Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Dean Dobranski: I created the mission of the law school.
Alumnus: You created the mission of the law school?
Dobranski: Tom Monaghan and I created the mission.
Alumnus: I'll have that posted on fumare tomorrow.
There are some well-respected, well-placed Fellowship members who are aware of the dangers of associating with Monaghan and who are on guard against a Monaghan takeover of their group.
People know about both the firing of tenured professor SS and the manipulation of the tenure process. They don't like it. But, there is a sense that this is someone else's battle and a hope that the Ave projects, both the Law School and the University, can be salvaged. There is a recognition that Monaghan is part of the problem, but a hopeful belief that he may step back and let the academics (who are highly thought of) run the show. (I know, dream on.)
It seems that there is more interest in (and greater expectations for) the University than for the Law School. It also seems, and this shocked me, that these expectations may be well-founded. The University BoG apparently has a pulse. The Law School BoG is now packed with third-rate Monaghan sycophants.
Alex Vernon and Florida feature prominently in the school's promotional materials. I'll be watching the law school dvd tonight. (I took Curb Your Enthusiasm back to Blockbusters this afternoon. There was a drycleaners featured prominenty in one episode. Their phone number was posted on their van-no "555" stuff: a real number. I called it and got an LA drycleaners. Shlomo wasn't there, though.)
One last thing:
The cafe from which I write is now playing Blondie's Maria on the jukebox. "Maria/ you gotta see her.../ Regina/ Ave Maria...." I saw the Blondie reunion gig at Town Hall where they debuted this tune. Good show, but Debbie Harry really should follow T$M's skirt-length guidelines.
Dear nephews and nieces of Uncle Gilbert and Aunt Frances:
As you know, one of the little tasks I have is counting things - and when I cannot count, I let the machinery do it for me.
Thank God, I am able to count simple things even without the help of the computer, and as you all know, Saturday is September 29, which is the feast of St. Michael - and also start of our rosary novena to end on the feast of Lepanto, October 7 - which this year is a Sunday again! (yes, whenever September 11 is a Tuesday, Lepanto is again on a Sunday....hmmm.)
So: we all know, without my commenting on it, how much we need prayers: the world, our country, our city, our family, our place of work, our Church, and we ourselves...
This e-mail is a "pre-prayer" prayer - a request that you join, and that you spread the word. We must unite in prayer, in the mysteries of the Gospels, recalled by our reciting the greatest words ever spoken: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..." and "Our Father, who art in heaven..."
Our Enemy does not rest. He wants us to give up hope, to lose faith, to refrain from love. So we must work as St. Pius V begged us - AND God willing THE WIND WILL TURN AGAIN...
Our intention ought to be very simple: "For the defeat of the Powers of Darkness."
The Blue Boar has the commentary for Day 1 today. Keep checking the Blue Boar during the next nine days.
Friday, September 28, 2007
"The people who are making the noise clearly don't want the law school to go to Florida and they are willing to do whatever they can to stop it," Dobranski said. "Nothing will change their minds and they will do whatever they can to destroy the school. I think that's unmistakably clear."What I find most interesting is the return to the old playbook of "it's all about Florida." Like liberal Democrats on a myriad of issues, Dobranski has nothing else and returns to the same talking points like a broken record.
In failing to take on the issues intellectually and responsibly, Dobranski continues to hide between such memorable phrases as "confidentiality, " "personnel decisions," or some variant of "I don't like the spirit in which the questions are asked and therefore I will not answer them." Likewise, he continues his verbal slight of hand in his allegations that "the noisy people" or "dissidents"(i.e., concerned alumni, students, and faculty) are "trying to destroy the school" or are "against the mission" of the school. Finally, the Dean is fond of bringing up his favorite scapegoat: the evil bloggers. Where once Fumare and sites like it were negligible, now they are the primary means for the "noisy people" or "dissidents" to destroy the school.
Unfortunately for the Dean, common sense and the thoughts of responsible Catholic scholars say something else. The Mirror of Justice Declaration by a group of respected Catholic legal intellectuals speaks volumes of Dobranski's leadership. Likewise, the recent comments of Monaghan regarding the "academic terrorists" in Michigan belies a contempt for those whose currency does not say "In Tom We Trust." I also have it on the word of several Alumni Board members that the Dean's new representative to the body, Dr. William Colburn, admitted at the recent Alumni Board meeting that the actions of the alumni "were having an effect." Whether he meant the Alumni Board's proclamations or some of the alumni run blogs, I am not sure. Nevertheless, this is a stunning admission from a member of the current administration.
For my part, I'll stick with Charles Rice, Ed Peters, the Founding Professors of AMSL, the Mirror of Justice scholars, Fumare and the majority of the AMSL Alumni. From what I have observed the currency they deal in states "In God We Trust."
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Also, it seems that a fellow Catholic and follower of the law has discovered Fumare. We're glad to make your acquaintance, Ὅι Λόγοι! Ὅι Λόγοι promises "Miscellanous, Unfocused Ramblings of a Catholic, Tocquevillean, Home-Brewing Law Student." Sounds wonderful.
Our new friends have been added to our blogroll.
The discussion so far has focused on money. Money is nothing more than a unit measure of means. A rich man has great means, and places some of those means in the care of stewards beneath him who are supposed to be accountable for their use.
Thus, at some point, the rich man is no longer wielding great means by abstract capacity alone, but also wielding people to control those means and direct them. This greater power, not just over things, but also over people is where the modern rich man has his struggle. It is in the type of pleasure one derives from animating other men to act that temptation is the strongest and where the cut is made between a good man and a bad one.
I want to show that this is the cut made in all of history. King David, old testament Joseph, and even Our Lord Jesus have been documented to not take pleasure in men wildly advancing their leadership for the sake of showing power. In King David's case, it was in chiding his aide to spare the life of a detractor. In Joseph's case, it was in the treatment of his brothers and the instructions to the stewards. In our Lord's case, it was in his restraint of St. Peter and the healing of the temple guard's ear. All of these are cases where the leader who has people acting on his behalf, tells the servant that an abusive exercise of power was wrong. There is therefore a continued example in salvation history of the leader being responsible to tame his minions from exuberant displays of loyalty.
