Tuesday, November 5, 2019

“How to Become a Full Time Law Professor” -- Transcript of Remarks Delivered at the Panel Session, Panel 4G: How to Become a Full-Time Law Professor –A Workshop for Aspirants, 4th National People of Color Scholarship Conference

The 4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference took place 21-24 March 2019 in a beautiful setting, at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.,For more information see HERE. Great thanks to American's Dean Camille Nelson for the vision to realize this important gathering.

Among the most important work of the People of Color Scholarship Conferences is their mentoring for people seeking entry into the legal academy, and then mentoring young scholars to enhance the prospects of career success. I was delighted to contribute in some way to that work at a Workshop for Law Teaching Aspirants--"How to Become a Full Time Law Professor"--at the 4th National People of Color Scholarship Conference, joining an impressive group of colleagues--Craig Konnoth (Colorado), Melinda Molina (Capital), Anita Sinha (American), and moderated by the great Alfreda Robinson (George Washington).

This post includes the transcript of my remarks at the panel: How to Become a Full Time Law Professor.  A revised version will be included along with the transcripts of the remarks by our co-panelists to be published in the Journal of Legal Education.  

The PowerPoints referenced in the Remarks and more formation on the panel may be accessed HERE.

Friday, November 1, 2019

What is the Fundamental Task of Education?: Xi Jinping's Concept of 立德树人 [Cultivating People of Moral Character] and its Implementation Through Undergraduate University Reform in 教育部关于一流本科课程建设的实施意见 [Implementation Opinions of the Ministry of Education on the Construction of First-class Undergraduate Courses]

(Pix Credit: 兰资环学院教育实践透视立德树人工程 凝心聚力锻造思想政治教育 )

Education reform has been a priority of the Xi Jinping leadership for some time.  It is a central element of "new era" theory, which links economic, political. cultural and social renovation in a tight web that each contributes to a comprehensive expression of the "new China"  under the leadership of the Communist Party.  That "new China" is a fundamentally moral project.  It elaborates a core premise that China's further economic potential can be developed only in tandem economically potent precisely because of its transposition of core socialist moral values to the constriction of society and culture as well.  That, at least, is the theory. 

But this theory requires a powerful implementation mechanism.  And that mechanism is education. Under the current leadership that sort of education reform as been high on the agenda for a number of years (e.g., Focusing on Civic Education in China--The CCP's Ideological Work Comes to the Universities: 关于进一步加强和改进新形势下高校宣传思想工作的意见). The drivers have not changed much, but the goals are far better coordinated with the comprehensive reshaping of the political-economic m0del and its cultural basis in outlook, custom and behavior. While it may be difficult to re-form the minds of current generations, a vanguard party looks to the formation of future generations for the long term transformation of the social and political order in ways that stick. To that end education acquires a more ancient form--one that starts with the moral formation of the student as the basis on which information can be both created and disseminated.  Xi Jinping theory, when turned toward education and the socialization of the young within a morally specific trajectory of socialist modernization (the morally informed development of productive forces), informs not just the way in which students are instructed, but also the context and form of that instruction as well. 

It was perhaps with that in mind that Xi Jinping set about to elaborate the fundamental task of education (习近平这样阐释教育的根本任务 ["Cultivating People of Moral Character," Xi Jinping explains the fundamental task of education] Xinhua News Agency [March 18 2019]). What is the fundamental task of education? The answer 立德树人 [Cultivating People of Moral Character] (with thanks to Flora Sapio for the translation of this quite complex and subtle term).

The concept was derived from a variety of Xi Jinping's statements put forward in a variety of context and then woven together by the Xinhua News Agency for wide distribution. Despite its subtleties, the term is both straightforward and at the same time intimately connected to the the larger projects of Chinese Social Credit (with its foundation in integrity; see "Blacklists and Social Credit Regimes in China"), and of building a rule-of-law Socialist society in the "New Era" (grounded in the 12 Core Socialist Values [社会主义核心价值观]). It was with that in mind that Xi Jinping noted an objective to "Integrate the cultivation of moral character into all aspects of ideological and moral education, cultural knowledge education, and social practice education, and run through basic education, vocational education, and higher education. The discipline system, teaching system, teaching material system, and management system should revolve around this goal.""

