September 12, 2007

About the Irvine law school.

Not ready for prime time!

52 comments:

Doyle said...

True.

Lindsay Harrison said...

Do you think this will have an effect on the willingness of professors to accept offers at Irvine? I suspect tenured professors are somewhat (though not completely - see Ave Maria) insulated from political judgments by donors/trustees, but what about the junior tenure tracks? Perhaps a law teaching job is in such high demand that many folks will say yes no matter what the situation (and a job in Southern California at a UC school is not too shabby), but for junior folks who have choices between Irvine and other schools, I suspect this hiring/firing fiasco may function as a tipping point of sorts....Will be interesting to see!

Maxine Weiss said...

Free faculty housing donated by the Irvine Company.....

....I'd say future UCI Professors don't care what the school does!

I love how everyone's all "apalled". Yeah right.

$$$$$$$$---nobody cares about the rest of it---no matter what they say!

Maxine Weiss said...

The big donors are now in control, and whoever gives the most $$$$$ sets policy, and it's that way at every school.

Every single law school, every single school is beholden to it's benefactors. Carnegie-Mellon, Getty, Donald Bren....schools care much more about their endowments, and everything else is just hot air.

Whoever can pump up the endowment the most...sets policy. And anyone who believes anything different is living in fantasyland.

B said...

Unlike our hypocritical liberal friends, who change their principals at the drop of a hat, conservative Law Professor Hugh Hewitt, the political opposite of Professor Chemerinsky, is outraged at the situation, and devoted the majority of his radio show today to lambasting UC Irvine's leadership.

Let's see . . when did a liberal last stick up for a conservative anywhere on principal . . . no, no, I'm certain the enlightened ones must have . . .

Oh, that's right. Liberals have so few principals, they can't afford the time.

Lieberman forever.

Maxine Weiss said...

Nobody's more greedy than UC and the Regents care more about money than reputation.

Actually, Althouse couldn't get hired unless she knew someone that could bring them big bucks. Anyone who deals with UC or the Regents had better have loads of cash, or connections.

Chemerinsky isn't a rainmaker. He might be brilliant (he IS brilliant) but he can't open purse strings, or get them the money they want.

AlphaLiberal said...

There you go. The Stalinist right is purging people from the universities. This is what the well-funded David Horowitz has been after for a long time.

The right has had a pretty open battle plan to defund the left. Firing people for being liberal is an extension of that.

Maybe this Dean is just a punk allowing himself to be pushed around. It's terrible and anti-American anyway, and it lowers the value of a UC-Irvine degree.

AlphaLiberal said...

Before I move on, someone may ask about this: "lowers the value of a UC-Irvine degree."

If it's not apparent, the political filtering of professors to block liberals is not a path to excellence but, rather, mediocrity.

It's kind of like in Red China where you have to hew to the party line to survive and thrive. No freedom of thought.

Maxine Weiss said...

You think Boalt isn't on the take?

Boalt would throw their best and brightest off a cliff if they thought it would interfere with big money underwriters.

Maxine Weiss said...

It's not about politics, it's about money. Brilliance and intellect doesn't put food on the table. Sadly.

They've all got their hand out, now.

Revenant said...

The right has had a pretty open battle plan to defund the left. Firing people for being liberal is an extension of that.

Conservatives are, without exception so far as I can tell, condemning UCI for firing Chemerinsky. But don't let reality get in the way of your little paranoid rant.

You never do.

Palladian said...

AlphaLiberal, you'd be absolutely silent if the shoe was on the other foot. You only care because this guy's on your "team". So quit bitching.

I'd be happy to hear more about this from an honest commenter, regardless of their political persuasion. But you're not an honest commentator.

And "Jonah" is that same person who changes his username all the time that I keep pointing out, in case Althouse is interested and reading this.

Palladian said...

And Chemerinsky is certainly a well-known legal scholar, so why did they hire him in the first place before figuring out if it would be a problem approving him? A very bad PR move indeed.

There's too damn many law schools anyway. Good riddance to this one.

Maxine Weiss said...

If George Soros wanted to make a 50 million dollar donation (at least 50)......UCI would accept, gladly!

Ideology has nothing to do with it.

I'm like that too. Whoever wants to pay me the best, all assume whatever ideology desired. Ideology is fluid, depending on who pays the most. Religion too. If Jews have the most money and pay the most, we're all Jewish!!!!

Go where the money is. Chemerinsky can't bring in the money. And, they've already got over 2000 applications for the job, and that's not counting the thousands of applications for faculty.

I wouldn't worry about them. I don't know about Chemerinsky, though. He should have never left USC to begin with. That's just not done.

rcocean said...

