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

Friday, December 21, 2007

It Was Our Honor, Colonel!!

Professor Falvey Resigns!

The Ave Maria School of Law has undergone more than its fair share of sad events over the course of its infancy. We've seen ruthless oustings and firings, harm to the community, and the undoing of much of the gains from the first several years of the school's existence.

Today marks a very sad event in the seemingly never-ending chain of problems at the Ave Maria School of Law. Professor Joseph Falvey has resigned his position at Ave Maria.

Those who know Colonel Falvey know of his St. Joseph-like demeanor, as well as the fact that he is the very embodiment of St. Francis' words, "Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words." Colonel Falvey demonstrates - always - a quiet integrity and an adamantine moral center. From the way he conducted himself as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs - doing the heavy lifting to help the school achieve accreditation and develop a top-notch academic program - to his silent carrying of the many crosses that come with helping create a brighter future for foster children, Colonel Falvey exemplifies the type of professor that Ave Maria should seek to keep in its fold at any cost.

Colonel Falvey has served his country bravely, even leaving his post at the Ave Maria School of Law for a time after September 11. His trial experience and skill were a tremendous asset to the law school, and those it seeks to send out into the world to be competent lawyers. More importantly, his very example of Christian living - as faithful Catholic, dedicated father, and trusted leader - was itself a tremendous gift to the Community, a community that seeks to be leaven in the legal world.

I will not spend time speculating about the reasons for Colonel Falvey's departure. Suffice it to say that, if the vision our Founding Faculty signed on to was still in place, I doubt he would be going anywhere.

There may be, today, obstinate and obtuse members of the law school's governing body who are relieved. They are likely relieved that they need not develop a contrived reason to oust Colonel Falvey from the faculty. These may be the same people who, when Colonel Falvey resigned as Dean of Academic Affairs, thought it was "no big loss." Make no mistake, however. The gains and successes of the law school's early years would not have been so great were it not for Colonel Falvey's unwavering leadership and ability. His resignation says quite a bit about the direction of the school.

Every student who today loses another opportunity to learn from a great professor and man - the list of such lost opportunities stretching back to Professor Rice's removal - has just been cheated unfairly by those who refuse to live out their Christian obligations toward their brothers and sisters in Christ.

We wish you every blessing and success in the next chapter of your life, Colonel Falvey. You have been a great example to all of us, and you will be missed at Ave Maria. Thank you for all you have done for the law school and for each of us and our families.