From that pronouncement consolidated in March 2019, only a short time passed before the publication by the Ministry of Education of implementation guidance first targeted to undergraduate education institutions and is reflected in the 教育部关于一流本科课程建设的实施意见 [Implementation Opinions of the Ministry of Education on the Construction of First-class Undergraduate Courses].  The idea is to reshape education to suit the "New Era." To that end, education is understood first as a moral project within which it is possible to infuse the most forward looking approaches to the instruction in particular fields, all understood, of course, within the moral framework that shapes the educational project in the first place.  The object is to give content to and provide a disciplined and measurable delivery system for moral character education as overseen by the vanguard as the guardians of morals, ethics, and integrity.
(用故事和事实告诉学生人生哲理,形象生动,文字配画面增强说服力,把“大德育”化身为“小水滴”,改“大水漫灌”为“精准滴灌”。涉及的内容十分丰富,包括科学知识、感恩教育、名人典故、我的中国梦、感动中国、讲评时事、国家法律法规、生活常识、教育改革与发展、传统文化、职业素养、工匠精神等,“个个都充满正能量”。"It tells students the philosophy of life with stories and facts. The image is vivid, the text is enhanced with persuasiveness, and the "great moral education" is transformed into "small water droplets". The flood irrigation is “precise drip irrigation”. The content involved is very rich, including scientific knowledge, grateful education, celebrity allusions, my Chinese dream, moving China, commenting on current affairs, national laws and regulations, common sense of life, education reform and development, traditional culture, professionalism, craftsmanship, etc., Everyone is full of positive energy."兰资环学院教育实践透视 supra.).

The idea is profound, but not unique to China (see, e.g.,Education to Meet the Labor Needs of Markets--Cuba Changes its Approach to University Education).  It reflects a certain all around approach to education that sees it intimately tied to both moral projects, and to the project of the perfectibility of humanity within the framework in which instruction acquires both meaning and direction--its rationality.  The connection between education, labor markets and political-societal socialization runs deep in the West as well. In this sense there is much that ties this approach to that of Pope John Paul II in the encyclical Fides et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason (discussed in Fides et Ratio: Religion and Law in Legal Orders Suffused by Faith) ("This is to say that with the light of reason human beings can know which path to take, but they can follow that path to its end, quickly and unhindered, only if with a rightly tuned spirit they search for it within the horizon of faith. Therefore, reason and faith cannot be separated without diminishing the capacity of men and women to know themselves, the world and God in an appropriate way." Fides et Ratio ¶ 16). 

The core pronouncements of Xi Jinping follow (in the original Chinese and with crude English translation. The important Implementation Opinions of the Ministry of Education on the Construction of First-class Undergraduate Courses (教育部关于一流本科课程建设的实施意见 ) also follow in English and Chinese., including the important annex on implementation (“双万计划”国家级一流本科课程 推荐认定办法).

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

AAUP Announces the publication of Volume 10 of the AAUP's Journal of Academic Freedom and Call for Papers--“Academic Freedom on the Managed Campus"

This from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP):

We are pleased to announce the publication of Volume 10 of the AAUP's Journal of Academic Freedom. The journal features recent scholarship on academic freedom and its relation to contemporary crises of austerity, shared governance, tenure, and collective bargaining. This year's contributors draw connections between the multiple frequencies of bullying present on our campuses and the principles and practice of academic freedom and shared governance.

The volume’s eleven essays address a wide range of topics, including the use of discourses of civility and student evaluations of teaching to bully faculty, threats from on and off campus to the academic freedom of faculty of color, and the troubling legacies of historical infringements on academic freedom and shared governance. Follow the links to each article in the table of contents below or access the complete volume at https://www.aaup.org/JAF10.

We are also excited to share a new call for papers, “Academic Freedom on the Managed Campus," for the eleventh volume of the journal, scheduled for publication in September 2020.
—Rachel Ida Buff, Faculty Editor

The Journal of Academic Freedom is supported by funding from the AAUP Foundation.

The table of Contents with links follows below.

5th Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit; Geneva, Switzerland: April 2 – 3, 2020

5th Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit
Geneva, Switzerland: April 2 – 3, 2020

The Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights at Geneva University’s Geneva School of Economics and Management, theInstitute for Business Ethics at University of St. Gallen, the Center for Business and Human Rights at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and the Business and Human Rights Journal (BHRJ) are pleased to announce the 5th Business and Human Rights Young Researchers Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, taking place on April 2-3, 2020.
The Summit will bring together approximately 10-15 excellent PhD students and early post-doc researchers (cut-off is one year after graduation) who engage in research in the business and human rights field. The objective is for participants to present their research project in an interdisciplinary, collaborative workshop setting. Scholars from all disciplines are invited to apply including ethics, law, business, and global affairs. Submissions from non-law disciplines are particularly welcome. The papers should outline research-in-progress and must be unpublished at the time of presentation. We encourage submissions from all parts of the world and strive for gender balance in our selection.
For further information on the BHR Young Researchers Summit and on how to join the BHR Young Researchers Network visit - https://bhr.stern.nyu.edu/young-researchers-summit or https://iwe.unisg.ch/en/initiativen-und-veranstaltungen/bhr/about-yrs.
To apply, please submit an abstract of no more than 600 words to youngresearcherssummit@gmail.com. Please include your name, affiliation, contact information, and curriculum vitae. For questions please contact Berit Knaak atyoungresearcherssummit@gmail.com. 
The deadline for the submission of abstracts is November 4, 2019. Candidates whose submissions are selected for participation in the Summit will be notified no later than December 20, 2019. Full papers will be due on March 9, 2020 and will be distributed to all participants for review before the workshop. Each participant is expected to formally comment on one other paper.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