A contemporary example is in the movie 300, wherein Leonides is approached by a hunchbacked Spartan. His chief captain threatens to strike the hunchback down, but Leonides orders him to stand down. An evil leader would be pleased that he has a man that would kill another in order to advance the leader. That's the difference I'm getting at. The good leader does not allow his underlings to wield the leader's power for the sake of demonstrating the power.
There does appear to be an affirmative duty on the leader to make these corrections. Human nature seems to suggest that the underling wants to do anything to please the leader. Thus, the leader is required to instruct the underling in the limits of the leader's power. In King David's case, David pointed out that his detractor may well have been sent by God to make David humble when instructing his underling not to strike the detractor. In Our Lord's case, it was that violence was not the means of advancing salvation. In the case of Leonides, it was that the military command had not been given. Thus, the good leader abhors underlings who run amok smacking people for the sake of advancing the leader's name.
The contrast to the evil leader is striking when measured by this standard. Xerxes, for instance, in 300, had numerous underlings willing to do whatever it took to show Xerxes that they advanced his power. Xerxes is perhaps an extreme example as he even went so far as to demand that his underlings worship him. But that's the thing that gives a clue as to what the temptation of the bad leader is: taking satisfaction in having people fight in their name. For Xerxes, the underlings fought for the glory of Xerxes. The image in the movie 300 of the characters made into tools is instructive as well. They didn't guillotine a guy, rather a man with guillotine arms did the head chopping. The abused crowd of the Persian army in that film shows that the evil leader sees his people as instruments of power. Xerxes had obvious pleasure in having blindly obedient underlings serving not just his whims, but the perceived whim.
Our Lord's example is the strongest here. He tells St. Peter that those who live by the sword die by it. In other words, using power to force loyalty to a leader or silence opposition is what leads to death by the same means. Force doesn't make an idea right. Given that Our Lord denounced it, such must be the method of hell.
You have to take these images and compare them to the building of an ideological empire in today's world. Does it make the foundation of an empire righteous that is was built by the destruction of critics? Does the leader have an affirmative duty to hear the criticism and allow those people to speak, as did King David? What makes the rich man good? What makes his kingdom good in the eyes of God? Does the use of economic power today rival the use of the sword?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Pope Benedict XVI denounced what he called the world's "profit mind-set," warning Sunday that money can turn people into "blind egoists" and urging the wealthy to share their riches with the poor.I would add that capitalism shouldn't be considered the only valid model for educational organizations, too.
Benedict said life was about making choices between good and bad, between altruism and egoism, honesty and dishonesty. Ultimately, he said, it was about making the choice between God and Satan.
"Money in itself isn't dishonest, but more than any other thing it can close man off into a blind egoism," Benedict said. He called for a "conversion" of economic goods. "Rather than using them for self-interest, we should also think about the needs of the poor, imitating Christ," he said. . . .
The topic of social and economic justice is expected to be explored further by Benedict in his second encyclical, which Vatican officials have confirmed will deal with social themes. . . .
Benedict cited that encyclical [Centesimus Annus] Sunday, saying modern, capitalistic economy had some positive aspects to it. But, he added, "capitalism shouldn't be considered the only valid model of economic organization."
Saturday, September 22, 2007
But among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egoistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.On a graver note, I am greatly disappointed that this blog has so far strayed from its original design. While necessary, unfortunately, it has become a chronicle of the unjust destruction of Ave Maria School of Law by Monaghan and Dean Dobranski. To the end of restoring Fumare to its original intent and former glory, permit me to draw your attention to The Blue Boar, a blog about beer, bacon and Catholic living. I know that Phlogizo, Adv. Mil. (where has he even been?), Casimir, Thursday, Thales and the rest of the Fumare crowd will enjoy and welcome this blog on things more important in the final analysis.
Friday, September 21, 2007
When you find yourself operating on the principle of "If force fails, use more force" and discover you are kicking around perfectly honorable people with epithets like "academic terrorist" or leaving hard-working and honest subordinates with large families high and dry on the most dishonest and tendentious of charges because they are supposedly "disloyal", the wise thing is not to circle the wagons or boast of your victories. The wise thing is to put on sack cloth and ashes and seek reconciliation with God and neighbor. . . . The one thing that will not do is the course the leaders at Ave Maria appear bent on pursuing, which is saying that all these honest critics are just Bad People. Sorry, but I don't think anybody but the small group of folks in The Bunker believe that at this point. When you lose Ed Peters and Stephen Bainbridge, you've lost. As our Pentecostal friends say, Time to get right with God.HT: Jay at Pro Ecclesia
"We wait for great leader Dollarbranski to tell us whether it will be alright," says Yuri Ivanovich, a local blue collar worker who was let out of work a few hours early today in anticipation of the Great Founder's day.
"If I don't hear from him, I begin to believe the lies and misinformation presented in the papers. It is very disturbing for an old lady like me," said Anya Aleksokova.
Ivan Ivanovicz, a military watchman, assigned to keep order in the streets surrounding the Dean's office, explains that ordinarily the shock troops come around the corner first, followed by pictures of the great leader, and then the text of the State of the State is produced to those who are waiting in the streets. Ivanovich explains that he is to report any dissident activity and stop intimidating taps on the shoulders between people waiting.
FUMARE File Footage of the Usual Friday Afternoon Event
Thursday, September 20, 2007
More evidence of the Détente and Stagnation apparent in the critical performance metrics used to rank law schools (such as the LSAT), is this gem of a spin from the Dean of Ave Maria School of Law's office today:
In an effort to provide an additional service to our alumni and students and to consolidate and formalize efforts that have been ongoing here at the Law School for some time, on September 10, 2007, I appointed an ad hoc Bar Examination Appeal Assistance Committee. This Committee will be responsible for providing information about the appeal process and assistance to graduates who have failed the bar exam as they consider whether to appeal.
