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

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"Purge at Ave Maria Law?" Article at Inside HigherEd

Here's a very interesting article about the current troubles at Ave Maria School of Law. Some choice excerpts below. (Thank you for your courage, Professor Myers and Professor Safranek.) (Hat tip: AveWatch)

Richard Myers, a professor of law who was also among the original faculty members, said that when professors voted no confidence in the dean last year and disagreed on the move to Florida, retribution started quickly. Myers was removed from his committee chairmanships and replaced with non-tenured faculty members, even though the posts had traditionally gone to senior scholars. His salary was frozen.

Myers strongly rejected the dean’s contention that this is all sour grapes from professors who want to stay in Michigan. "Sometimes it is portrayed as there are a few faculty members who didn't want to move. It's really more of a debate and disagreement about the nature of the school and the role of the faculty and academic freedom," he said. If faculty members can't disagree without fear of being punished in various ways, up to losing tenure, academic freedom doesn't have much value.

. . . .

Myers said that one question the ABA and others should consider is the role of the faculty - in whatever state Ave Maria resides. "Is the school a real academic institution where faculty have a role, or is it run on a corporate, sole proprietorship model, where the school is run from top down and faculty are interchangeable employees?"

Dobranski, the dean, said he couldn't comment on whether faculty members who disagree with him have had their salaries frozen or been removed as committee chairs, saying that those were "internal personnel matters" and that "committee chairs change from time to time."