From the American Association of University Professors--A Rich Collection of Articles and Reports from its Summer 2019 Bulletin

The Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors is published annually as the summer issue of Academe. This year's Bulletin features academic freedom and tenure investigative reports, college and university governance investigative reports, a report on the assault on gender and gender studies, a statement on dual enrollment, and annual reports and other business documents. Follow the links in this email or read the entire issue at https://www.aaup.org/issue/summer-2019-bulletin.
Links follow: 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Abusive University Administrator--Unfettered Discretion in the University and What the "Census Case" May Teach Us About Abuse

(Pix source HERE)

Those of you who follow my academic blog, Law at the End of the Day, have seen recent posting of PowerPoints through which I tried to synthesize the essence of the sub-systems that together make up the U.S. legal system.  In the process I have tried to capture for foreign lawyers the essence of the core values of American ideologies (of fairness and other baseline political principles), which are inscribed in quite different ways in the law.

One of the areas that struck my students as most curious was that of the ideologies and practice around administrative regulation.  The idea of discretion as a legal tool (outside of dictatorships and Marxist Leninist States) seemed curious. They might have treated those as political acts rather than the application of law. More curious still was the way that only recently, the Supreme Court reinforced a set of core principles through which the courts would review and if necessary overturn discretionary decisionmaking that appears to be arbitrary, capricious, or a hidden pretense.  They found it interesting to see the way that such principled constraints on exercises of discretion, even when undertaken by officials holding the highest appointed offices, could bve used to undermine important policy choices made at the highest levels of state. 

The case, of course, was the "Census Question" case: Department of Commerce v. New York, U.S. Supreme Court No. 18-966 Slip op. (Decided June 27, 2019). The PowerPoints may be accessed here.  And

What struck me more as I sought to lecture through this a as matter of public law--was the way that such constraints might well exposes the laww-less-ness of private administrators, and especially those in the academy.  Not to say that they are born bad; but merely to suggest, as the Supreme Court has just done in relation to the Secretary of Commerce, that no mere instrumentality of the administrative apparatus--public or private--ought to exist within an environment in which the core principles of fairness built into American law appear absent. 

This post considers the great principles of checks on administrative discretion and the principles underlying them (hopefully written simply and not for lawyers).  It then poses the question: to what extent do the great role models of the American Republic; to what extent to those institutions which put themselves out as the forms of social, political, and economic organization that embraces wholeheartedly the core values of this nation; to what extent to the people in control of that apparatus feel the weight of responsibility for their discretionary decisionmaking reinforced by principles and outside robust checks? 

I pose a null hypothesis--university administrators have no real constraints on the exercise of their discretion within the university that is effective, reliable, fair, or readily available to those against whom discretion is exercised. "The null hypothesis, H0 is the commonly accepted fact; it is the opposite of the alternate hypothesis. Researchers work to reject, nullify or disprove the null hypothesis. Researchers come up with an alternate hypothesis, one that they think explains a phenomenon, and then work to reject the null hypothesis." (See here). I would dearly love to see that null hypothesis disproven--and not by incantation from above. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Power of Charity and the University--A Pleasured Patron and Obliging Nomenklatura Model of University Governance

I had observing the quite emotional battle at the University of Tulsa that appears to pit the old ideals of a university against the realities of universities as businesses. That battle is raging across American academia and touches all aspects of its operation.  I have noted its particular effects in the way that universities consume their graduate students and student athletes (See, e.g., Consequences of the Growing Divide Between the Ideal of the University and its Reality: Thoughts on the Unionization of Student Labor (Graduate Students and Athletes) in this Age of the Learning Factory). Universities cling to the ancient ideals long after it has faded from living memory because its consumers and sponsors find value in the ideal detached from whatever reality is then offered by way of "application." That universities engage in this behavior ought not to surprise, especially as these institutions have been urged to adopt the outlooks and ideologies--the practices--of those businesses into which they mean to project their graduates. Like a "White Christmas" in Miami, the ideal can be consciously embraced even as the reality around it makes even the pretense of attainment laughable. 