No way. Is that really necessary? I thought the transition team efforts were first and foremost, not to mention career service assistance. We need a bar exam appeal committee now?
[Barney names a few of the lap dogs to the Committee]
The appointment of this Committee is another demonstration of our institutional commitment to excellence on the bar examination and support for our students and graduates, which has been a hallmark of the Ave Maria experience. My hope is that this Committee's efforts will not only help see our graduates through a difficult and trying process, but also enhance the Law School's standing in the academic community through continued high bar passage rates.
No way. He must be smoking crack. The need for the committee is evidence of the foul stench emanating from his office and its effect on the loss of the world class school it was becoming until he sold out to Uncle Tom in 2002 by joining the Board of Directors of the University.
If it were a bar passage committee that assisted students prior to taking the bar exam then perhaps his statement that it is a symbol of student support would be true.
Really, all he is doing is proving that the people who have done this for a few students, namely, Safranek and Pucillo, need to be replaced by a committee of five, given honors and paraded in front of everyone in the town square.
It's more sad commentary on the state of affairs at Ave Maria School of Law. The professors who did this as a matter of course have been canned so now the Dean has to order people to do it. And those people need a title and recognition for it.
Safranek and Pucillo never asked to receive resume fodder for helping students. They saw it as the way things ought to be. What a joke. Détente and Stagnation under Dobranski.
Moreover, I think he may be trying to place another bureaucratic layer between himself and Kuzka's mother.
Some people expect the world-class performance they were promised. Even Kuzka's mother, of folk fame has decided to come talk to Dobranski for his recent flip flops and attempts to deodorize.
Casimir set out to find her, and although she couldn't be found, yet, many of her friends warned of near future events, as she is looking for him.
Tomtko and Sblinka Svatkov explain what they heard.
Local villagers, the Svatkov's, explain that the last person they remember Kuzka's mother going to see was some prosecutor in North Carolina. They say some of Kosma's mothers friends were done the street preparing a place for the next career to be visited by her.
I went searching and eventually found these two ladies preparing a picnic for the academic career of Dobranski, that at least it might be remembered with some fondness for the good things about it.
"He did do good things, and we bring bread to the grave so the good things may find peace here," explains Sharlatova Shestalona, who keeps nervously looking down the road for the arrival of her friend, kosmamatka. "She is brutal, but she does it to prevent purgatory of the people she visits, that they might make it here," she said.
Anakstrana, the other woman, chimed in to quickly add, "it save good people from them, too. Too many good people are hurt before kosma's mother has to visit them. But she does it to help good people."
Hurt indeed. The law school certainly has been in a period of stagnation, lead by the double speaking Dobranski, who says faculty governance is important when building the school, but complains that faculty want to run the school when tearing it apart to be moved. While I couldn't find her for direct comment, it's clear that Kuzka's mother is out looking to get the story straight.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
At that time, the PR machine was touting what the law school was to become. Not just the differences in what it is today, but also listening to the representations made by Monaghan and Dobranski back in those days can be a refreshing revelation that these guys are the problem.
Take, for instance, Ave Maria: a 'Seriously Catholic' Law School. By: Mangan, Katherine S., Chronicle of Higher Education, 00095982, 2/18/2000, Vol. 46, Issue 24 (yes, that's the same Ms. Mangan who is writing today. She wrote a story about us back then.
In it was this gem from Barney about his happiness to be coming to a Catholic school.
"The idea of being a founding dean of a law school is very exciting," he says. For one thing, he will be able to avoid battles with liberal faculty members who, he says, haven't always appreciated his attempts to strengthen the Catholic identity at both Catholic and Detroit Mercy.READ THAT AGAIN! -- "these people are now tenured, full professors, [...] In this situation, it's difficult to reaffirm your mission because faculty governance is so important." Uh, is that the same Barney that is speaking today?
"Over the years, a lot of Catholic law schools began to hire people who didn't care about the Catholic mission of the school, and these people are now tenured, full professors," he says. "In this situation, it's difficult to reaffirm your mission because faculty governance is so important." By seeking out scholars who support traditional Catholic views--on issues such as abortion, divorce, and the death penalty--he hopes to avoid that problem.
DOBRANSKI SAID FACULTY GOVERNANCE IS IMPORTANT.
Barney must fight with Faculty everywhere he goes.
Monaghan has some gems out there, too.
With the backing of leading conservative politicians, Mr. Monaghan set out to create the best law school that money could buy. In April, his publicist announced the start of a "world-class Catholic law school" that would attract top legal scholars and students. Those were grandiose claims for a school that was at least two years away from possible accreditation by the American Bar Association. And students hadn't exactly been beating down the doors of existing law schools, which have seen applications slide each year since 1991.
See this post about the LSAT score drops since 2003, when Monaghan announced he wanted to make a fourth class law school in the rural Everglades.
STANDARD 405(a) anyone?
Remember these claims of the school's future ability to attract law professors?
To that end, the dean and his advisers have drawn up a "dream team" of about 36 superstars in Catholic legal education, and the dean says he has contacted each one personally. None of them has joined Ave Maria yet, but Mr. Dobranski says he is in "serious negotiations" with several. Included on the list is G. Robert Blakey, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who is one of the nation's foremost authorities on racketeering and criminal law. "I'd certainly consider spending a year as a visiting professor, but we haven't gotten to the point of discussing Specific terms," says Mr. Blakey, who helped advise the school on its curriculum.Professor Blakey probably saw what happened to one of the other superstars, Charlie Rice.
I love this quote, too, about Monaghan's intentions of staying out of the school's affairs:
Several law professors who are familiar with Mr. Monaghan find that hard to believe, however, and some predict he'll play an active, behind-the-scenes role. Mr. Dobranski concedes that when he has a hot faculty prospect, "Tom's not shy about getting on the phone."Tom must not be shy about getting on the phone when he doesn't like faculty, either.
Check out this quote on MORALITY.
