Some Choice Words on Law School Faculty Hiring

from Jeff Harrison, professor at University of Florida law school.

The handling of the [Chemersinky] situation so many have written about sounds like there is no other interpretation than Irvine blundered.

But Pleeeeze, no more claims of being outraged that politics entered into the decision. I have seen decanal hiring, faculty hiring, tenure review letters, teaching evaluations, and tenure decisions affected by the political leanings of the candidate. I have watched while one candidate has his or her resume and scholarship dissected while another candidate gets a light look all based on political philosophy. I've seen the bottom of the class become "outstanding" and top of the class become not so good.I have seen one very liberal decanal candidate go down in flames when, evidently on the basis of one or two rumors, he was determined to be "insufficiently sensitive to race." A minority faculty candidate was nailed because he was not the "right kind of African American." The persistent obsession with hiring people with elite credentials with no verification that they are better scholars or teachers than other top grads is yet another political decision that defines the profession. If this does not go on at your own school, that's nice but, come on, our profession operates under a huge anti-intellectual cloud and claims of outrage and surprise are disingenuous.