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June 17, 2011

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AnonProf

Wow. This is a new low. I hate to hear that Montana is that kind of school (although I appreciate the warning).

AnonVAP

Natelson may very well have been denied emeritus because he was conservative. It's difficult to know. But what I always find funny about conservatives is once they hear a fellow conservative claim that their politics was a reason for negative treatment against them, they believe it almost reflexively. But when a racial minority or a woman complains of negative treatment because of race or gender, conservatives are quick to assert that the minority or female in question is wrong. Very odd! Perhaps conservatives should be more sympathetic with other groups.

Calvin Massey

AnonVAP: When the Montana Law faculty refused to permit Natelson to teach Con Law the university administration eventually concluded that the action was taken out of ideological opposition to Natelson and that reason was insufficient. So it is not just speculation that the symbolic denial of emeritus status is rooted in dislike of Natelson's politics. As for retribution against people on the basis of race or sex, it is equally repulsive and also illegal. Do you have a case in mind?

Roy Mustang

Not a very deep thinker, are you AnonVAP?

UNLV Law Prof

I really hope Rob sues the University -- this kind of disgusting behavior should not be tolerated.

Gareth

What's really interesting is that anon and sundry other commentators wherever this issue has been mentioned, all "know" so much about conservatives, quite remarkable how this sub-species seems to be so well undstood, and equally how it marches in lockstep as opposed to the free thinking individualist of the left. My personal observation is that left leaning types spend a lot of time projecting their opinions, fears and beliefs onto these mythical conservatives.

AnonVAP

Calvin Massey: Just because Natelson was denied the opportunity to teach a course because of his politics in the past does not mean that in this specific instance he was denied emeritus because of his politics. Do you have some sort of proof in this specific instance?

And regarding a case I have in mind, my statement was based on my observations of conservative responses whenever a minority or a woman complains of discrimination. For instance, whenever a black person claims that they were the victims of racism, they are invariably shouted down for "playing the race card" by conservatives.

Binky Griptight

Do they hand out prizes for being collegial? For being nice and helping out when asked? Or, do you give emeritus status to pompous, self-obsessed asses?

Just Me

Natelson (the subject of this post) and Burnham (who has accepted at Gonzaga) were two of Montana's most productive faculty members. Both are conservatives, or at least not lefties. Their departures are big losses for Montana, whether the university and faculty appreciate that or not. The state university community should remember that crassly ideological behavior is an open invitation for a legislature's retaliation, particularly in an era of cost cutting.

wondering

Question: How typical is it for a law school to have a faculty vote on whether a colleague becomes "emeritus"?

Calvin Massey

Wondering: So far as I know, it is highly unusual for emeritus status to be subjected to a faculty vote. At most law schools it is an automatic honorific for a retiree. It costs the school virtually nothing but enables the retiree to stay connected by, for example, keeping an e-mail account and access to electronic legal data bases.

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