In the designs of Providence, there are no coincidences. I thought of this truth when I received the following email (it was authored by Professor Phil Pucillo and sent to the whole law school):
Tomorrow, June 30, marks Steve Safranek's 47th birthday. In light of the occasion, I wanted to share a few sentences from a beautiful tribute to Steve that was recently authoried by a member of Ave Maria's Class of 2007:
In my years as a student at Ave Maria, Professor Safranek taught me more than contracts or how to create a law, he taught me personal integrity and what it means to be a Catholic. [...] If we are a different law school to educate a different kind of lawyer, then we should have a different kind of professor. That different kind of professor is Professor Safranek.
Please join me in wishing Steve a very happy birthday.
On June 30 the Roman Calendar commemorates the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. This takes on added significance when we consider the tumult at the law school and the fact that Professor Safranek seems to be one of the first casualties (along with Professor Rice) of the diseased governance. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to Professor Safranek than the words of this student of the class of '07. Cheers Professor Safranek on your 47th!
(N.B. Lest anyone think that Professor Safranek is perfect, he's not. He stinks at Monopoly!)
Much of the problem with the controversies surrounding our beloved alma mater have to do with communication. Apparently, from the perspective of the Board of Governors and Dean Dobranski, we alumni plebians just don't merit information about the goings on of our law school and are routinely told to shut-up and be good little boys and girls--even amidst that which has all the trappings of institutional suicide. We here at FUMARE have always held the position that individuals can make up their own minds as to what side to choose in this battle. We have continually found it troubling and goofy that our opposition takes the opposite approach (e.g, "There is no Falvey Report!")
Thus, in the spirit of oppenness and in the interest of getting ALL information out there to our beloved readers, we commend to you "INCENSE: An Independent Weblog of the Alumni & Supporters of the Many Good Works of the Ave Maria Foundation." This is an interesting site which seeks to be a counter to the illustrious, popular and ever-thought provoking FUMARE (evidenced by the name, of course). While INCENSE has not been around as long as FUMARE and it surely has some growing pains to overcome, I'm sure that it promises to be as informative and entertaining as FUMARE but from a different point of view.
It is fair to say that blogging is an art: FUMARE is like Michelangelo and INCENSE is like my 2 year old--struggling, but with enough effort can one day achieve greatness! So check out INCENSE, gang, read what they have to say and be of good cheer!
(P.S. INCENSE guys--you're welcome for the plug! Now your site will get some traffic and stem the tide of horrible press generated by FUMARE. Good luck!)
Professor Stephen Safranek, one of the founding faculty members of Ave Maria School of Law, is impressed at how quickly the Law School has progressed from inspiration to reality. In fact, he marvels that, less than three years after the idea of a new law school was pitched to Tom Monaghan, Ave Maria is housed in a beautifully renovated building and is now in its second year of classes. In the fall of 1998, he recalls, "a group of us thought it was an opportune time to develop a proposal for a unique law school. It was truly different in that this law school was to be founded on the principles of natural law, and we would bring in the Catholic intellectual tradition wherever it was relevant and important." The group contacted Monaghan, received a call back and made its presentation.
In that same publication, Mr. Thomas S. Monaghan himself recognized that "a small group of legal professionals ... initiated Ave Maria School of Law." Professor Safranek was a member of that same small group of founding faculty. Monaghan went on to write "It's no coincidence that the founding faculty are all committed Catholics, firmly grounded in moral theology, and steeped in a rich Catholic intellectual heritage."
That's some high praise from Tom! It's a shame that Mr. Monaghan's esteem of Professor Safranek has dropped so low since that time.
"Is it my place to say 'good' to the State's sickness? Can I help my King by giving him lies when he asks for truth? Will you help England by populating her with liars?" --Thomas More in the Hall of Westminster on trumped-up charges of High Treason, A Man for All Seasons
More information as it becomes available...
UPDATE: It has been confirmed. Dean Bernard Dobranski has initiated termination proceedings against founding and tenured Professor Stephen Safranek.