The real issue has now shifted from even this ridiculous attempt to market the past as present to a more important one--if the university is no longer to be itself, the question becomes what ought it to be.  There have been two models competing for status as orthodox institutional form. The first s the model of the for profit business corporation. That model is appealing if only because it s ends are all bent to making money--and money is what university administrators are now trained to chase--if only for the best things that it can buy for those from whom fees and tuition (and donations later) are extracted.  The problem is that the university does not resemble a business enterprise culturally or in its operation. While it produces things (degrees,for example) it is better understood as managing people toward objectives and then placing them. The model, then, is one that is more like an administrative agency in a state bureaucracy, than of a business in a purely (of course there is no such thing as pure anything anymore) markets based environment.

The successful university administrator is one that is both fungible and anonymous.  They are cogs in a bureaucratic machine the logic of which must be furthered.They are risk averse and exercise their discretion to minimize risk and manage compliance with those rules and cultures that conform to benchmark.  They become a closed circle in which innovation is the ability to better mimic everyone else (that everyone, of course is hierarchically arranged as universities adhere to a caste culture every bit as rigid as those of ancient societies). With university administrators as a modern Western version of the old nomenklaturas, then it appears that the model most compatible with a university that no longer can afford to be itself(the old ideal),must be that of the charitable foundation. It follows that charitable foundations--institutionalized patrons, would also dominate their stakeholding classes and serve not just as a source of imitation but as the institution most likely to have influence over university administrative (and ultimately substantive) cultures.  One has seen the effects of this in other contexts (e.g., here, and here).  But the control of the ethos of a university is indeed something quite new and remarkable. Thus it is not the corporatization of the university that ought to be feared--it is the conversion of the university into a foundation overseen by a private sector regulatory apparatus in which the core administrative values of ability, risk aversion, compliance and conformity to orthodox views and institutional objectives, narrowly drawn, become the lodestars of academic culture. 

Jacob Howland has stepped into this battlefield with a great deal of vigor and much to say.  His focus ison the University of Tulsa as the great exemplar of change--and in his view not for the better. His passionate original essay, Storm Clouds Over Tulsa, was published in City Journal and appeared 17 April 2019.  It was reproduced along with my own brief comments  here (A Report From the Front Lines of the Transformation of the American University: Jacob Howland, "Storm Clouds Over Tulsa"). is reproduced (without the embedded pictures) below. 

Professor Howland continues his archeology of the university necropolis.  His current essay, Corporate Wolves in Academic Sheepskins, or, a Billionaire’s Raid on the University of Tulsa, published June 18 in The Nation magazine, delves deeper into the case study that is the University of Tulsa.  Whether one agrees or not, the story he tells must be necessarily considered.  It follows below. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

New From Academe--The Magazione of the AAUP; Academic Freedom and Free Speech

I am happy to pass along the table of contents of the features in the latest issue of Academe--the Journal of the American Association of University Professors. 

Knowledge for the Common Good
A plenary presentation from the AAUP’s 2019 annual conference.
By Joan W. Scott
Political Interference with Academic Freedom and Free Speech at Public Universities
The threat of governmental suppression of academic inquiry.By Gene Nichol
Rebuilding "Iowa Nice" in Shared Governance: From Sanction to Collaboration
A faculty senate committee works to address governance concerns.
By Sandra Daack-Hirsch, Frank Durham, Russell Ganim, Edward Gillan, and Justine Kolker

Of particular interestare the remarks of Jopan Scott, which are reproduced below.  Joan W. Scott is professor emerita in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She is a long-standing member and former chair of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Concurso Estudiantil Jorge Pérez- López 2019/ 2019 Graduate and Undergraduate Student Paper Award Competition

El Comité de ASCE del Concurso Estudiantil Jorge Pérez-López está aceptando nominaciones para el concurso del año 2019. Un panel de expertos juzgará a los trabajos sometidos basado en su relevancia, originalidad, calidad, contribución, y la claridad de su presentación. Los trabajos no deben tener como coautor a un instructor, profesor o asistente de enseñanza. Como mínimo, todos los trabajos deben incluir una declaración de la tesis, presentar pruebas o datos que la apoyan, no pasarse de 5.000 palabras a doble espacio, y estar escrito siguiendo uno de los estilos académicos estándares.

ASCE Student Award Committee is accepting nominations for the 2019 Jorge Pérez-López Student Award Competition. A panel of scholars will judge all submissions on the basis of relevance, originality, quality, contribution, and clarity of presentation. Papers should not be co-authored with an instructor or teaching assistant. At a minimum, all papers must outline a thesis statement, present evidence or data supporting it, confine to 5000 words double-spaced length, and follow one of the standard academic writing and citations styles.

