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

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dobranski Interview on Above the Law blog

Above the Law, an irreverent "legal tabloid" (of which I happen to be a big fan), has picked up the story about the Ave Maria Law controversy and interviewed Dean Dobranski. Check out Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Thanks, David, for giving this some exposure! I hope that you are able to follow up on this story with accounts from the many faculty, students, and alumni who have a different version than that of Dobranski.

Also, just reminder to all members, past and present, of the Ave Maria Law community: Sign the petition please!

Here are some gems from the interview. The quotes are Dobranski's:
We have a group of dissident faculty members. What's lost in this picture is that a lot of people are very supportive -- supportive of the Board's process, the Board's responsibility, and the administration of the law school. That does not mean that they all think [the move] is a good idea. The faculty members who are supportive of the Board and the administration may not necessarily want to go to Florida.

In terms of where we are right now, I think the majority of the faculty are not in the dissident camp. We've hired some new people and they are excited about the move. Sometime last year, there might have been a bare majority of people who were opposed to the move.

"Sometime last year, there might have been a bare majority of people who were opposed to the move?" I'm sorry, but that's a falsehood. It is undisputed that there was a majority of faculty who voted no confidence in Dobranski.

Also, use of the term "dissident": Bad form. It conjures up images of "dissident" priests preaching heresy.
We also have a group of people here who have a very different idea of governance from the Board's views, my views, and the ABA's.

Don't put words in the mouth of the ABA. Let them say what their idea of governance is.
[The Board of Governors'] relationship with much of the faculty is excellent. As to the dissident group, I don't think the Board has a bad relationship. I think it's the dissident group having contempt for the Board's decisionmaking process.

Ah, the same old, tired theme: It's not my fault, there's a breakdown; it's the other's fault. I haven't broken communication with the Alumni Association; the Alumni Association has broken communication with me.
When we made the decision, I announced to everyone that everyone was welcome in Florida. We wanted the same faculty and the same staff. I understand that for personal reasons not everyone will be able to do that, especially staff.... But everyone is welcome.

Except Pucillo and Lyons and others like them?
In terms of rising 2Ls, it is not at all uncommon for people who do extremely well to transfer to another law school. So we lose some people who transfer. Having said that, we will probably lose more people than last year, due to the turbulence. Part of this is because we have faculty members who are essentially running a campaign to encourage people to transfer out. It's despicable.

That last part is wholly incorrect. Ask those students who transferred. Did they transfer because they were encouraged to transfer by faculty members? Or did they transfer because of the instability and chaos created by Dobranski?
But people are free to have whatever views they want on the relocation. Just because the board has made a decision doesn’t mean that people can't have differing views.
No member of the faculty, stuff, or student body has ever been or will be punished for expressing his or her views about the Board's decision to relocate to Florida.

I'm not convinced.