . . . .
One doesn’t need to look to 1984 to imagine what an “alternative fact”- filled administration might produce. Dangerous "alternative facts" have been the norm in anti-abortion advocacy for decades.
In my last post, I incorrectly reported that up to two-thirds of Charlotte Law Faculty had been terminated, based on early reports from other media sources. I have now had the opportunity to gather more reliable information, and can report that just under half of the instructional faculty were terminated, in what the school has described as a “reduction in force.”
In all, it appears that 18 of 39 teaching faculty members were terminated. In addition, the Associate Dean of Library & Information Services and the Director of Academic Success were axed. Disturbingly, for a school comprised almost entirely of high risk students and with an extremely poor and declining bar passage rate, two of four academic success lecturers were terminated, and two of three bar passage lecturers were also fired. The firings were across all ranks, including two of four full professors, four of ten associate professors, and seven of sixteen assistant professors. The school also fired three full-time clinical faculty members, denying their requests for a reasonable opportunity to wind down their many active cases, placing them in a difficult ethical position.
The faculty is not only much smaller now, but is substantially less diverse, as the firings fell disproportionately on women and minority members of the faculty. Of the 18 members of the faculty fired, fully half were minorities and 11 were women. Overall 9 of the 18 faculty members of color were fired (50%) and 11 of the 18 women faculty members were fired (61%), while just 3 of 14 white men were fired (21%). Dean Jay Conison, another white male, did not fire himself, either.
As disturbing as these numbers are, the way in which the firings was carried out is perhaps even more disturbing. The fired faculty members, including some with up to four and half years remaining on their employment contracts, were given less than two weeks notice until the termination of their pay and benefits, and were reportedly offered only one month’s pay, with no benefits, in severance, even for professors with many years of service to the school. The receipt of this severance was conditioned on the signing of a general release of all claims against the school and agreeing to a non-disparagement clause and other terms designed to prevent the faculty members from airing the school’s dirty laundry (and there is plenty of it, trust me).
Charlotte School of Law has characterized the firings as a reduction in force, but multiple faculty members have reported to me that the administration did not comply with the contractual requirements for declaring a reduction in force, making the legality of the terminations questionable, to say the least.
Many of the faculty members are consulting with counsel and weighing their legal options. Expect multiple lawsuits by the faculty in addition to the multiple lawsuits already filed by students.
The University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, has a current opening for a tenure track Associate or Full Professor of Law. The law school is focused on hiring an individual with experience teaching first-year Torts and associated upper level classes. Other duties will include scholarly research and service activities for the School of Law. Minimum qualifications include a JD degree or international law degree, tenure track teaching experience, and a distinguished academic record. Preferred qualifications include holding a law license and having two years of practical legal experience. The law school is hoping to find a candidate to begin either in the Fall of 2017 or Spring of 2018.
A complete position announcement may be viewed at the University Human Resources' job portal: http://jobs.uark.edu/postings/18286
The University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, located in the northwest corner of the state, is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University welcomes applications without regard to age, race/color, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity. Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Applicants with questions may contact Professor Steve Clowney, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stanford Center for Law and History, directed by Professor Amalia Kessler, brings together faculty and students from across Stanford University’s many schools and departments (and beyond) to participate in a broad range of conferences, workshops, and lectures devoted to examining the multifaceted interrelationships between law and history (without geographic, temporal, or other subject-area limitations).
The Goal: This fellowship is intended for people who have completed (or will soon complete) their training in law and history and who seek to pursue an academic career at the intersection of the two fields.
The Fellowship: The Stanford Center for Law and History is a residential fellowship that provides an opportunity to conduct research in the dynamic environment of Stanford University. We prefer two-year fellowships to help the fellow complete a significant body of independent scholarship, but we are willing to consider one-year terms. We expect that fellows will dedicate most of their time to pursuing their proposed research projects but will also devote some time to organizing and implementing other Center activities, including an ongoing workshop series and an annual conference. Fellows are encouraged to become part of a lively law-school-wide community of individuals with an interest in academia by attending weekly faculty lunch seminars and by participating in activities with the other fellows at Stanford Law School to learn more about one another’s scholarship and about academic life more generally. In addition, fellows are encouraged to attend and participate in the broad range of lectures and workshops available within the broader university, including inter alia, the History Department and the Stanford Humanities Center.
For the 2017-2018 fellowship, we will provide a workspace, a competitive salary, and a generous benefits package. Applicants who have completed (or are soon to complete) both a J.D. and a Ph.D in history are strongly preferred.