More information below.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS Seminar on Digitalization and Legal Culture: Western and Chinese Perspectives


Seminar on Digitalization and Legal Culture: Western and Chinese Perspectives

This seminar aims to reflect on the current discussion on digitalization, geopolitics, law and legal culture as perceived from Western and Chinese perspectives. It wants to contribute to an understanding of the processes of legal, cultural, political and societal transformations sparked off in the digital era.

China has been a frontrunner in the area of digitalization. As a global force in digital technologies, China has increasingly played an active and contested role in shaping the digital landscape through collaboration and competitiveness with western and other states. Meanwhile, advanced digitalization urges accountable up-to-date ethical and legal guidelines to address the impact of the digitalization on cultural and societal transformation globally.

At this moment, the EU has been a frontrunner in the area of legal regulation, court cases and guidelines to limit the power of the tech giants. Generally, the EU seems to be more reluctant than both the US and China in relation to the benefits related to digital technologies and their influence on individuals and societies. To some extent, this is due to historical legacies.

Digitalization and the digital revolution is changing the world in the 21st century in terms of communication, (resource) control, censorship, commerce and surveillance of people, organizations, and markets. Size matters, huge states, and private actors play a considerable role in this development, where state and private governed ‘surveillance capitalism’ and ‘social credit systems’ coexist globally. The implications of this for political and legal culture are not clear.

Monday, May 6, 2019

A Report From the Front Lines of the Transformation of the American University: Jacob Howland, "Storm Clouds Over Tulsa"

In April 2019, Jacob Howland, wrote a blistering analysis of the great institutional transformations that are occurring at the University of Tulsa. This was no ordinary Jeremiad by someone easily dismissed as a failure within the (teaching side) of the academy. Professor Howland is the McFarlin Professor of Philosophy and past Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tulsa where he teaches in the Honors Program as well as in philosophy.

The Essay is remarkable for a number of reasons beyond the lamentation about the way in which university programs are being transformed, and the relationship of the university to its athletic and professional programs. Equally interesting to readers ought to be the way in which such transformation has been occurring without the substantial participation of the faculty. That has substantial ramifications. It evidences the continuing transformation of the education side of the university.  First it is no longer necessarily the principle undertaking of an institution--the production of athletic events and professionals readily who might be inserted into higher end portions of the wage labor markets might now be as important, if not more so. It also suggests again that markets rather than knowledge drive the business of education, and that the business of knowledge production is deeply tied to its direct power to generate revenue. While that is well known, the shift from long term to short term calculation  is less well appreciated, though its effects on the way in which American business has been shaped is well known.  Now those birds have come home to roost in the academy.  It also suggests the way that cultures of administration, rather than cultures of knowledge production and dissemination have now come to dominate the operation of the university.  The effects are profound. And apparently in the case of the University of Tulsa, the effects might not be economically viable.

But that opens the real question behind the essay--for whom is the university operated, whose interests does it serve, and to what ends is it run.  One answer may be the trustees and large foundations  who are willing to fund enterprises to please themselves irrespective of the economic (much less academic) consequences? Ironically, while this reduces the role of faculty (and the influence of the academic.side of the house to irrelevance, to a passive object of production), it also reduces administrators to a more servile role (they also perform for their masters). This ultimately provides the most interesting insight of the essay (for me at least)--is it possible that the real transformation of the American academy is not in the shifting of authority from faculty to administrators, but in the transformation of the academy itself from a self-controlled institution, to one in which authority has shifted outward. We know where some of that authority has leaked out--to the state (regulatory authorities can be as fickle and capricious as any patron, and even more politically motivated).  But authority appears also to have leaked to foundations and other actors  whose control of money increasingly shapes the academy form the outside (without preference for political ideology, just financial power politically exercised). Those are some of the ideas that swirled through my head as I read the essay.  But I leave it to readers to make what sense they can from the essay.       

His Essay, Storm Clouds Over Tulsa, was published in City Journal and appeared 17 April 2019.  It is reproduced (without the embedded pictures) below.  The original may be access here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Without (Much) Comment: "Judge throws out ex-Penn State president’s conviction"

He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting. Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell, and make it a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.  Leviticus 16:7-10
Two stories are worth consideration.  They mark the next stage of a morality tale that started with Pennsylvania's efforts to respond to the horrible events that eventually resulted in the conviction of a member of the Penn State Football coaching staff for immoral acts against children.   They remind us of the complicated relationship between the state, its institutions, and the people who populate both in the shadows of law and justice.