Once again, the Dean and President of Ave Maria School of Law has exacerbated an already volatile situation by this most recent action. The highest paid Dean in the country is threatening a superb Professor, his wife and their 7 children with unemployment. Will the Dean let us know the grounds for this action? Probably not. He will likely say that the "tone" and "spirit" of the question is inflammatory and not conducive to civil discourse. No appeals to Christian charity, so-called, or civil discourse will erase the fact that there is a festering sore that is infecting the body of Ave Maria School of Law. Dobranski is that sore.
One of FUMARE's tipsters told me that Monaghan was profiled in this month's GQ. Not really being a fan of the magazine (I generally am of the opinion that it is for men who like to smell prettier than women or for men who shave their legs) I hesitantly decided to check it out.
The first thing that caught my eye was the article title on the cover: "What the Well Dressed Man Will Be Wearing This Fall." My first thought was Mr. Monaghan's expertise in dressing for success was not limited to the board room or the executive suite...no it extended even to autumn tones, especially in sunny Florida. Surely this was the article our tipster was speaking of! Unfortunately I was disappointed. Rather, the article was about Hail Mary Town.
We all know abortion is evil. We probably all pray a decade here and there; maybe we donate to a local crisis pregnancy center. But our hands and feet—Christ's hands and feet as Bl. Mother Teresa describes them—are often idle as the unborn are slaughtered. Few of us take a stand.
On Monday, June 25 (tomorrow!), at 5:30 Central Time, EWTN will air beingHuman, a pilot on grassroots pro-life efforts. The pilot hears from four ordinary people—a businessman, a student, a mother, a lawyer—whose resistance to controversy was overcome by Christ's call. Each is now active in their local organization's Stand & Pray effort. If the pilot is successful (read: if viewers contact EWTN and voice interest), a series will be commissioned to highlight local efforts across the country in quasi-documentary format.
If each of these ordinary people can find the courage and the conviction, we can find the resolve to finally Stand & Pray.
David Bereit, a noted pro-life leader who spoke at AMSL in May, was so successful on the local level that Gloria Feldt, Planned Parenthood’s past president, described Bryan, Texas as the “most anti-choice place in America.” Those efforts have come to include the 40 Days for Life, which is set to take place simultaneously in communities across the nation this fall. Listen in on the planning session that took place this Thursday to learn more.
Dear Scholar and Martyr, it was not the King of England but you who were the true Defender of the Faith. Like Christ unjustly condemned, neither promises nor threats could make you accept a civil ruler as head of the Christian Church. Perfect in your honesty and love of truth, grant that lawyers and judges may imitate you and achieve true justice for all people. Amen.
Many students of our esteemed Prof. Rice will be familiar with Boobus Americanus Naturalis as this species is known to flourish around the parking lots of malls and Wal Mart stores.
However, these days there is growing competition from a new species. This species has the distinguishing feature of having evolved beyond possessing a conscience, having awareness of others as persons and taking action based on any rational good.
Be extremely careful when spotting one of these species as they are prone to irrational acts of violence for no particular reason.
If you're at all like me, then God help you, but also, then you have some money in your pocket that would have gone to our beloved alma mater, but that you've withheld until things stabilize there. (And by "there", I mean Ann Arbor, natch.) One thing you could do with the cash is buy me a drink, and keep buying me drinks until someone explains to me the liquor laws governing MD, VA, and DC-the Washington metropolitan area-and tells me where I can find a good beer barn with Fuller's London Pride Pale Ale and that stuff that the Conservative Princess recommended to me last summer.
Another thing you could do is contribute to the
Katherine Ernsting Legal Fund PO Box 3520 Ann Arbor, MI 48106
For some reason, they want checks made out to "Katherine Ernsting c/o Lauren Hill", which I suppose is either an inside joke or a coincidence. I hope it's an inside joke. I love inside jokes. I'd like to be a part of one some day. Which is funny, but not nearly as good as "God, beer me strength!" Oh, and the memo line should say "Legal Expense Fund".
Avewatch has the details. Maybe someone could provide a phone number to make sure that this checks out.
Anyways, I think it would be funny to send checks that would have gone to T$M to this defense fund, instead. I guess it's sort of my first inside joke. Thanks God!