Maxine,

You mean Con Law is more Con than Law?

I don't believe it.

John Stodder said...

Also, apart from the interesting responses from the various factions, this story is yet another replay of the same story: A cosseted, insulated institution taking an action that won't stand the light of day, completely unaware of the new media's ability to whip up a ferocious response almost before they can catch a breath.

I'd love to be working in the UC Chancellor's PR office today.

PatCA said...

UCI is a hotbed of institutional malfeasance. This is not surprising in the least--the new law school is just trying to fit right in!

peter said...

Losing Chemerinsky is a real loss if California hopes Irvine Law School can achieve any sort of intellectual independence. It's when the moneyed interests exert this much control -- control so great it won't allow the law school it wants to fund to hire a brilliant and independent mind -- that we perhaps really ought to begin to fear for the intellectual independence of our universities.

It's simple really. Whatever the wealthy in this country want, they get, and they want to mariginalize as much as possible any minds that might dissent from their own goals.

Irvine, I suppose, will be the new Pepperdine.

John Stodder said...

Except Pepperdine is a private university.

My tax dollars help support UCI. The wealthy backers can't call the tune all by themselves.

Revenant said...

Whatever the wealthy in this country want, they get, and they want to mariginalize as much as possible any minds that might dissent from their own goals.

If the rich "get whatever they want" then apparently they must want colleges to be almost exclusively run by left-wingers, with faculties far left of center.

I guess that makes sense. It encourages the productive members of society to leave the university and make something of themselves in the private sector. :)

Internet Ronin said...

You're right, John. I'm not sure I'd say it is fun, but it is interesting watching the partisans get in line to engage in their ritual off-topic bomb-throwing. That said, I think the claim about a fight at the Board of Regents level is a crock - there aren't enough conservatives left on that board to make a difference. Instead, it sure sounds like Chancellor Drake was so busy spending Donald Bren's money before he actually had it in hand that he forgot his major donor might have an opinion, or two. That law school was going nowhere without Bren's money. As it stands now, it is probably not going anywhere soon with it. (And lest some people here forget: if this is the reason, it remains Donald Bren's money until the day he gives it to the Regents of the University of California, at which time they will thank him and ignore him in perpetuity, which is their long-established custom.)

BTW John, IIRC, the last time I saw figures, the taxpayers pay only about 30% of the costs associated with operating all programs of the University of California. As not many are interested in undergraduates, the taxpayers make up almost all of the difference between the cost of providing an undergraduate education and the fees paid by those undergraduates. Those undergraduate costs are a huge portion of that 30%, and some argue that many grad schools are not only virtually self-funding but actual profit centers. Not sure about the economics of law schools, though.

peter said...

Revenant,

Whatever tiny bit of truth there might be in your belief that universities are captive of the left wing, Irvine's treatment of Chemerinsky is strong evidence of the way the worm is turning throughout our universities.

Incidentally, state support to state universities has been cut so drastically since the Reagan years that those "state" universities have really become as dependent on private money as are the private universities.

Revenant said...

Whatever tiny bit of truth there might be in your belief that universities are captive of the left wing

That universities are overwhelmingly dominated by left-wingers is an empirical fact, established by basically every study of faculty political views that has been done for years. You're welcome to doubt it... just as creationists are welcome to doubt the theory of evolution. But, like them, you are flat-out wrong. Anyone who thinks there is only a "tiny bit of truth" in the statement that universities are captives of the Left is unworthy of being taken seriously.


Irvine's treatment of Chemerinsky is strong evidence of the way the worm is turning throughout our universities.

Oh, sure. Go right ahead and extrapolate an entire trend from a single data point. Don't let me -- or the fact that conversatives are condemning the Chemerinsky firing -- stop you from indulging in your little conservative-takeover fantasy world. Why, if this sharp rightwards "trend" continues, it is only a matter of time before the percentage of left-wing academics is down to 80 or, Saint Chomsky forbid, even *70* percent!

Revenant said...

Oh, and one more thing:

The University of California got about 12% of its budget from private sources this year. The rest came from the state and federal government, student fees, and other income sources (such as university-owned properties).

So no, private funding is not as important as government funding. If it had to rely on private funding, the UC system would collapse overnight. It is much too bloated to survive without government support.

peter said...

The fact conservatives are criticizing Chemerinsky's firing only goes to show good conservative too fear the threat to intellectual independence posed by dependence on wealthy contributors.

You probably don't want to know this, Revenant, but we really are pulling back from state supported higher education and, as a result, making our universities more and more beholden to wealth that tends to exert leverage more than encourage independence.

