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September 28, 2012


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Marcia McCormick

So far not addressed in any of the comments are the normative questions that are not SLU specific here. And Phil, maybe you are suggesting there are some? Dean Clark's resignation and the publicity surrounding the policy proposals to remove tenure across the university at SLU are unusual in their scope and visible-ness.

But while SLU's turmoil is more public, and may differ in terms of degree, there have been plenty of other governance or tenure crises faced by other universities. In the last decade or so, Chicago-Kent, Ave Maria and Cooley have all had very big tenure-denial controversies; Ave Maria, DePaul, the University of Baltimore all had relatively foundation-shaking governance issues; and as Brian Leiter reported, NYU is in the midst of its own brewing crisis. Given the forces we are confronting in higher education and legal education more broadly, these crises are likely to be bigger and more frequent.

So the much bigger question, for which SLU might serve as a useful case study, is, what should faculty members do when faced with what looks like a serious crisis? When is it useful to work within the system and what conditions might be necessary for success? When might the system be so broken that the only hope for solutions come from outside? What conditions are necessary for that strategy to be successful? How do we protect the vulnerable among us? I'm sure there are many more, but these are the questions that keep coming up for me and which few people are addressing.


SLU Law Prof- §III.H.4 para.1 of the 2006 Faculty Manual (as amended), as it pertains to the decision to relocate the Law College. Also, the EEO statement on the first page of the Faculty Manual references a prohibition against discrimination. I would assume losing an EEO court case would constitute a violation of a university requirement that its officers faithfully uphold all university policies. There are members of the Law College faculty who are aware of two cases where this policy has been violated (one adjudicated). Violation of this policy automatically makes all faculty at SLU a member of the 'class'.

SLU Law Grad

SLU Law Grad

Does anyone else notice the complete irony about Biondi's goal to have a "Top 50" university while at the same time dismissing law school rankings?

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