UPDATE!!! Sorry, that's "Legal EXPENSE Fund, not "Defense" fund. And checks should be payable to "Katherine Ernsting c/o Lauren Hill". I've made the corrections above. I have confirmation that this is totally legit, not that I ever doubted it. As the comments inform me, Lauren Hill is a good woman and friend of Kate's. I was just making a lame joke re Lauren Hill of The Fugees, The Misedukation of Lauren Hill, and denouncing the pope fame. Anything for a The (US) Office reference. Just go to avewatch to see this done much better. Thanks.
I'm not a regular watcher of American Idol, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and all the other competitions shows that glut the tube. I consider myself too dignified to stoop down to a pop culture phenomenon that ridicules absurd characters who are delusional to think they can make it to Hollywood and that showcases a bunch of Britney Spears-wannabes.
But there is a implicit foundation to these shows which is wholesome: an inherent recognition that there exists the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. No matter how much a performer relies on glitz, if the performer does not have true talent, the audience sees through the outward appearance and the performer fails. If the performer is truly good and demonstrates truly beautiful art, the audience generally recognizes and honors the performer.
That is what recently happened in Britain, on Britain's Got Talent, the British version of a glorified talent show. In an incredible Cinderella story, Paul Potts, a pudgy, insecure 36-year-old cell phone salesman and amateur opera singer stunned the judges in his first audition and proceeded to capture the hearts of the audience throughout the competition.
Here is Paul Potts's first audition. Be sure to check out the reactions of judges Simon Cowell (a scathing, acerbic judge on American Idol) and Piers Morgan (an acerbic, scathing judge on America's Got Talent), as they go from disdain to disbelief. Sit down without distractions, turn up the volume, and I think your soul might be touched. I was, and I don't even like opera!
Funny... the New York Times thinks that Ave Maria University has a law school and that its law graduates are being recruited by the Department of Justice:
Figures provided by the [Department of Justice] show that from 2003 through 2006, there was a notable increase of hirings from religious-affiliated institutions like Regent University and Ave Maria University. The department hired eight from those two schools in that period, compared to 50 from Harvard and 13 from Yale.
Dean Dobranski, get Robert Falls on this right away! You know that Ave Maria University doesn't have a law school! I'm expecting a public correction in the New York Times soon. Thank you.
The New York Times article is the subject of a Volokh Conspiracy post here, with some interesting debate in the comments about the value of religious-based law schools. Of course, no one over at the Volokh Conspiracy caught the glaring mistake by the New York Times, even though Volokh Conspiracy commenters are, as a general rule, well-educated and intelligent legal professionals. If they don't know the difference between Ave Maria University and Ave Maria School of Law, who does?
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.
This amazing picture has drawn a lot of comments from readers of the Nashville paper, The Tennessean. Here is a poignant letter from James Drescher. I hope all FUMARE's readers will profit from it, especially as we recall the merciless enemy we face--recently stepping up intimidation and murder of Catholics in the Middle East and innocents everywhere.
The Tennessean's April 5 photograph of young Christian Golczynski accepting the American flag from Marine Lt. Col. Ric Thompson is one of the most moving and emotion provoking images I have ever seen.
My wife and I attended funeral services for Christian's father, Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski, on April 4, along with our six year-old son, dozens of Marines, and several hundred others who came to pay tribute to this fallen hero.
As one would expect, many of your readers were touched by this incredible picture. Staff Sergeant Golczynski had previously served one full tour in Iraq. Shortly before his death on March 27 he wrote to his family that he had volunteered to do this a second time due to our deep desire to finish the job we started. In his letter he said, "We fight and sometimes die so that our families don't have to." Tragically, Staff Sergeant Golczynski had only two weeks remaining on his second tour. We look at the photograph of Christian every day. It is displayed prominently in our home. Our hearts ache for Christian and for all those who have lost loved ones in this controversial conflict.
Our nation is at a historical crossroads. Do we call an end to the struggle in Iraq or press on? Staff Sergeant Golczynski eloquently told his son how he felt about not giving up. Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us in this man's life and the choices he made. He was undeniably a man of tremendous courage and conviction. America must now choose whether to complete the job.