Mr. Dobranski says he welcomes the addition of the St. Thomas school, and doesn't view it as a competitor. "The more of us who are trying to offer an education that integrates law and morality, the better," he says.Actually, I'm glad St. Thomas is there to show everyone how a real founder works and how morality is not something positivistic depending on what the founder says this week. A tale of two cities.
For all the hubbub raised about Ave Maria's mission and curriculum, one University of Michigan law professor who helped evaluate the school for the Michigan Department of Education came away impressed. [...] He says he was told that students and faculty members would be free to discuss views at odds with those of the Roman Catholic Church.They can, but they can't disagree with Mr. Monaghan, or Barney will remove them, strip tenure, deny tenure, insinuate things about them and otherwise make a bad name for Catholic education.
To get your one copy of the full article, check out the citation above, or go to the website, or toll free phone: Katherine S. Mangan. The Chronicle of Higher Education: (http://chronicle.com) 1-800-728-2803
The video can be watched here. The part about Ave Maria begins at around 2:58 of the 4 min or so segment.
Monday, September 17, 2007
September 17, 2007AveWatch has coverage here.
The Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors hereby formally reiterates its expression of "No Confidence" in the Dean of Ave Maria School of Law, Bernard Dobranski, an expression which was first made on April 10, 2006. The Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors also hereby formally expresses "No Confidence" in the Chairman of the Board of Governors of Ave Maria School of Law, Thomas Monaghan.
We are calling on the Board of Governors of Ave Maria School of Law to remove Mr. Bernard Dobranski from his position as Dean and President of Ave Maria School of Law because he has not demonstrated an ability to earn or maintain the support of the law school's most important constituencies: students, faculty, and alumni. . . . . .
. . . . . .
We also call on the Board of Governors to immediately remove their Chairman, as we affirmatively express our "No Confidence" in him as well. As Chairman of the Board of Governors, we believe Mr. Thomas Monaghan has failed to exercise his fiduciary duty to Ave Maria School of Law and has instead encouraged use of the Law School to spur further development in and the growth of Ave Maria, Florida. The development of this town is intimately and directly entangled with the well-being of other entities in which Mr. Monaghan has a financial interest. Despite these significant conflicts of interest, he has apparently failed to recuse himself from Board votes that have promoted his interests in the town of Ave Maria . . . . .
. . . . . .
We plead with you Board Members to address these problems as is your moral and legal obligation, to rectify the wrongs that have been done to the community, and to refocus your efforts on the best interests of our Law School.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Ave Maria Town (AP)--In an effort to attract more "solid Catholics" to his south Florida paradise, Mr. Thomas Monaghan in association with Barron-Collier presents an evening of entertainment and fun for the whole family. "We are all very excited for this weekend's event! We wanted a voice as unique as Mr. Monaghan himself and one which reflects well the indigenous culture of south Florida and the message of the Holy Father's first encyclical Deus Caritas est," said Hilda von Woffenschmidt, spokesperson for Ave Maria. "Mr. Whitman was the natural choice!" Ubi Voco Te: An Evening of Music will be held in the village green in front of the Oratory on Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 7:00pm. Rain or Shine.
The event comes at a time when Mr. Monaghan's Ave Maria project has come under severe criticism; and risks, in the words of one commenter, being "a colossal failure." Most recently, respected Catholic legal academics across the nation issued a statement on the legal blog Mirror of Justice severely critical of the leadership of Monaghan and Dean Bernard Dobranski at the troubled Ave Maria School of Law (AMSL). Sources tell AP that the Executive Team of the various Ave Maria boards decided on this event when it became apparent that the criticism of Ave Maria was not going away. "Anyone who doesn't think we're normal are cultural terrorists, " Mr. Monaghan said, "I'm with the pope." Fr. Fessio could not be reached for comment.
Click Critics Say Leaders of Ave Maria Law School Violate 'Core Catholic Norms' and see what you think.
I told you it'd be a big news day. I think we'll see one more, too. The CNA Piece is well done and avoids the fluff bias that appears in some other treatments. Thanks CNA!
In other words, he could be titled as "Ave Maria University Director, Bernard Dobranski" as well as Lowered Grade Administrator of the Law School. 2005 is the latest year I can get. While I'm sure many of you could use other titles, I think his University connection is a very important credential we should always attribute to him.
We should always give Barney all the credit he deserves, so perhaps we should always include this reference about him.
In order to help him out, and in order to see if you've been paying attention to all his spins presented in the news this week meant to deflect the impeaching email he sent last week, write his email for him.
The comment who can get the email mostly correct before Barney taps his assistant on the shoulder and tells her to send the email will get posted here with props. Take your thinking caps off, put your normal sense for honesty aside, and Get writing!
First to press was Naples News.
Barney was on the phone alot yesterday so I bet we can construct his 5:20 email before it even comes out.
Here's some more fodder he composted in the interview:
"I find it extraordinary that a group of law professors in particular would make these statements after only hearing one side of the story," Dobranski said. "We're obviously constrained in what we can say on these matters because these are personnel issues."
They heard your side of the story, Barney. You fired the guy and published statements that had open innuendo that Safranek sexually harassed another. Later, you corrected the statement and said you didn't mean to imply such. Today, you are out trying to minimize the damage by saying no one is listening to you. Perhaps if you didn't tell so many stories (like telling students in 2002 you weren't involved in the University, OR that the ABA gave you a clean bill of health) your side of the story would have some weight.
Dobranski also vigorously denied that Monaghan was involved in the school's day-to-day operations.
I'm surprised he let you say that. Well, it is only weekly meetings on average, so day-to-day is the key modifier here.
He said the school’s critics have failed to provide proof of any situation where that has occurred. As for the charge relating to the school's Catholicism, Dobranski said, "People should be worrying about their own institution’s Catholic identity rather than ours."
You should be worried about your own Catholicism instead of making implications about those people's. (Didn't the crow you had to eat over the story you told about the Safranek charges or the crow you had to eat about the story you told about the ABA notice do any good?)
There's a nasty mess here in your yard and it doesn't look good. Like they said, you hold the school out to be more Catholic than the others, yet, even here in the face of error you'd rather throw mud. (you like to use that phrase in the interviews, so it must be what you like).