The Application Process: All applicants should apply through the Stanford Careers website, Job Number 73767: https://stanfordcareers.stanford.edu/job-search?jobId=73767, and should include the following: (1) a CV; (2) a sample of academic writing; (3) a research proposal of no more than five double-space pages (briefly outlining past work but focused primarily on research to be undertaken during the fellowship); and (4) official transcripts of all academic work pursued in college, as well as in graduate programs. In addition, (5) applicants should provide two letters of recommendation, to be emailed directly by the recommenders themselves to Molly Pahkamaa at email@example.com.
All applications should be submitted no later than Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
The University at Buffalo School of Law invites applications for the position of Lecturer in Law in its Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research (LAWR) Program. The LAWR Program provides intensive skills training to first-, second-, and third-year law students with a strong emphasis on small-group and individual learning. This position involves a full-time 12-month University appointment for an initial period of two years, beginning in the summer of 2017, with an assumption that at least one subsequent three-year appointment will follow. The possibility of renewing these appointments after the initial five-year period also is assumed. One or two positions will be filled, at a salary of $60,000 per year. Applications will be accepted until the position or positions have been filled.
While students are encouraged to promote diverse political points of view, and we encourage conversation and debate on all topics, I cannot support an organization whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country, when these goals clearly conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the University.
There is perhaps no more complex topic than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it is a topic that often leads to polarization rather than dialogue. The purpose of the organization as stated in the proposed club constitution points toward that polarization. Specifically, the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel presents a barrier to open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding.
As a private institution, Fordham is not bound by the First Amendment, but the restriction on students' associations certainly seems to violate general principles of academic freedom, including the Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students, which has been endorsed by the AAUP, Association of American Colleges and Universities, the National Student Association, and other organizations, and which provides:
Students bring to the campus a variety of interests previously acquired and develop many new interests as members of the academic community. They should be free to organize and join associations to promote their common interests. . . .
Students and student organizations should be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express opinions publicly and privately. They should always be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the institution. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and the larger community that in their public expressions or demonstrations students or student organizations speak only for themselves.
Members of the Fordham faculty have submitted a petition seeking revocation of the decision and immediate approval of the SJP application. Of particular significance is this paragraph:
Those of us signing this petition have a range of opinions on issues related to Israel and Palestine, and on the best approach to addressing those issues. Some of us firmly oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS); some of us strongly support it; some of us hold other views. But we all agree that this decision violates basic principles that are essential to the kind of university Fordham purports to be. Students' freedom of speech and freedom of association, including the freedom to advocate for a cause, are central to academic freedom. And academic freedom is a value we treasure as faculty members.
In addition, Palestine Legal has submitted a lengthy letter to the Fordham administration on behalf of SJP, summarizing (in its view) the extended process that led to the denial of recognition. The letter argues that Fordham has "betrayed principles of free speech" and that "the students interested in starting SJP were delayed over a year, interrogated, railroaded and ultimately censored because some students and faculty disagree with SJP’s viewpoint supporting Palestinian rights." It also raises the possibility of litigation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and consequent loss of federal funding, due to discrimination based on national origin.
There is, of course, a certain irony to SJP's academic freedom claims, given the organization's own commitment to the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. SJP claims the right of "free inquiry" for itself, but it would deny all other Fordham students the right to hear speakers sponsored by, say, Hebrew University or the Technion. And it extends beyond boycott advocacy. SJP chapters at other campuses, including UC Irvine and Loyola Chicago, have been disciplined for disrupting Israeli speakers, which is a tactic that the Fordham chapter has not (to my knowledge) disavowed.
Nonetheless, academic freedom and free speech principles exist for the protection of everyone, including those who do not adhere to the principles themselves. The Fordham SJP chapter ought to have been granted official status without prior restraint. Disruptive conduct, if any, could be disciplined after the occurrence.
The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law invites applications for a visiting assistant professor position for 2017-18. The position would primarily involve teaching courses in the Health Law curricula and participation in the scholarly and student-centered activities organized by the law school’s Hall Center for Law and Health.
Applicants should indicate what Health Law courses they could offer and any additional courses they would be interested in teaching.
Please submit a letter of interest, a cv, and a list of three references to: Vice Dean Antony Page, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law at firstname.lastname@example.org and Professor Nicolas Terry, email@example.com. The closing date for applications is Friday, February 24, 2017.
We are committed to achieving excellence through intellectual diversity and strongly encourage applications from persons of color, women, persons with disabilities, the LGBT community, veterans, and members of other groups that are under-represented on university faculties. The law school is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution and offers domestic partner benefits.