The stories touch on the recent decision by a judge to overturn the conviction of former Penn State President Spanier of his conviction for misdemeanor child-endangerment, the only charge that the state was able to secure a conviction in the long and tortuous process of finding administrators to bear the responsibility for failed institutional duty.  In commentary I note merely remarks made April 13, 2012: Penn State’s New Reality; Reflections by the Penn State 2011-2012 Fellows--Four Lessons Learned About University Governance in Crisis.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Call for Proposals: BHR conference in Vilnius on 23 May 2019

BHR conference in Vilnius on 23 May 2019

Dear colleagues,

Mykolas Romeris University (Vilnius, Lithuania) with the support of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is organizing an international conference on human rights and business issues on 23 May 2019. 

The event will take place very soon and of course we are aware of the fact that the agenda of yours could be booked for the spring period already. Nevertheless, we would like to invite you to contribute to our conference with a presentation regarding business and human rights in general or to address specific topic regarding implementation of the UN guiding principles. Lithuania is planning to update its National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights this year, so we are interested if other countries face the same problems and what are/could be the solutions.

We will encourage also the speakers to publish their contributions in the International Comparative Jurisprudence – an open-access and peer reviewed journal published by our university.

If you have any questions – feel free to contact Arnas Liauksminas  via email arnas.liauksminas[AT]mruni.eu. The deadline for application is 30 April 2019. 

Convocatoria Abierta para el No 24 de la Revista Iuris Dictio--Contemporary perspectives of competition law--Perspectivas contemporáneas del derecho de competencia /Open Call for No. 24 of the Iuris Dictio Journal--Contemporary perspectives on Competition Law

 A continuación se presentan los detalles de una convocatoria abierta para contribuciones al número 24 de la revista Iuris Dictio. Favor considere participar! Detalles en español e inglés.

Posted below are details of an open call for contributions to Issue No. 24 of the Journal Iuris Dictio.  Please consider submitting! Details in Español and English.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

On the Battlefield of Shared Governance--Maricopa Community College and the Shift from Ideas to Faction in Shared Governance

(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2019)

Shared governance appears to have acquired a political patina.  And that is unfortunate--especially since the labels that are used to describe combatants tends to veil rather than illuminate the agendas and ideologies of the combatants.  The field of battle, of course, is that cluster of practices and principles we have come to describe as "shared governance." The conventional liberal-conservative divide appears to have formed around the binary--"for" or "against" shared governance. Those binaries infect not merely analysis of the evolution and protection of shared governance, but induce even the most well meaning to clothe themselves in these labels.

More's the pity for the way it tends to shift the focus from the construction and reconstruction (or perhaps dismantling) of shared governance to the more mundane issues around fidelity to political faction and its orthodox expression of "positions" with respect to "hot button" issues. Indeed, the shift from ideas to faction  points to the difficulties of discussing shared governance under current conditions.  Ideological conservatism could as easily embrace a robust defense of traditional shared governance and champion the protection of the continued professionalization of the profession, grounded in the notion of classical ideals around the production and dissemination of knowledge whose economics are driven by (the communally) shared value of of both.  Factional conservatism can adopt a corporatist stance, viewing education as an industry and its professorate as assembly line workers producing objects (graduating students and outside funded research commodities). Conversely liberal factionalism can easily descend into the sort of totalitarian orthodoxy that seeks to impose quite specific catechisms within the academy and views its academics as instruments for the propagation of a specific gospel. Ideological liberalism can easily foreground issues around the community of academics with respect to whom the process of professionalized knowledge production and dissemination might flourish in way that advance a core vision of the arc of progress of both.

There is a complementarity between liberal and conservative factionalism, as well as between ideological liberalism and conservatism.  One cannot help noticing that, over the course of the last generation, the ways in which the key stakeholders in the governance and ideological construction of the university have tended more and more to favor the factional stance and to marginalize (that is to reduce to empty sloganeering) the more nuanced and important debates around the ideology of the university (as opposed, of course, to the ideology of specific bits of knowledge or judgments which now masquerades as institutional ideologies of knowledge).  

It is in this frame of ideological mind that one approaches the AAUP's excellent work in the case of Maricopa Community Colleges (the report of which may be accessed here).  The transformation of the debate about shared governance from its ideology to its politics--and certainly around what passes for Republican Party politics in Arizona ought to be telling (Report: @ "C. Political Aspirations of Board Members as Motivation").

The AAUP Press Release and the text of the Rport (plus its addendum) follows below.

Friday, March 22, 2019

"How to Become a Full time Law Professor"--A Workshop for Aspirants at the 4th National People of Color Scholarship Conference

The 4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference takes place this weekend in a beautiful setting, at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., 21-24 March 2019. For more information see HERE. Great thanks to American's Dean Camille Nelson for the vision to realize this important gathering.