Shame on you for trying to cast aspersions on those professors, too. As far as we know, they haven't had to self impeach themselves as often as you. Besides, most low grade administrators like the one Moneyman Monaghan has made you into gave up the brutal tie versus line worker mentality in the early 80s.
Even the class profiles show that the affirmative injury occurred in 2003 when you began with the announcements of Florida. But you were there in Florida, as an officer of the University in 2002.
Did you reinstate Safranek yet?
Did you reinstate Lyons or Pucillo yet?
There will be some more news here later today, so expect more quotes from other news sources.
UPDATE: CNA Publishes Ave Maria Law School may face threat to accreditation.
Good Job CNA!
The group said faculty had not had any meaningful input into the decision to relocate the school and that the administration had intimidated faculty members to prevent them from speaking out against the move. They said one outspoken critic of the administration was suspended, and others have left or been denied promotions or tenure.
The group said the law school failed to live up to the Catholic notions of justice - procedural fairness, truthfulness, and concern for the person and the family.
"In suspending the one tenured and two untenured faculty members, Ave Maria School of Law has deprived them of the dignity of their work - their vocation - without adequate process," Mirror of Justice said in their letter of complaint. "And, in suspending the tenured faculty member without pay, AMSL has failed to take into account the well-being of that faculty member's family."
The group also reported that the dean received a "no confidence vote" from the faculty in April 2006.
UPDATE 2: The Chronicle of Higher Education just posted an article about the Mirror of Justice (MOJ) Statement about the events at Ave Maria School of Law. Click Critics Say Leaders of Ave Maria Law School Violate 'Core Catholic Norms' to see the article.
The Chronicle aptly described the MOJ authors and fairly characterized the content.
It is worth mentioning that Barney's propaganda tending to belittle these upstanding professors is repeated at the bottom of the article. It's very funny that he has any standing to criticize others of "misinformation and disinformation."
Matt Bowman is highlighted in the Florida Trend as providing the Quote of the Day, which is subtitled, "What you need to know about Florida today." They state it:
"I think Tom Monaghan runs an academic dictatorship and uses his power not to fight heresy, but to fight those who disagree with him."
-- Matt Bowman, a 2003 Ave Maria law graduate and alumni board member.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
UPDATE: BARNEY RESPONDS IN ABA JOURNAL INTERVIEW:
However, in an interview today with ABAJournal.com, Bernard Dobranski, the law school's president and dean, says "a small group of disgruntled faculty members who don't want to see the law school relocate" have magnified academic freedom and governance issues. Although he can't discuss personnel issues, he says the outside academics don't know "what's going on here."Apparently, if Barney's statement is true about academics, then pimped-out administrators like Dollarboy can't see what's going on outside their wallet, either. Continuing to quote the now regulalry impeachable Dollarboy (anybody remember this story about how the 2002 AMU 990 impeached Barney's statements that he was not connected to the University?), the article states:
Dobranski, though, points to five new faculty hires at the law school as evidence that it will not have any difficulty recruiting academics to take the place of those who depart.The fact that he can get five people off the street doesn't mitigate that he gutted the tenure system at AMSOL. Nice issue-shifting, Barney, but retention would seem to include the tenure system (cue comments: there is no tenure system).
See Barney's Shovelcraft on the Updated Blog Entry on the ABAJournal here.
Orginal Mirror of Justice Statement (FUMARE coverage)
Law Professor Outlets:
Brian Leiter's Law School Reports
TaxProf (University of Cincinnati Professor)
I think we'll see some wider exposure over the next week or so. We might even see an email from the Dollarboy tomorrow. Heck, he might have already written it and has it sitting in his assistants drafts folder in MS Outlook just waiting to hit send.
UPDATE: I should be forthright. I don't just think we'll see, but I have it on a few independent sources, that several news pieces are hitting the streets in the next couple days.
I looked back in my personal archives of paper that was sent to me from the school in 1999 and 2000 and found this snippet from an AMSOL Press Release dated August 1999, titled "ANNOUNCEMENT OF AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW DRAWS IMMEDIATE INTEREST FROM POTENTIAL STUDENTS, FACULTY AND BENEFACTORS Michael O. Kenney Named Dean of Admissions"
Ann Arbor, MI (August, 1999) Only 120 days after the announcement of its creation and more than a year from the time the doors will be open in the Fall of 2000, the Ave Maria School of Law has already received a sizable number of inquiries from prospective students and faculty members across the country, North America and abroad.� In addition, several unexpected benefactors have stepped forward to offer financial support and donations to the school's library.
According to Ave Maria School of Law's Acting Dean, Joseph L. Falvey, more than 100 inquiries for faculty positions have been received from across the U.S. and Europe. These include distinguished professors from prestigious law schools and partners in the nation's major law firms.
"We are finding that potential faculty members are captivated by the mission of the school and see it as a real opportunity to become involved in an institution that will have a positive impact on society," reported Falvey. "They see it as an enriching place to teach and conduct research."
In addition to the high degree of interest from potential faculty and students, more than $100,000 in unsolicited financial contributions have been received from private donors. Also, five law libraries with a combined total of more than 10,000 volumes have been donated by former and active members of the legal profession.
Those poor donors who coughed up cash never thought they were giving to these people today, I'm sure.
Note the comment about faculty inquiry.
In honor of our newly bestowed status as terrorists, we got together for a group photo yesterday afternoon shortly after tea.
Pictured are Thales, Columcille, and Casimir Pulaski.
Thursday has been in the field lately.
The ABA has determined all but one of the complaints made by law school faculty to be unfounded, he says, and the remaining faculty retention issue will soon be resolved, too. "The relocation was a catalyst for the complaints. But a major issue is not about Florida--it's about governance," Dobranski says. "And the critics believe that they run the law school and that the board does not." This, however, is not an accreditation issue, he states.