When looking at the face of Christian Golczynski I am reminded that doing what is right is not always easy and doing what is easy is not always right. Christian's dad knew that too.
If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true. If, on the other hand, it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it. . . . The most passionate advocates of evolutionary theory offer a vision of man as a kind of historical accident. That being the case, many believers - myself included - reject arguments for evolution that dismiss the possibility of divine causality.
I don't see anything objectionable in Brownback's statement and I think that Brownback has the proper perspective on evolution. However, Brownback has gotten a lot of criticism from Catholics for his statement as being ignorant of the scientific "fact" of evolution. (For example, see Mirror of Justice's Garnett and Penalver.) The criticism is that macroevolution, one species evolving into another species, has been proven by science, and that those who question this truth (like Brownback) are dunces.
Now, I'm not a biologist and I'm not familiar with all the evidence, but since when did macroevolution become proven as fact? TalkOrigins gives various "proofs" for macroevolution, but I'm not convinced. TalkOrigins admits that macroevolution has never been observed and there is no scientific consensus for how macroevolution happens. Instead, the evidence in support of macroevolution consists generally of observations that organisms are similar to another and that there have been fossil discoveries of organisms that appear to be common links between other organisms. From this, evolutionists say that it is fact that all organisms are descended from one common ancestor. But that's not compelling to me: yes, a cat has four legs and a dog has four legs, but I recognize that they are two different types of organisms, and I don't see why it's necessary that they have a common ancestor. Am I missing something?
Also, in the case of humanity, isn't evolution incompatible with the Catholic faith? Even assuming that monkeys evolved into apes, and apes into hominids, the Catholic faith requires that there was one instance of time when God infused a human soul into one collection of matter (whether it was dirt or the body of a hominid), and that from this one non-evolved/created human being, the rest of humanity is descended. Furthermore, the creation of humanity is not something I believe just because "the Church says so." It is the only thing that makes rational sense to me, philosophically and theologically. All scientific evidence I see confirms the fact that a human is an entirely different type of thing from any other animal; and the doctrines of original sin and the Incarnation are only compatible with creation, not evolution. Again, am I missing something? Are Brownback and myself just a couple of dunces ignorant of science?
(Note: I usually dislike these debates because, on both sides, there is a great deal of misunderstanding, a lack of knowledge, and too much rhetoric. Also, I take absolutely no position on how old the Earth is or on how life began or how different species were created because I'm not familiar with the science. And I'm not afraid of science, because I'm not afraid of the truth.)
There was a fascinating exchange this morning on the Laura Ingraham radio show regarding the failure to close debate on the immigration bill in the Senate. Kate O'Bierne, Washington Editor of National Review and one of the more active members of AMSL's Board of Governors, was a guest on the show, and the discussion quickly moved to the influence of individual citizens on what happened with last night's vote. I wish I had a recording of the interview, and will try to find one later, but the gist of O'Bierne's (and Ingraham's) position was that the outcome in the senate shows what can happen when individual citizens refuse to be "rolled over" by powerful interests, including big business, labor unions, and others major players who had thrown their weight behind the bill. Both women praised the "loud people," those who refused to "get in line" and give in to pressure from those in leadership positions to just conform, but instead spoke out in the media, on the Internet, etc., in opposition to the injustices they were fighting.
The summary does not do justice to the power of O'Bierne's statements this morning. (Kate, if I missed anything, please give me a ring at the office and let me know...) Her words were a real shot in the arm to this Fumare blogger, and should really encourage those alumni and faculty who have become "loud people" in the media and on the Internet in the face of the manifest injustice being done to our beloved law school by the Administration, Board, and -- yes -- O'Bierne herself.
O'Beirne also admitted that she can be wrong, as in "I was wrong when I said that the bill would make it through the senate." That was encouraging too! Hmmm...I wonder where else Ms. O'Bierne has been wrong? It's not too late, Kate!
UPDATE: The audio from this exchange has been located. Click here for an MP3 file. Thank you to commenter Anna. On re-listening, I am struck again at how applicable Kate's words are to those who stand up against the heavy-handedness of the AMSL Administration and Board. Thanks, Kate, for the encouragement!