Among the most important work of the People of Color Scholarship Conferences is their mentoring for people seeking entry into the legal academy, and then mentoring young scholars to enhance the prospects of career success. I was delighted to contribute in some way to that work at a Workshop for Law Teaching Aspirants--"How to Become a Full Time Law Professor"--at the 4th National People of Color Scholarship Conference.  To those ends I joined an impressive group of colleagues--Craig Konnoth (Colorado), Melinda Molina (Capital), Anita Sinha (American), and moderated by the great Alfreda Robinson (George Washington).  

The PowerPoints of the workshop follow along with the Panel description.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

New Issue of Journal of Legal Education: On the Relationship Between American Legal Education, Globalization, and Internationalism

The American Legal academy continues to consider its relationship to the rest of the world. That consideration takes two quite distinct forms. The first involves the reception of the "foreign" within the United States--and that requires combating a parochialism and legal-centrism long embedded in American legal education. The second involves the projection of Americanism in law and legal education outward. This is something that the American academy has been quite eager to participate in, especially after 1989. It reflects the notions of the central role of American sensibilities in the technical assistance required for other states to "catch up" under the guidance of a more mature system with good (and perhaps universal) principles. 

I have considered these issues from time to time. See e.g., 'Internationalizing the American Law School Curriculum (in Light of the Carnegie Foundation’s Report),' in The Internationalization of Law and Legal Education 49-112 (Jan Klabbers and Mortimer Sellers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media B.V., 2008); 'Global Law Schools on U.S. Models: Emerging Models of Consensus-Based Internationalization or Markets-Based Americanization Models of Global Legal Education,' 2 Revista de Educación y Derecho/Education and Law Review (España) 4:1-53 (April-Sept. 2011) (with Bret Stancil); 'Human Rights and Legal Education in the Western Hemisphere: Legal Parochialism and Hollow Universalism,' 21(1) Penn State International Law Review 115-155 (2002); and 'General Principles of Academic Specialization By Means of Certificate or Concentration Programs: Creating a Certificate Program in International, Comparative and Foreign Law at Penn State,' 20 Penn. State International Law Review 67 (2001).

This month the flagship journal of the Association of American Law Schools, the Journal of Legal Education, has devoted a substantial amount its Issue 67-4 to the relationship between American legal education and globalization and internationalism, through an examination of international and comparative law. Special thanks to the editors of this issue, American University's Camille A. Nelson and Anthony E. Varona for putting together a group of quite thought provoking articles.

Links to the articles follow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Call for Abstracts and Panel Proposals/Convocatoria a Sumarios/Propuestas de Paneles: ASCE 29th Annual Conference

ASCE's Twenty-Ninth Annual Meeting
Cuba -- Growth or Decline: Is the Revolution Dead? July 25-July 27, 2019

Requirements: Abstracts and/or panel proposals should describe original work related to the economy of Cuba in a broad sense, including legal, sectoral and social aspects of economic development. Abstracts or panel proposals must not exceed 250 words and must be accompanied by a 150 word biography for each author. Abstracts, panel proposals and biographies, or full papers if already completed, should be sent via email to jperezlopez703@gmail.com and asce@ascecuba.org for consideration by the Program Committee. Please include the words "ASCE 2019 CONFERENCE SUBMISSION" in the subject line. Authors of accepted papers or panels will be required to register for the Conference.
Deadlines: Deadlines for submitting abstracts, papers and or panel proposals for the conference are as follows:
  •   Abstract, paper or panel submission deadline: May 1, 2019
  •   Notification of acceptance by Program Committee: May 15, 2019
  •   Papers due to discussants: July 15, 2019
  •   ASCE Twenty-Ninth Annual Conference: July 25-July 27, 2019
  •   Submission of full papers for consideration for Conference Proceedings: September 15,

  • __________

ASCE XIX Conferencia Anual 
"Cuba--Crecimiento o Declive: ¿Ha Muerto la Revolución?" 25 de julio-27 de julio 2019 

