Phi Beta Cons


The unnecessary law school at Irvine fires a dean before it hires him:

One week after signing a contract to become the inaugural law dean at the University of California at Irvine, Erwin Chemerinsky had a personal visit from the man he expected to be his new boss. The chancellor didn’t come to North Carolina, where Mr. Chemerinsky is a law and political-science professor at Duke University, to talk about Mr. Chemerinsky’s plans for creating the new law school. He came to retract the offer because, Mr. Chemerinsky said, of the professor’s liberal political views.
“He told me he was withdrawing the offer because I was too politically controversial, that I’d be a lightning rod for conservatives,” said Mr. Chemerinsky, a nationally prominent constitutional-law professor whose hiring had been seen by many as a coup for the fledgling law school. …
“I’m sad and angry. A job I was very excited about was taken away because of the views I’ve expressed,” he said. “It’s almost McCarthyism. It shouldn’t be happening.”

Interesting point:

John C. Eastman, law dean at Chapman University, which, along with the University of California at Irvine, is in Orange County, is a conservative scholar who has been debating Mr. Chemerinsky weekly for the past seven years on a nationally syndicated radio talk show. He also thinks the university blundered by yanking Mr. Chemerinsky’s contract.
“Erwin and I disagree on just about everything, but when people were saying I was too conservative to be a good dean, he came to my defense,” he said, adding that his liberal counterpart has a history of being open to opposing viewpoints.
“I understand internal politics, but usually you vet those things before, rather than after, you sign a contract,” Mr. Eastman said.

Inside Higher Ed has more, including comments from upset conservatives.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


The Latest