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Monday, June 27, 2005

Tenure Turmoil

There's a bit of a controversy at my (former) law school involving a Professor who would like to be tenured. Here's a link to the "school" blog where some thoughts are posted.

Update: some interesting discussion going on at the IU-Indy blog.
Another Update: Seems local TV news now wants in on the action. Of course, local "news" is often a bit of a misnomer.

My observations:

  • Mrs. Holladay's article is incredibly one-sided. I spoke with one reader, not affiliated with the school, who stated "the school is discriminating against him." That is certainly what the piece would lead one to believe, but Mrs. Holladay left out some interesting facts, including that Professor Bradford has been teaching at the school for only 3 years and tenure is normally applied for after 6 years. In addition, she neglects to clarify that Bradford has not applied for tenure - a fact that is totally mischaracterized in the article. I've enjoyed this writer's articles in the past, but faced with the one-sidedness of this particular article, I have to say that I will question the quality and objectivity of her pieces in the future.
  • This story doesn't seem 'newsworthy' to me. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are understandably interested, and of course the public has the "right" to information about happenings at the state university. But why would the general public care? The piece just seems sensationalist and I think it's unfortunate that the story has gone public in this manner. With the drama IU-Indy has endured regarding the drop in law school rankings, and with the past Christmas tree debacle, we don't need this kind of media attention. It seems self-serving at best, and its impact on the opinions of prospective students is likely to be only negative.
  • As I alluded to on the school blog, I am more than certain that we are not privy to all the facts. It amazes me that people who read a newspaper piece or a blog post can instantly be smug in the notion that they know exactly what's going on: that Bradford is being unreasonable, or that Roisman is some sort of witch. I know neither to be true, but you can bet there is more to the situation than we know.
  • Finally, for the record, I had Professor Bradford as a 1L and I've not had Professor Roisman for class. I thought Bradford was an incredible professor and I'm proud to say I was a member of his first law school class. He is brilliant, passionate, and inspiring. When I explained my frustration with the Indystar article to my Mom, she said "I thought you liked Professor Bradford." Indeed I do. But I'm dismayed with the article and the general discord that seems to be present among some members of the IU-Indy faculty.


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