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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

LACRIMOSA DIES ILLA

It has come to my attention that the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors has voted Professor Charles E. Rice off of the Board of Governors. I am confident in saying that most of the AMSOL community--especially the alumni--are royally pissed off (pardon my use of the vernacular). I understand that many letters of support were forwarded to the BoG advocating of behalf of Professor Rice. Reproduced below is the letter/resolution that was passed by the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association. It is my understanding that the Board of the Alumni Association called an emergency meeting to pass this resolution and send this letter to the BoG.

September 24, 2005

Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors
3475 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

Dear Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors:

Over the course of the past several days, we have been inundated with telephone calls and e-mails from alumni within our Ave Maria School of Law family. The calls have universally called for our Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association to become actively engaged in the effort to retain the guidance of Professor Charles E. Rice on the law school's very distinguished Board of Governors.

As an alumni organization that has been, and will remain, committed to the mission of Ave Maria School of Law, our Association has accepted responsibility for assisting the school's student recruiting, career placement, and financial development efforts. In fact, we look forward to celebrating with each of you when, as we hope, later this autumn, Ave Maria is announced as the top law school in the nation for percentage of alumni participating in annual giving.

Today, our desire, as well as our fiduciary obligation, is to become informed and proactive in matters directly impacting our constituency. To this end, we write to respectfully express the collective voice of the overwhelming majority of Ave Maria School of Law alumni who wholeheartedly support and endorse the continued service of Professor Charles Rice as a member of the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors.

Not only has Professor Rice been an exceptional role model for aspiring attorneys, but he has been and continues to be a resource to many of us as we pursue employment, prepare for the bar, and even as we embark upon our chosen professions. His willingness to actively support each and every aspect of our formation and development as principled young lawyers has been invaluable to countless Ave Maria students and graduates. An essential part of Professor Rice's support to us and our alma mater has been as a member of the Board of Governors where he is able to contribute his vast experience in Catholic legal education and his commitment to the Ave Maria mission. Further, we are mindful of the impact a decision to conclude or a failure to renew Professor Rice's tenure of service on the Board may have on our ability to effectively perform our responsibilities in areas of student recruitment, career placement, and alumni giving.

Finally, Professor Rice's outstanding reputation as a legal scholar, retired military officer, and passionate defender of our Faith and freedom requires that we unambiguously call on each of you to renew his term of service on the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors.

Sincerely,

Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association


Apparently, the letter (and others like it) fell on deaf ears. The BoG voted 12-2 against retaining Prof. Rice. Ultimately, it seems that the law school is turning out to be a "sole proprietorship." The major constituencies are not being listened to. It is time to tell certain individuals that the institution is not one man's (or several men's) individual project. All of us have a stake.

It is time for an independent Alumni Association! It is time for AMSOL to wake up and smell the coffee. A dark day indeed.

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