It's been a few years since I graduated from our alma mater, so I hadn't noticed that Judge Bork has been walking with a limp of late. For anyone who was wondering the reason, now we know. Yesterday, Judge Bork filed a federal (S.D.N.Y.) lawsuit against the Yale Club for negligence. He is seeking $1 million in damages for injuries he sustained from a fall at the club last year. [Here's a PFD of the complaint]
Bork was at the Yale Club last June to speak at an event sponsored by The New Criterion. According to the suit, the club failed to provide steps and a handrail to climb onto the dais. The judge fell backward as he was attempting to climb the dais, striking his leg on the stage and his head on a heat register, the suit says.
Judge Bork suffered a large hematoma, or swelling of blood, in his lower left leg as a result of the fall and the hematoma eventually burst, according to the lawsuit. The injury required surgery and months of physical therapy, according to the complaint. He claims to have suffered "excruciating pain" and an ongoing limp as a result of the injury.
The lawsuit seeks $1 million in actual damages, as well as punitive damages. [Insert Austin Powers/Dr. Evil "one meeeeeeelion dollars!" joke here....]
For those readers who are not alumni and/or do not know Judge Bork: he taught at Yale Law School in the 1960s and 70s, before serving as acting Attorney General under President Nixon and a D.C. Circuit judge from 1982 to 1988. He is currently a fellow at the Hudson Institute and -- for at least two weeks a semester -- a professor at Ave Maria School of Law. "To bork" has also become a verb -- according to this story, it can be defined as "to destroy a judicial nominee through a concerted attack on his character, background and philosophy."
No word yet on whether the heat register had anything to do with Judge Bork's comment, published in a recent AMSL puff piece, that "[a]s the Law School relocates and matures, it will enhance its reputation as a school of real distinction." A recent head injury would go a long way towards explaining such a fallacious statement, though.
* Sorry folks...couldn't pass up this pun with the name of AMSL's inept PR agency.
Question: What is the most charitable thing that you can do for this guy?
Answer: Bloody his nose.
Far from being boorish, uncharitable, or even morally infirm, this is a healthy and common sense response. This poor soul is obviously confused. He probably learned at the feet of his teachers that there one must not hurt others feelings or self-esteem, that are no differences between men and women, that the unborn child is not an unborn child, etc. etc. etc. His nonconformity in manners, morals and hygiene has left him ill-prepared to survive in the world of normal people. So he continues his professional stinky life of protesting against God, nature and right thinking people everywhere. Thus, sometimes the only thing you can do to bring him to reality is deliver a right hook to his proboscis and make the Signum Crucis over him as you walk past. Should such a fortunate thing occur to this chap, you would do well to hope that he capitalizes on this grace filled event, and returns to the Father.
Whence comes such a creature? Perhaps he had a bad formation. Perhaps his dad was a wimp. Perhaps he never read The Dangerous Book for Boys! I use the pathetic sissy above as an example of what will happen if boys are not allowed to be boys. If they don't explore, read about famous battles, make a slingshot or even know a little Latin! Thank God there are still normal men out there who wish to preserve our masculine heritage that so many--even in our own Catholic clergy--wish to destroy. There is no muddle-headed thinking in this book, no Sir! Just good clean fun for boys of all ages. I heartily recommend it to all of our readers--heck, even LoneWolf and Pelham might like it! Consider this portion of the section entitled "Girls":
You may already have noticed that girls are quite different from you. By this, we do not mean the physical differences, more the fact that they remain unimpressed by your mastery of a game involving wizards, or your understanding of Morse code. Some will be impressed, of course, but as a general rule, girls do not get quite as excited by the use of urine as a secret ink as boys do.
Yesterday, every conservative talk show I happened to hear was bashing Ron Paul as a nut case, embarrassment, lunatic fringe who has no business being at the debate. The commentary was all an attack on him, not an engagement with the ideas he is presenting.
Why is Ron Paul the one candidate to watch?