As for repeating his misrepresentation of the critic position, I think the Journal should restate that critics say that Monaghan runs the law school, the board and the dean.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
This week's issue of The Wanderer (which is also Casimir's favorite weekly newspaper), issue Sept 13, 2007 contains a story about the dastardly deed done to Safranek.
Among my favorite quotes are these:
“Fumare” bloggers wrote that the dean was often disingenuous in his responses. He declined to discuss the Safranek firing; he downplayed the attrition rate for AMSOL students who have transferred out, over 30 from the class of 2009 alone, a percentage of 30%, double the average for other law schools; he misrepresented the founding of the school, attributing it to Monaghan’s “ vision” while neglecting to give credit to the Detroit Mercy law professors (Safranek, Mollie Murphy, Richard Myers, and Joseph Falvey) who approached Monaghan with their “vision” and who each gave $ 20,000 to the new school, and agreed to work for over a year without compensation. Further, bloggers wrote, he minimized the high attrition rate of faculty and staff (nine of 18 faculty have left or are in the process of leaving).
and Charlie Rice's quote:
Former faculty member Dr. Charles E. Rice told The Wanderer that this way of building a new faculty for the Florida venture is “violating law, ethics, morality, and everything else.”
Casimir agrees, especially that it violates everything else as well as any other measure of what is right and wrong.
As Miklos Molnar pointed out, there are many comments reposted in the article.
To see the article, go to The Wanderer website, and subscribe for the e-edition ($50 annual). You can view up to three editions for free, however (so even students can go see it without breaking the bank). The rest of you should pay the $80 for the print+electronic editions -- it's worth it to have around.
I just wish they would have cited some of our fun parodies, such as Barney Dollarbranski, and Uncle Tom Moneyhand, but maybe that's too much.
By the failure to live their Christian commitment, the AMSL Dean and Board cause scandal in the legal, academic, and religious communities. This scandal is exacerbated by the fact that their actions are taken on behalf of a law school named for the Blessed Mother of Christ.
The statement rolls through various sources of standards/authority both Catholic and of general Academy.
I count 15 signatures from a wide variety of professors, repeated here in no particular order: Bainbridge, Scaperlanda, Kirk, Sisk, Stabille, Vischer, Shiffrin, Sargent (as in the Dean of Villanova), Peñalver, Garnett, Brennan, Berg, and Araujo.
Sto Lat, professors! Casimir prays that God grant you many graces for stating these things so clearly and with the force of your prestige.
I will also venture to speak on behalf of most of FUMARE in their appreciation as well, since, I can impute from the things they've observed as well that you are speaking well of the things we see, too.
UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge has posted the statement on his blog as well.
Profs Blawg has picked it up.
Verbal Abuse and HarassmentLook at that policy! "Positive Engagement and mutual respect"! Wow! Pretty words. I wonder what they mean given the way the Founder acts.
All persons are entitled to live with and learn from each other in an atmosphere of positive engagement and mutual respect. Therefore, verbal abuse and harassment of another individual will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to threats, malicious pranks, abusive name calling, and harassment. You and your guests are expected to resolve differences in a mature, constructive manner. Contact a Residence Life staff member for more information and/or clarification.
Calling people with whom you disagree "dissident" or "academic terrorist" certainly seems to violate this policy as they are indeed, facially and by pernicious use, abusive name calling. Maybe Mr. Monaghan should live by his own rules, instead of calling everyone abusive names directly and through his yes-men like Barney and Nick.
On the flip side, when some student gets in trouble for violating this policy, they should keep a printed sheet of this article in their pocket to take to the ombudsman (if AMU even has an ombudsman). Maybe what the student charged under this Policy provision should do to resolve issues is pay off their opponent and slap a gag clause in the written settlement. That's acting consistent with the Founder and his great speeches!
The student certainly doesn't need to apologize. The Founder never apologized for what he has said, nor for not resolving conflicts in a manner consistent with that Policy.
Actually, if the policy were to read in a way that was consistent with the way AMC and AMSOL Faculty have been treated, it should read like this:
Verbal Abuse and Harassment
All persons who agree with the Founder are entitled to live with and learn from each other in an atmosphere of positive engagement and mutual respect. Therefore, verbal abuse and harassment of another individual who agrees with Mr. Moneyhand, the Foundation, or any authorized public release statement of an entity supported by either, will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to threats, malicious pranks, abusive name calling, and harassment. You and your guests, so long as they carry the party line, are expected to resolve differences in a mature, constructive manner. People who disagree shall be immediately silenced by any means, insulted, and banished. Contact a Residence Life staff member for more information and/or clarification of whether your opinion is allowed and therefore may be permitted under this policy.
See albert anon's orginal comment here.
2006/2009 data lines up.
2005/2008 they report a 150 25th
2004/2007 they report a 160-155-150 split.
Wow. After the peak in 2005, when accreditation was gained, things went steadily downhill. That, or the class of '05 was an aberrantly smart bunch of people. Given the prior trendlines, however, that would not seem to have been the case.
The The superb progress AMSL was making largely stopped dead in its track. The 5 point decline 25/75 is striking, particularly when you consider that most of the top lawschools (just my quickie analysis) seem to have increased their scores significantly during the same period.
I made a little picture of the data:
I think it speaks for itself. After 2003, two things prompted a decline. The move announcement and a noted shift in class size. Some comments in the past have noted that the admissions policies also sought to grab students from a larger pool. From what I see, stuff has continued to decline since 2003. The move was announced in 2003. Anybody with a brain had concerns that the law school was going to get pummelled in a manner like what happened to AMC.
So, given that the faculty didn't make a public fuss until well into 2005, when Rice was canned, it seems affirmative injury was caused by Monaghan in 2003.
The follwing chart shows the comparitive ranking of the class within LSAT scores. A 1 is top and 0 is bottom.
click for big image.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The investigation brings the school’s accreditation into doubt.
The school, created in 1999 by Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, has battled with faculty since the school’s board of governors voted in February to relocate from Ann Arbor to a larger campus in Naples, Fla. The law school is scheduled to move in 2009, joining an undergraduate program called Ave Maria University already located near Naples.
The article has function for comments.
