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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

National Law Journal Article About Ave Maria Controversy

Check out the article in the National Law Journal, "Controversy Escalates Over Mich. Law School's Move." One criticism I have is that the article says that two professors have taken leave of absences. That makes it sound like it was voluntary, instead of what actually happened: two professors being placed involuntarily on leave of absence during their "terminal" year.

Also, the article says "Between 15 and 20 students are leaving the school, according to staff and the dean's office." I don't know if that is accurate based on these reports.

The article also says:
According to Dobranski, a number of factors played into moving the school: Southwest Florida is experiencing a growth in Catholics and an overall economic growth. Also, Naples already has a solid Catholic base, and there's a Catholic school -- Ave Maria University -- in nearby Ave Maria, Fla. The law school has no affiliation with the school, but shares Tom Monaghan, the past owner of Domino's Pizza, as its founder.

In this "list of factors," there is no mention of the projected monetary boon that is supposed to come to the law school because of the real estate venture. I was under the impression that everyone admitted, including the pro-Monaghan crowd, that this monetary factor was primary. Further, the law school is not "near" Ave Maria, Fla., just where there happens to be a university-- isn't the law school ON the university property? And the law school has no affiliation with the university? That's laughable.
Rakes, a partner at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore in Roanoke, Va., noted that when Ave Maria moves to Florida, the school will have to file a notice with the ABA stating that there has been a substantial change in the school. At that time, the ABA will make sure it is still in compliance with ABA standards.

This is contrary to my understanding of how acquiescence works. I was under the impression that a request for acquiescence comes before the move, not after.
Myers, who teaches civil procedure, constitutional law and antitrust law, said his salary was frozen after last year's vote of no confidence. Also, he was removed as chair of the admissions committee.

I've heard about these allegations informally, but it's interesting to see Prof. Myers make these publicly.

HT: commenter "towelie"

UPDATE: Commenter Laura alerts me that Prof. Myers has already publicly talked about the salary freeze and the committee chair removal in the August 9, 2007 Inside Higher Ed article here.