Because the Republican party has turned on its conservative base in favor of big government, big business and corporatism. The media (including the conservative media) support these interests. But it is the base that elected the Republicans and these constituents have been sold a bill of goods. There is nothing conservative about the so called "tier one" candidates on offer and given top billing. Have a look:
"Old Media" and the conservative network are going to increase their attacks on Ron Paul and eventually block his opportunity to debate. The story to watch in the Republican contest is the impact and real power new media can have in a contest being decided for us by "old media" and the interests of business as usual corporatism.
What do you think? Who won the Republican debate this week in New Hampshire?
UPDATE: Another reason to follow the Ron Paul candidacy . . . entertaining YouTube people:
Dr. James Holsinger, president Bush's nominee for Surgeon General, is coming under attack from the gay rights activists and the media for a study he prepared in 1991 on behalf of the United Methodist Church of which he is a member. The study, entitled Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality is a review of the medical literature available in 1991 concerning the the physiological aspects of homosexual acts and their overwhelmingly negative health consequences. (You can read the report here, but be warned, despite the clinical approach, it is graphic due to the subject matter).
The substance of the report is being "jammed" in the media by focusing predominantly on an example he uses of how sexual complimentarity is so ingrained in our culture as evident in the naming of pipe fittings.
The full quote summarizing his physological report is this:
It is absolutely clear that anatomically and physiologically the alimentary and reproductive systems in humans are separate organ systems; i.e., the human does not have a cloaca. Likewise it is clear that even primitive cultures understand the nature of waste elimination, sexual intercourse, and the birth of children. Indeed our own children appear to intuitively understand these facts. I think we should note that these simple "scientific facts are the same in any culture - patriarchal or matriarchal, modern or primitive, Jewish or gentile, etc. The anatomic and physiologic facts of alimentation and reproduction simply do not change based on any cultural setting. In fact, the logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male pipe fitting or the female pipe fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other. When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and disease may occur as noted above.
Therefore, based on the simplest known anatomy and physiology, when dealing with the complementarity of the human sexes, one can simply say, Res ipsa loquitor - the thing speaks for itself!
This is to be expected along with the personal invective hurled against him by the gay activists, however what is odd is the defense the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering:
It should be noted that in 1991, homosexuals were banned from the military and several years before that, homosexuality and Haitian nationality were considered risk factors for HIV/AIDS. Over the last 20 years, a clearer understanding of these issues has been achieved. Any new compilation of scientific information on health issues facing homosexual populations would have a substantially different focus.
So, since 1991 the scientific health consequences of homosexual behavior have substantially changed over the last 20 years, homosexuality is no longer a risk factor for HIV/AIDS?
It doesn't look like it. Out America's own website tells about the health risks of homosexual behavior. Here is a passage about just one of the diseases linked to homosexual behavior:
More than 60 percent of men without HIV and 90 percent of men with HIV who have sex with men are infected with the human papillomavirus in their anal canals [anal warts]. More than 24 million Americans carry HPV, and there are approximately one million new infections each year.
Why then is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services saying that the scientific research has led to a clearer understanding of the health risks of homosexual behavior, when Dr. Holsinger's study has only been more emphatically confirmed by the reserach?
So here is the question:
Does the State have a public health interest in promoting natural sexual behavior and a positive duty to inform the public that homosexual behavior is unnatural and objectively harmful as the chief cause of a host of diseases?
Check out the update on this posting from AveWatch. Amazing how the situation is resolved mere hours after it was brought to light. I wonder how many other stories like this there might be in the Ave Universe, just waiting for the light of day? AveWatch is right: "light disinfects."
Still reeling at the Alumni Board's ability to more effectively communicate than Robert Falls & Co and still smarting over the same body's no confidence vote, Dean Dobranski authored a scathing communication to all alumni on why he no longer attends Alumni Board meetings. To this alum, I find the letter comical in its assertion (multiple times) that some members of the Alumni Board are "subverting," "derailing," "undermining" (I think there are additional terms used) the Mission of the law school. The folks that I know on the Board are stand-up people who have not been shy about voicing their views on issues of the school's governance. It is amusing too that the issue of the evil blogs comes up again and again whenever the Administration communicates. At one point the Dean asserted that the blogs were negligible--apparently not. Now (from reports here and there) it is the blogs that are single-handedly destroying this institution. Wow! Such power. Taking down a millionaire, an experienced Dean and a law school! The pen truly is mightier than the sword.
