19 September 2007

UC Irvine Reverses Stupid Move and Rehires Chemerinsky as Dean of Law School

University of California, Irvine, is starting a law school, and they got a bit of a feather in their cap when they got Erwin Chemerinsky as their first dean.

He is a highly respected legal scholar and lawyer, and he was tapped as dean, but the offer was rescinded by the Chancellor, Michael Drake about a week ago.

Since then, this has gotten a lot of publicity and a lot of outrages even from the right wing side of the legal community, and now the decision has been reversed.
According to Chemerinsky, Drake had said he was pulling back the job offer because of pressure from conservatives over his outspoken liberal politics. The chancellor denied it.

In a conference call with reporters, the chancellor and new dean agreed that Chemerinsky would enjoy absolute academic freedom and would continue to write opinion articles on a wide range of issues, not just legal education as Drake suggested last week.

"Chancellor Drake reaffirmed in the strongest possible way the academic freedom that I would have, as all deans and faculty members do," Chemerinsky said. He later noted that he was aware that his role as dean also would require him to build a broad base of support. Before he was ousted, the dean had sought conservatives for some slots on his board of advisors.

Drake declined to discuss his decision to drop Chemerinsky, and he was vague on the reasons behind his turnaround. "Circumstances change; knowledge comes in," Drake said.
I'm fairly sure that when we get to the bottom of this, that we will discover that some of the Governator's conservative appointments to the UC Regents had a hand in this.


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