Hooray for Orange County

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I've been following, with marginal interest, the plans to open a law school at UC Irvine. I think this is a good thing, both for UCI, the UC system, and California. It's good for UCI because the school has a reputation for being full of geeky engineers, and a law school will show that the university isn't all about the maths. It's good for the UC system, because with tuition for professional schools going up every year the UCI law school will be a cash cow for the Regents before we know it. And it's good for California, because California can always use more good law schools, and the University of California generally knows what it's doing when it comes to teaching people things (except Celtic Studies, God damn it).

Today, however, UCILS and the Regents have run into a bit of public obluquy by hiring Erwin Chemerinsky as the school's inaugural dean, and then immediately firing him for fear that the choice would anger conservatives (or at least one particular well-heeled conservative). The story is here, and there are some thoughts from the Volokh Conspiracy here and here. The latter is largely a scrape post by Eugene Volokh, who doesn't actually have anything to say about the issue but just wants it to be known that he knows about it and is only the second Volokh Conspirator to blog about it.

The whole ordeal is making those responsible for the decision look like monkey idiots, and reinforcing Orange County's reputation as a maniacal right-wing enclave. Erwin Chemerinsky, despite talking like Jerry Mathers from Leave it to Beaver and not fully understanding the concept of puns, is certainly one of the leading constitutional scholars of the day, and having him as the founding dean would be great for any law school. And regardless of whether it's appropriate to rescind an offer like this because of politics, Chemerinsky has been a known quantity in terms of his political views and causes for almost thirty years, so this is something the powers that be should have seen coming. The UC system once again proves itself to be a leading academic institution in spite of its leadership. Nice going, fellas.

1 Comment

i am in the OC right now for a deal. not really relevant to your blog, but thought i'd share anyways (it's not the most thrilling deal). =/

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on September 12, 2007 3:33 PM.

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