From The Philanthropy News Digest back in 2005
comes the news I am too familiar with as a grad of the University of Michigan, which only gets 8 percent of its money from the state:

Reductions in state funding for higher education have left many universities scrambling for private gifts to fill budget gaps for basic operating costs, the Oregon Daily Emerald reports. For example, less than 14 percent of the University of Oregon's total revenue came from state funds in 2003-04, compared to 32 percent in 1985-86, while tuition fees accounted for more than 33 percent of the university's budget, compared to 22 percent twenty years ago. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan has lost 12 percent of itsstate funding, or $43 million, over the past two years. According to UM spokeswoman Julie Peterson, state money now only accounts for 8 percent of the university's budget. "We can't rely on state funding alone," said Peterson. "It simply isn't enough."
As a result, many universities are stepping up fundraising to cover their basic operating costs. According to Kevin Hegarty, vice president and CFO of the University of Texas, 98 percent of the money raised by the university's last seven-year campaign was earmarked for specific purposes. "We're looking more to private funding to fund the basic operations of the university," he said. "It's not been the history of donors that they've been all that interested in that kind [of support]."

Finally, Revenant, maybe you should lighten up on the Horowitz reading.

Daryl said...

It's pathetic and shameful. Everyone involved on UCI's side should be ashamed. It's a sad spectacle.

If Donald Bren wants to build a conservative law school, he should start from scratch (a private institution) and should cut a deal with UCI whereby his students can take econ/business classes there.

Public colleges and universities should not be permitted to prevent private institutions from buying seats in their classrooms.

Daryl said...

Expressly setting out to create a public school with a particular ideological bent is pretty lame. But if it was a private school, at some point in the future, UCI could swallow it up. That would not be problematic, even if it retained its conservative character.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm a UCI MBA grad. Those guys are incompetent. The adminstration is gutless on rampant anti-semitism and proven spineless on the Law school. They should have done their homework before making an offer, both with the Dean and the Donors.

Having said that: Internet Ronin has it right. UC wasn't footing the bill for the UCI Bren School of Law. Guess who was. As I understand it, 87% of the costs of starting the school were funded privately.

EnigmatiCore said...

Doyle, it is a sad spectacle. A person's political ideology should not be used to disqualify them from a position involving the legal profession, be it law professor or Attorney General.

Pogo said...

It's not unwise for a major donor, especially the major donor, to expect some say in the direction of a new school, if not even outright micromanagement.

Funding a school that way has those strings attached.

This episode in the human comedy is a re-run, but it offers at least the gratifying knowledge that some conservatives have integrity, and express that they find it deplorable.

This largely demonstrates incompetence, in my view, an inauspicious and injudicious start for any school.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"There you go. The Stalinist right is purging people from the universities."

The Regents of the University of California are "[t]he Stalinist right"?

Too many jims said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hdhouse said...

A perfect example (I'm betting) of when a donation becomes a debt.

Out here on Eastern Long Island, and working with arts groups and the like, one can tell the difference between old money and new money and bad money.

Old money says thank you for letting me donate.

New money rarely says thanks but rather wants to know the font size on the "benefactor" page.

Bad money shows up at the planning meetings "just to kibbitz".

George said...

The funny thing about a job is that you have to do what your employer wants you to do.

The employer required material produced on a certain subject. The employee produced material on a different subject. Doesn't matter whether it's widgets or op-ed pieces.

Clearly, the employer saw signs that the new hire was not going to conform, and it did the smart thing and got rid of him before he became encrusted in the position.

To put it another way, sometimes the best car salesman on the lot shouldn't be promoted to sales manager. The jobs require altogether different skill sets.

Too many jims said...

Simon,

I am not sayingthat it is the "Stalinist right" but according to the LA Times article that Prof. Althouse links to here on her next post, the Chancellor says that he consulted with no Regents about it.

hdhouse said...

George.....

Well, you spoke like a true academic with teaching responsibilities, academic freedom, etc.

Tenure was installed just because there was a chance, not a good one, but a chance nontheless, that minds like yours would run teaching institutions on every level.

Thorley Winston said...

Doyle, it is a sad spectacle. A person's political ideology should not be used to disqualify them from a position involving the legal profession, be it law professor or Attorney General.


And the ironic thing is that up until it (allegedly) happened to him, Erwin Chimerinsky was one of the leading national proponents of the exact opposite view.


Chimerinsky’s conservative supporters have displayed far more integrity that he ever has.

Doyle said...

Why are people addressing me? I agreed with Ann, in all seriousness.

What I find strange is the amount of chest thumping conservatives are doing for being so principled, "unlike our hypocritical liberal friends."

Clearly, this is an opportunity to establish "fair and balanced" bona fides for any future battle over some truly crackpot conservative in the future. Like say a John Yoo, whom the UC regents don't seem to mind.

