Scratch Widener Off The List
As things wound out, with Connell being put through some very real paces in vindicating himself and his practice, far beyond rational expectations, one thing became increasingly clear. Whoever was pulling the strings at Widener was nuts.
While lawyers were busily lawyering, a sea change in attitude and mission flowed into the administration of law schools. Some eschewed the dirty notion of teaching students how to practice law. Some eschewed principle despite their flowery mission of "empower[ing] students and alumni as they explore and create careers inspired by passion and rooted in their faith and values....so that they aspire to greatness and flourish with confidence as servant leaders and ethical professionals," and pay their tuition bills.
But no law school to date has gone as far as Windener Law School. David Bernstein at Volokh Conspiracy explains.
The saga of Dean Ammons vendetta against Professor Lawrence Connell, revolving around trumped up charges of harassment and discrimination, gets more and more absurd. Having been almost entirely vindicated by a faculty committee, with the only remaining “charge” that he dared to rebut false accusations against himself publicly, Dean Ammons has recommended that Connell be suspended for a year without pay and be forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Widener’s administration, apparently oblivious to the long-term damage this is doing to the law school’s and university’s reputation, agreed. I hope Connell
sues, and I hope hewins his lawsuit, and wins big. Meanwhile, if any of our readers are considering attending Widener, I recommend looking elsewhere–anywhere else. If Connell can be abused in this way, so can you. H/T Instapundit.
As has already been made clear, the basic concepts of how due process and burden of proof clash with the pedagogical process when they fail to produce the results that conform with children's notion of the correct outcome. But at Widener, it's no longer about some teacup students who take umbrage with a lawprof whose examples fail to conform with their vision of political correctness. Oh, if only it was that simple.
Dean Linda Ammons will not be denied. Nor murdered, whether by ax, gun or strangulation. So what if the faculty committee "adjudicating" his grievous wrongs says nothing bad happened here. And yes, he is guilty of publicly proclaiming that he did nothing wrong, which flies in the face of two new-fangled academic rules, that no one publicly embarrass the school by telling the truth and no one undermine the presumption of guilt.
The guardians of high-minded principle, our law schools, seem to be struggling just a bit in teaching them, adhering to them, even recognizing them, when they get in the way of punishing the people who piss them off.
Ammons not only wants Connell suspended for a year, but wants him sent to her re-education camp where he'll learn to love Ammons' Little Red Book.
Without naming names, because they fear the wrath of the orthodoxy if it came out that they have any unpleasant thoughts, some of my lawprof friends (yes, I have some lawprof friends) tell me that I have no idea how bad the situation in law schools has become. They parse every word they say for fear that it will upset some delicate teacup's politically correct sensibility, and they will be publicly burned at the stake for not adhering to the dogma. The Spanish Inquisition pales in comparison.
Students have become little automatons, spewing Kumbaya, demanding respect and crying whenever there's no one to suckle them. Administrations and professors who embrace the perfect world, where never is heard a discouraging word that doesn't conform to the idealists catechism. There can be no suggestion that any student is unworthy or, oh my, wrong. That would hurt someone's feelings, and conflict with the Academy's mission to make the stupidest feel brilliant.
I see it here, whenever a law student or young lawyer feels empowered to tell experienced lawyers how the world should be and how we've done everything wrong. The days of children being seen but not heard are gone. And the days of a law professor doing his job in a way that makes a teacup tinkle demands psychological treatment.
Bernstein, in an update to his post, does the unthinkable:
UPDATE: I had agreed to participate in a Widener-sponsored project after the committee report was released, which I thought would be the end of the matter. I’ve now sent an email to my contact at Widener, withdrawing. I can’t in good conscience have my reputation associated in any way with Widener Law School.
I would hope that all people of integrity decide to take a stand here, not to lend support to this insanity by contributing, associating, or approving of Widener's, Ammons' or the tide of catering to the politically correct sensibilities of the teacups and their enablers. While there will be some who agree with, and applaud, this insanity, the rest of us need to put on our big boy pants and stand up to this absurdity.
The Academy is out of control, and those in it who disagree have been hiding in the corner for fear that they will be exposed as heretics who sing Kumbaya out of tune. Now that Lawrence Connell is being burned at the stake, and David Bernstein has shown the 'nads to stand up, let's see how many scholars will similarly come forward and reject the Widener way.
You know, better than I, that these schools and your colleagues who drank the kool-aid, are doing damage that is turning higher education into a joke. So, what are you going to do about it?
And if you're thinking of going to law school, your job is easy. Just scratch Widener off the list, like Marquette and St. Thomas. And to tell you the truth, the rest of them are no prize either.