UPDATE: link fixed.
Ave Maria's beginnings lie in discussions between former Oakland County prosecutor Dick Thompson and Monaghan. In 1998, several professors left University of Detroit Mercy School of Law after a dispute regarding the invitation of a pro-choice Michigan Supreme Court justice to give the oath at the end of the school's Red Mass, providing a core faculty. With the financial support of Monaghan, Dobranski was recruited to serve as dean. The school currently has twenty-one professors including Robert Bork, one visiting professor, and six legal writing lecturers.It's here at Wikipedia.
That doesn't eve jive well with Bernie's explanation as Published in Toledo L rev, THE FOUNDING OF AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW by Bernard Dobranski.
Before the official announcement was made, however, many months of intensive discussion and planning went on regarding the nature of the school’s mission and its aspirations. Two particular events are worth recounting. In late January 1999, I met with the founding faculty for a weekend planning session at the home of Professor Joseph Falvey.[ii] The meeting focused not only on the mission and direction of the law school but on all the details necessary to create and operate a new law school, e.g. the desired size of the school, the kind of students it wished to attract, the size of the faculty, and the contents of the curriculum. We paid particular attention to the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools, and agreed that the goal was to meet and exceed those standards as quickly as possible. During a weekend brainstorming session in late March, we developed and fleshed out the plans outlined during the January deliberations. Approximately 25 people attended that meeting, including the founding faculty and a number of law professors, judges, practitioners, and university officials from around the country, many of whom had interest and experience in legal education or university education involving religiously affiliated institutions. From these sessions, the basic plan for the law school was developed and then refined into the self-study document required by the ABA for accreditation. That plan, with only a few minor modifications, remains the basic plan for the law school today as it welcomes its fifth entering class.Coincidentally, Bernie said this, too:
It was scheduled to open in August 2000, would initially be funded by the financial generosity of the Foundation, and would be governed and operated, not by a Catholic diocese or religious order like the more than other twenty Catholic law schools, but by an independent board of Catholic laity and clergy.I'd like to see it governed that way. Lately, it's governed by one man, not independently.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Since the pro-Moneyman group is being more conciliatory these days, I'd like to state another erroneous statement, among others, that requires restatement "for the sake of clarity."
In the past week or so, the CNS interview with Dean D, included this statement:
Cybercast Shill Service: So, despite the millions donated, the jobs created,
the students educated - despite all these things - there is a very nasty battle
among academics over the relocation of a building?
Dean Dobranski: The relocation was a catalyst for the complaints. But a
major issue is not about Florida - it's about governance. And the critics
believe that they run the law school and that the board does not.
First, let's point out what is right about this statement: the issue is governance. $boy got that right, but he fumbles on the 5 yard line when he says "the critics believe that they run the law school and that the board does not."
NO, we believe that Moneyman runs the law school and the board does not. Maybe $boy has been studying Clinton's memoirs, or something, but the parodies, sarcasm, and outright outrage expressed here and everywhere else is that there is no thought allowed except for those of our blessed Founder, Who art in Naples.
The critics don't believe the board runs the school because Our Founder Moneyhan demands that his will be done in Ann Arbor as it is is Immokallee.
But that's what you said here, isn't it, Barney, when you failed to correct the Shill reporter's framing of the question (even Lonewolf and RK7th would be less transparent than this one) "So, despite the millions donated, the jobs created, the students educated - despite all these things - there is a very nasty battle among academics over the relocation of a building?" Oh wait, comments like that one just prove the bias the critics have that Moneyman is the blessed founder whose will is done no matter what.
You're right, Dean D, when you say that the issue is governance, you're right when you say we believe the board doesn't run the school, but you're wrong that we think we do -- it's Moneyman's capricious and arbitrary narcissism that runs the school.
So, let's see more good will clarification. The "clean bill of health" was "clarified" to become a responsive pleading to Rule 13(a) proceedings. Now, at least be forthright in the way you characterize us.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Sent: Fri 9/7/2007 4:22 PM
To: All Law System Distribution; All Alumni
Subject: ABA Inquiry
September 7, 2007
In the interest of clarifying my August 24, 2007 statement regarding the ABA inquiry, I have set forth below the verbatim "Conclusion" and "Response Requested" in the ABA letter.
In accordance with Rule 13(a), the Accreditation Committee has reason to believe that the Ave Maria School of Law has not established compliance with Standard 405(a), regarding the obligation of a law school to establish and maintain conditions adequate to attract and retain a competent faculty.
[See Findings of Fact (7) - (21).]
The Committee requests that the Dean of the Ave Maria School of Law submit a report by December 15, 2007, with all relevantinformation necessary to demonstrate compliance with Standard 405(a), including updated information regarding departures and hires of full-time faculty.
He's from Texas.
I gotta admit, I like the guy's candor. I may not like everything he says, but his candor gives him a million bonus points in my book. There is but something about this whole idea that struck me as a bit too similar to history, a bit of deja vu. It just seemed to me that I've seen a guy come in with little slickness and much candor before who was able to split a vote enough to allow a Clinton to be elected president. History repeats?
Turns out the last time a Clinton was on the ballot, the was another independently speaking, brazen candidate with a lot of unique ideas, lots of candor, and not so much of the slick exterior that seems typical of the usual suspects.
That's when I remembered this guy, H. Ross Perot.
(He's from the Republic of Texas, too)
Texas is close to Arkansas.
They even kind of look alike to me, but I think all WASPs kind of look alike. That must be why they hang out in country clubs together, but I digress.
Maybe there is no similarity here. Maybe it's all just coincidence with nothing much else behind it, but it just struck me as being a little too familiar not to at least toss the idea out in front of the FUMARE crowd to be smoked up and puffed.
On the personal front, I like the underdog with something to say. Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas and he is certainly singing to the lost Republican-at-heart, especially when he blasts the neo-cons. It's the self-professed neo-cons, like a certain billionaire running around and his henchmen that say they stand for principles, and flavor the speech to have morsels palatable to principled thinkers, but then turn around and do whatever they want anyway throwing principle to the wind.
