If This Isn't Sabotage, Then What Is?

I noted two days ago that one possible explanation for the actions of at least some of those who apparently pressured* Michael Drake to rescind the offer to Erwin Chemerinsky was a desire to derail the new law school. As the LA Times article quoted below notes (Hat tip to Brian Leiter), a delay in the opening of the law school is now a very real possibility. I can't get inside the heads of those who made the decision, but if they wanted to do maximum damage to their law school, they couldn't have done a much better job. From the LA Times article:

Officials said the turnaround on Chemerinsky could delay the opening of the law school — scheduled for 2009 — and so tarnish the institution that it would be difficult to assemble the scholars and staff needed to establish the school as one of the nation's best — UCI's long-cherished goal....

[O]fficials leading the launch of the law school said the decision makes it likely the school will not be ready to accept its first class as scheduled in 2009.

In order to meet the target, plans called for a dean to be in place this fall and for six to eight senior faculty members to then be hired this academic year. The search for Chemerinsky took nine months before a formal agreement was reached, and search committee members said they would now probably start again from scratch.

"We had three other finalists, and one of them would have definitely done it a week ago," said psychology professor Elizabeth F. Loftus, a member of the committee. "If you asked them today, I don't know. I don't think the law school will be derailed, but who knows what's going to happen next?"

*On the subject of external pressure, the same article in the LA Times says:

Loftus said Thursday that the chancellor told the committee during an emergency meeting Wednesday night that he was forced to make the decision by outside forces whom he did not name. A second member of the committee confirmed Loftus' account to The Times but asked to remain anonymous.

"I asked whether it was one or two voices or an avalanche, and the answer is that it was an avalanche."

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. If This Isn't Sabotage, Then What Is?
  2. Incompetence, Cowardice, or Willful Self-Destruction?