Unfortunately, what the Dean writes is not entirely true. Rather, the members of the Alumni Board that the Dean apparently disparages are acting in good faith by all accounts--especially in light of an ongoing ABA investigation that may well determine the fate of the institution's accreditation. Of course, if the Dean and the Board of Governors believe the rabble-rousers are crimping their style and acting "in direct contravention of [the Alumni Association's] bylaws" then the Dean and the Board of Governors should take action and dissolve the Alumni Board. How about it esteemed Board of Governors members? FIRE THOSE PESKY ALUMS!
Nah, they don't have the balls. Poor Mr. Monaghan should have picked a tougher Dean, you know, an old school guy!
UPDATE II: Valjean makes an interesting observation:
In the interest of brevity here is a thought that is not original but which came from discussions with fellow alumni today:
1) To my knowledge the Dean stopped attending meetings long before the late February announcement. In fact, he attended just one meeting this school year, in September. His excuses are all the more disingenuous given this "inconsistency" in his story.
2) Perhaps the Dean forgot about the e-mail containing some reasons "why the Board of Governors believed it was in the long-term best interests of the Law School to relocate," that he sent to All Alumni on 02/20/2007, two hours prior to the Alumni Board's emergency meeting. In light of this e-mail, the Dean's statement, "So with absolutely no knowledge of what was to be communicated with respect to the relocation to Florida. . . the Alumni Board attempted to undermine the Law School with a public and pre-emptive 'condemnation' of the Governors' decision to relocate," seems inaccurate.
3) Based on my recollection of the Florida press conference, there was no additional substantive information regarding the BoG's released at press conference that was not mentioned in the prior e-mail communication.
I hope that all thinking alumni read the Dean's missive with appropriate skepticism. The scary thing is that, were it not for "weblogs" such as Fumare, all we'd be getting is the smoke he's blowing...with nowhere to compare notes and get the facts!
I am troubled by what appears to be a hacking into Dean Bernard Dobranski's email account. FUMARE has tried to piece together what must be the likely sequence of events.
Earlier this morning, System Administrator, John Sowder, announced his resignation via email to the All Law School Distribution and All Alumni email lists. In his kind email, he indicated his resignation had to happen very fast, as "[s]uch a position has so much access that quick action is necessary, and proper, to protect our computer systems." Well, maybe he stopped to go to the bathroom on the way out, because his action was not quick enough.
In an apparent computer hacking of some kind, an email - sent to the same distribution lists as Mr. Sowder's email - was sent, purportedly from Dean Dobranksi's account, indicating a "personnel update" of some kind. Although the Dean has been forced to send many such updates in recent months, this one could not pass the straight-face test. Some sick individual communicated that a 2005 AMSOL graduate, Mr. Aaron Keesler, had been "promoted" from Academic Support Coordinator to ASSISTANT DEAN OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS!!
Although Mr. Keesler is, no doubt, a fine individual, there appears to be no basis in his resume or experience - since graduating 2 YEARS AGO! to support his promotion to ASSISTANT DEAN! One would expect a faculty member of some kind to fill the post. One would certainly expect the person selected for this position to have at least been in a law school setting as an administrator of some kind longer than it takes a toddler to potty-train.
And so, despite this hacker's clever attempt, we in the blogosphere are not fooled by his mean-spirited attempt at fool-trickery. Shame on you. Even if you do not agree with the Dean, you should play fair.
Please keep the repose of the soul of Linda Tuttle, loving mother of our fellow alumni John and his wife Erika, in your prayers. Linda passed peacefully on Thursday morning after a long battle with cancer. Linda's life, and the grace-filled manner with which she dealt with the pain of her condition, was a testament to her close relationship with the Almighty. She offered everything up for those around her, and I can personally attest to the efficacy of her intercessory prayer.
Grant her eternal rest, O Lord,and may perpetual light shine on her.
UPDATE:Here is Linda's obituary from Thursday's Statesman Journal. She will be laid to rest on Friday, June 1, at St. Boniface Parish in Stayton, Oregon. Please keep the entire Tuttle family in your prayers.