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

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fire Dobranski!

Dean Dobranski has failed to lead Ave Maria School of Law toward the fulfillment of her mission. We were promised that Ave sought to be a first-rate law school "born from the heart of the Church." (Ex cordia ecclesiae.)

Ave Maria is neither first-rate nor operating in conformance with Catholic Social Teaching.

Much criticism of Dean Dobranski has focused on his failure to lead AMSoL in conformance with the principles of CST: the "governance" issue. People are treated as instruments, the truth is obscured, if not denied (one thinks, for instance, of the failure of the administration to reveal the membership of our Board of Governors), and promises are repeatedly broken.

We now have damning evidence that Dean Dobranski has failed to lead AMSoL toward becoming a first-rate institution. Last year, USNews ranked AMSoL as a fourth-tier law school, the lowest possible ranking. Despite the promise of her early years, the school's objective numbers have fallen to those of a fourth-tier school. And now comes news that St. Thomas, a new Catholic law school in Minnesota, has debuted in the third tier of the USNews rankings. So we know it can be done. But it was not done by AMSoL under Dean Dobranski's leadership.

Instead, under Dobranski, AMSoL is a school in turmoil. Her faculty, students, and alumni have expressed no confidence in him, and two members of her Board of Governors (15%?--We don't know, because we don't know who is on that board) now believe AMSoL is a "failed experiment." Her financial situation is unstable, the day-to-day climate is not conducive to legal scholarship, she is being investigated by the ABA, and her governors, with Dean Dobranski at their head, are attempting to dissolve the school and transfer her assets to a new institution in Florida that seems more related to a speculative real estate venture and a failing university than to her original mission. Her resources, which could and should have gone towards her mission, are instead expended on Tom Monaghan's other projects.

For the sake of Ave Maria School of Law, FIRE DEAN DOBRANSKI!