Maxine Weiss said...

Daryl: There's no difference, nowadays, between public and private schools. The Regents conduct most of their business...pay raises, building, staffing etc....in private.

Quasimodo said...

Stalin was a leftist

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

No, no. Stalin and Hitler were on the right. All bad people and badness are on the right. The right stands for badness. The left stands for goodness. Alpha Liberal has explained all of this to you morons ad puke.

Now, which is it, Quasimido: do you stand for goodness? Or badness?

Maxine Weiss said...

"The University of California got about 12% of its budget from private sources this year."--Revenant

"Budget" doesn't include all the extras that UC relies on. Chaired faculty, endowment, building, research grants, bonuses, INVESTMENTS (ahem), etc...

...all of that comes from private money, and lots of it. From the Hollywood Elites that fund UCLA to the San Francisco old money that underwrites Boalt, and the wealthy OC Neocons that set policy at UCI ....

....there's nothing more important than the gobs of private money that are dumped on UC these days, and they care about nothing else.

Maxine Weiss said...

"UCI is a hotbed of institutional malfeasance. "---Patca

No no. Basically, it's run like the Wild West, and the wealthy Neocons don't have to answer to anyone because of the cash cow they provide.

You know during the late 60s....when all other schools had Vietnam uprisings and protests, UCI was an oasis of John Birch Society tranquility.

But hey, isn't that the essence of University and student life---do your own thing, and don't follow the crowd? UCI was an interesting place during Vietnam!

igbalonigbanlo said...

Hdhouse:

Considering how 'old money' (the very existence of the phrase..) looks down on others, it's likely they mean, "you should be thankful..."

At least in new moneys defense, the last person who had the balls to take big risks and be something is not from 5 generations ago.

What I like best is new money behaving like bad money.

On an aside I'm with Warren Buffet on this, if I ever make that kind of money.

Internet Ronin said...

Doyle: I haven't read every comment, but it seems to me many people were going out of their way to take the opportunity to say they actually agree with you about something. Instead of asking why, just treasure the moment ;-).

EnigmatiCore said...

"Clearly, this is an opportunity to establish "fair and balanced" bona fides for any future battle over some truly crackpot conservative in the future. Like say a John Yoo, whom the UC regents don't seem to mind."

In which Doyle admits that he has no intention of ever being fair and balanced, and any conservatives who were backing Chemerinsky hoping for a quid pro quo from the left were being hopelessly naive.

A pox on rabid partisans.

Revenant said...

"Budget" doesn't include all the extras that UC relies on. Chaired faculty, endowment, building, research grants, bonuses, INVESTMENTS (ahem), etc...

In the UC budget documents it does. The 12% figure specifically includes all of the above.

Revenant said...

You probably don't want to know this, Revenant, but we really are pulling back from state supported higher education and, as a result, making our universities more and more beholden to wealth that tends to exert leverage more than encourage independence.

I am aware that private donors are responsible for a growing percentage of state school revenues. I was simply responding to your ridiculous assertion that state universities were as dependent on private donors as they are on state support. It isn't even close.

A smarter person than yourself would also have realized that a gradual shift from being dependent on politicians to being dependent on private citizens does not necessary lead to a decrease in independence or an increase in the willingness to use "leverage". The Horowitz campaign that you've been whining about, for example, keeps trying to get states to use *their* leverage over the schools' purse strings to force changes in policy.

Doyle said...

In which Doyle admits that he has no intention of ever being fair and balanced, and any conservatives who were backing Chemerinsky hoping for a quid pro quo from the left were being hopelessly naive.

This is silly. Any conservatives who are "backing" Chemerinsky hoping for a quid pro quo aren't being naive as much as cynical. You shouldn't get a reward for seeing this firing as inappropriate and poorly handled, because it was pretty clearly both.

But you have to take these things on a case-by-case basis. This guy is by all accounts an extremely impressive legal thinker. The same cannot be said of Yoo, who is regarded by no small number of conservatives as a lightweight crank.

So yes to academic freedom for liberals and conservatives, but no to opening the doors to any crackpot who can plausibly cry "political bias."

James said...

Rev-

Just curious as to whether those figures you give represent the entire university, or the law school specifically. I know that here at Minnesota, essentially every classroom has a little plaque outside saying "Donated by: (law firm)." I've got to think that private interests make up at least a slightly, if not larger, portion of the budget for the law school specifically rather than the university as a whole, but since I don't know much about these things, I could also be talking out of my ass :P

Revenant said...

That was the figure for the entire UC system. I haven't found any documents on the UCI law school budget specifically.