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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Absurdity Must Be Overwhelming

Given this year's history of the Ave Maria School of Law, it's surprising just how long it took for a Board member other than Charlie Rice to make a realistic public comment about the situation.

Consider the unfolding events:

2003: Monaghan presents his story about Florida and shows architectural renderings of the Florida law school at a presentation in the law school library. Dean "No Confidence" announces that the law school is not moving (ABA accreditation is pending is why). Open criticism and announcements of Monaghan's plans are struck down immediately.

At some point earlier, Dean "No Confidence" was made a Director of the Florida-based university.

Early 2004: Some grumblings appear in public. Vast majority of AMSOL folks are calling the people pointing at the stink pile reactionary. Early warnings of Monaghan being fixated on move and warnings that he will destroy people in his way is regarded as conspiratorial and possibly cause for psychoactive drugs administration.

Late 2004: Enrollment is high for the law school, things seem well while the public message from Dean No Confidence is we won't consider moving at least until after accreditation and only then if feasible.

Early 2005: Public criticism of the now realized pending move is generally disregarded as overreactionary and alarmist. Some sentiment is changing, however. Open discussions about possible Monaghan strategy begins to spread.

Open speculation that Charlie Rice is gonna be whacked from the Board.

Late 2005: ABA confers full accreditation on AMSOL. Dean "No Confidence" begins to shift his rhetoric towards the move. Charlie Rice was meanwhile attempting to avert the eventual open mess. Public criticism of the problem focuses on Monaghan and his likely methods.

Dec 8 2005: Rice has been whacked from the Board. Rice takes title "Gubernatus Ejectus".

Shortly thereafter, Board of Governors suspends term limits.

Early 2006: Rhetoric about move has totally changed. Alumni Board, which is composed of alumni who were well-regarded as "company people" (just like two members of the current board enjoy), is frustrated with new rhetoric and typical stall tactics being employed. Dysfunctional communication methods of "NC" Dobranski seem to be the root cause.

Rumors circulate that a large number of students are planning to jump ship.

Accounts pass between alumni that potential students are not even considering AMSOL because of what they saw happen to AMC, and the absence of assurances from the AMF and AMSOL Board of Governors that the same will not happen to AMSOL.

where is the Board of Governors?

Apr 10 2006: Alumni Board passes vote of no confidence in Dean NC Dobranski.

Apr 18 (or so) 2006: AMSOL Faculty pass a vote of no confidence in Dean NC Dobranski.

Rumors allegedly leaking from Board of Governors that AMSOL will move, in 3 to 5 years.

May 10 2006: Dean NC Dobranski says incoming class will graduate in Michigan. Incoming class was notably missing several people known to alumni who purposefully chose law schools other than AMSOL because of pending doom signaled by AMC fiasco.

Open discussion among general public about the transparency of such a maneuver.

At some point in here, Judge James Ryan resigned from the AMSOL Board. This is a neutral event.

Aug 13 2006: Dean NC Dobranski fires Rice, or rather "doesn't renew his contract".

AMSOL ships Rice's personal effects to him in boxes, treating him like a criminal.

Aug 22 2006: Alumni Board reaffirms no confidence vote, adding language specifically condemning disposal of the erstwhile Board member Rice.

Aug 30 2006: Student attrition in 08 class (incoming 2Ls) is significantly higher than ever -- easily double digits -- worse, it's a considerable portion of the top of the class. Voting with the feet, it might as well be a "no confidence" vote by the students.

Meanwhile, two members of the Alumni Board seem convinced that there is no problem.

Where is the AMSOL Board of Governors? Where is the exercise of their diligence?

Faculty: no confidence
Alumni: no confidence
Students: no confidence
Incoming students: no confidence

That leaves the Board of Governors and Tom.

In contrast, Oct 20 2003: the MSU administration has opened a full investigation into their Dean on account of a single faculty vote of no confidence that did not list reasons.

Unfortunately for Tom, he praised us as the cream of the crop, and recruited us as such, but he doesn't want to listen to our advice, the people who do owe him in charity the duty to tell the truth.

Finally, today, after all of this, Bradley makes the obvious statement, "this is ruining our lives." Well, pardon my French, but no shit Sherlock. We've been telling you that for at least three years. Not just your lives, but ours (the faculty, the alumni, and the student's) too. Nonetheless, I'm glad he finally arrived at some modicum of reality. My hope is that although she avoided it kicking and screaming, Ms. O'Bierne has figured out that she's been routing her own credibility as well. After all, AMSOL recruited and obtained a significant portion of the small target audience of her articles and we talk to people and they talk. It was only a matter of time before people not connected to the school readily saw the absurdity of this mess.

Note this well: Given that Bradley is finally open about it, and given that he was silent through so much mess, I can only assume that the prayers are working, or he saw some more evidence than any of us even have... hmmm, perhaps the Falvey Report?

I suspect that the weight of evidence in the AMSOL case far overwhelms that in the MSU case, and the inaction by the Board of Governors in the AMSOL case should cause a reasonable person in the position of a Board of Governor to use far stronger language than "ruin".

Now, while there is still a chance, the remaining Board members need to halt the madman.

It's ok, call him a lunatic, we all know he's one.

Stop the partial birth abortion of our law school.