Sometimes when I look at the crowd presented as ideal candidates, I'd rather have a Trafficant or a Ron Paul because I think they were both guys who at least told you what they meant and did what they said. Trafficant might have been crooked, but at least he did what he said and acted in accord with it. There's something about that kind of candor that is preferable to the neo-con.
Rip me up for throwing Perot out there into the mix, but it just struck me as kind of strange coincidence.
Anybody else remember this? or this?
UPDATE: OK, I see that this idea is all over the internet already, and comments herein point out the difference I was overlooking that Perot was independent, but Ron Paul is running in the Republican party. Not so much a vote splitter, so that difference is a biggie. You gotta admit that the rest of it is kind of uncanny, though. Sort of a set of coincidences to show how narrow of a spiral the presidential politics are anymore.
UPDATE II: Anybody else think Russia's launching of the largest sorties seen in some time has something to do with it wanting to be mentioned in presidential debates again? I mean, c'mon, the plane shot down over Georgia is an unknown MIG configuration -- Russia is letting everyone know that they have some arm strength in their airfields again.
Why would Fox News lie to the American people?
Ah, Cardinal Mahony, high priest of modernism, bulider of monstrosities, author of confusion and misdirection, and bully of nuns, is at it again.
Now that the sexual abuse settlement has been met, it is time to sell those church properties that are non-essential, you know, those who have traditional religious nuns living in them.
Why not sell the Cathedral as a sign of repentance? Why evict these nuns? Do you think that these nuns would be evicted if they were dressed like this?
I wonder if this sell off is going to be used in more cases to attack priests and religious who hold fast to the traditions?
Thursday, September 06, 2007
He's not a bad guy, he's been a Senator, and he should have ordinarily been a lot better on last night's FOX debate. But he wasn't.
Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and other talk shows folks were not so subtly suggesting he should withdrawal his candidacy after last night.
Perhaps I'm being too nice to Sam. But I can't help but think that it's gotta be Monaghan's influence and money dragging him down. Too bad, we might have had our second Catholic president otherwise. But Sam will have to settle with fourth tier like the rest of things financed by the billionaire.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Consider this an open forum for discussion on nominees and strategies.
During my annual visits to the Law School I had ample opportunity to come to know and admire the calibre of its excellent faculty. I have gradually become aware of the strength of the case for saying that Professor Safranek in particular is the victim of a serious injustice. I felt that the least I could do was to signal my solidarity with those who have petitioned for restoration of the employment of Professors Safranek, Lyons and Pucillo. My original impressions of the intellectual and Catholic vitality of Ave Maria School of Law are intimately connected with the character and commitment of those men and their colleagues. I deplore what has happened to them and the consequent damage to the original ethos of the Law School.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Today, on the celebration of labor, new images were unveiled in Moneyland.
The first was placed in the piazza on the side of a building. Several people were paid to gather and chant the ever-popular, "Our Founder" and spontaneous cries of "Poor old Tom! Pravda!"
The second came in the form of posters handed out to Moneyland residents to place in the entrance forums to show perfect allegiance for the mission of the Founder:
[Es Lebe Moneysland! Poster]
Some "Academic terrorists" were apprehended who ripped up the posters shouting "Beria! Gulag!" and other suspects were rounded up in an effort to prevent them from committing violence against the peaceful and docile residents.
Answering cries of potential critics, spokespeople said merely that their flavor of truth was more palatable than anyone else's.
Fumare's favorite canon lawyer, Dr. Ed Peters, has a good response.
Assuming the truth of those sad days matters anymore, let me say one more time that I did not see faculty and staff of Ave Maria College in Michigan doing everything they could" to stop Ave Maria in Florida: instead, I saw them doing what little they could within the law and their meager resources to save Ave Maria College in Michigan. Such a simple distinction, and so many can't or won't see it.More at In the Light of the Law.
. . . .
As many know, I stood up for the Michigan faculty and staff who opposed the abrupt destruction of Ave Maria College and, like others before me and others after, I was duly shown the door by the Ave Maria empire. Maybe I should have seen that as evidence of God's approval of my actions, but it's hard to be poetic when one suddenly has to find a new way to meet the mortgage in the Michigan economy.
. . . .
Tom Monaghan, in contrast, seems to think that his paterfamilias style of philanthropy permits him to show continual scorn for the vanquished, those who dared to question his judgment about various projects, projects to which they, often as much and sometimes more than he, contributed, but in which he allowed them little or no voice.
The couple paused to embrace while taking a stroll along a river in the nearyby swamp in the central province of The Administrative Zone, the Gyrate Daily said.
"As we hugged each other, three guards came and separated us so they could ask questions. They brought us to the security station and didn't free us until we paid a 5,000 moneyhanities fine," the paper quoted female detainee, Gustavia Bertoleone, as saying in an Internet posting on a local news portal.
The guards were in plain clothes and many other couples were out strolling on the evening of "Great Founding" -- a local festival often dubbed "Catholic" Valentine's Day, the Gyrate News said in a separate report.
Dissident internet users poured derision on the guards, which "forced officials to look into the case," the paper said.
"The three guards have been punished. We have never dealt with such a case before," the paper quoted a clerk at the security station as saying.
Police had refunded the money to Gustabia's boyfriend and apologized, the paper said.
Security in Maryopolis have previously taken a dim view of public displays of affection. Last October, volunteers offering "free hugs" in a shopping street in the piazza were hauled away for questioning. Supporters of such draconian measures cite moral law as prohibiting the possibility of enticing others, and that affection is reserved for marriage. Security claims authority of such actions because public displays of affection cause damage to the mission.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
No, no, nothing is wrong. The ABA -- they are nowhere near the Empire! In fact, the dissidents are killing themselves on the internet as we speak! Utopia is fine! Even our rankings in law school websites peddling books and google ads have skyrocketed overnight! How could anything be wrong? If the ABA was here, I could not be granting all these interviews with you, could I? I assure, things are great and getting better each minute.
© 2007 FUMARE