  1. Requisitos: Sumarios y/o propuestas de paneles deben describir trabajos originales relacionados con la economía cubana en un sentido amplio, incluyendo aspectos legales, sectoriales y sociales del desarrollo. Los sumarios o propuestas de paneles no deben exceder 250 palabras. Por favor, con el sumario o propuesta de panel incluya una biografía de 150 palabras de cada autor. Los sumarios, propuestas de paneles, o los ensayos si están disponibles así como las biografías, deben ser enviadas por correo electrónico a jperezlopez703@gmail.com y a asce@ascecuba.org para su consideración por el Comité de Programa. Incluya la frase "ASCE 2019 CONFERENCE SUBMISSION" en el asunto del mensaje electrónico. Se requerirá que los autores de los ensayos y/o participantes en los paneles aceptados se inscriban en la conferencia.
    Fechas límites: Las fechas límites para la presentación de propuestas de ensayos o de paneles son las siguientes:
    •   Envío de propuestas de ensayos y/o paneles: 1o de mayo de 2019
    •   Notificación de aceptación por el Comité de Programa: 15 de mayo de 2019
    •   Ensayos mandados a los comentaristas: 15 de julio de 2019
    •   ASCE XXIX Conferencia Anual: 25 de julio-27 de julio, 2019
    •   Ensayos sometidos para su posible publicación en la memoria de la conferencia: 15 de
      septiembre de 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Speech and the American University: Views from the AAUP in its Current Issue of Academe

The American Association of University Professors has just published its latest issue of its Academe Magazine.  This month focuses on speech issues on campus.  The Press Release notes:
This issue of Academe addresses the questions of speech that have fueled the culture wars on college campuses in recent years. Articles discuss the assault on the public mission of higher education; the implications of a polarized political climate for faculty members, administrators, and students; and the parameters of current debates about academic freedom, free speech, and inclusion.
The articles are useful for understanding the state of discourse about discourse in the American Academy especially along its current ideological fault lines.

Follow the links in the table of contents below or read the entire issue at https://www.aaup.org/issue/winter-2019.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sexual Assault on Campus--Law and Politics in the Shadow of Battles for Control of an Ordering Normative Narrative

"What counts as safety and risk is not adequately defined. In a number of cases in which a faculty member’s speech are the grounds for the accusation, the university has, upon receiving the complaint, removed them from the classroom and the campus (e.g., Buchanan and Adler). In such cases, the only apparent threat is the one to the university’s reputation; there is no imminent danger to students or colleagues. When speech is the issue, we think there needs to be a clearer definition of what counts as an emergency." (Comment on the Department of Education Proposed Rule: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance
34 CFR 106 Comment submitted by: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS, January 28, 2019, p. 14)

Mostly out of the glare of social media, a great contest has been playing out over the law and politics of managing relations of individuals generally around the increasingly indeterminate cultural idea of "sex" in North America.  I have been posting about one of the battlegrounds--the fight within legal elites in the American Law Institute for control of the narrative (and the framework of legal responsibility) of sexual assault and related criminal acts (e.g., The Battle Over the Legal Construction of Sexual Assault -- A Report From the Battle Lines at the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code Revision Project). 

But another battleground merits serious attention--the university.  This battle is waged for control of the socialization of students (and the stakeholders who serve them).  It's language is that of law (actually administrative regulation and the exercise of administrative discretion in creating the "atmosphere within which interpretive exercises will be judged legitimate--by courts and the university administrators who are expected to apply them). That conflict now has a long and quite contentious history, the last phase of which was started with the Obama Administration's no (in)famous Dear Colleagues letter (critically assessed here), and the reaction, now the site of contention, as the successors to Mr. Obama's administrative apparatus seek to re-frame law and its politics through to proposed amended regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

This post includes the recently circulated comments of the American Association of University Professors to those changes.  It is largely an opportunity for the AAUP to push its own view published in 2016 (The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX), which appears to take something of a broadly understood middle position between those of the Obama and Trump Administrations, but also sees in the regulation an opportunity to legalize politics, and especially the politics of what is taught in the university. But even in this middle ground there is a large space for contention--the AAUP's stance on exemptions for religious schools, and its efforts to use liability standards as a means of socialization are two of them. Moreover, the concept of hostile environment is now one ripe for interrogation, but not, it seems, among the critical stakeholders driving this debate and the regulations that follow.

The comment is worth reading for its politics and for its engagement with legal standards, and follows below, along with its executive summary and the press release announcing its circulation. The Department of Education Proposal, Department of Education Proposed Rule: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance (83 FR 61462-61499 (38 pages))  may be accessed HERE.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Call for panel proposals and papers - The American Society of Comparative Law Annual Meeting

Passing along what is likely to be a very interesting and useful event:

Call for panel proposals and papers - ASCL annual meeting

The American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) has just issued a call for proposals for (1) concurrent panels and (2) a works in progress conference to be held in association with the ASCL 2019 Annual Meeting, which will be held at the University of Missouri School of Law between Thursday, October 17, and Saturday, October 19, 2019. The event is open to ASCL and non-ASCL members.

The theme of the Annual Meeting is “Comparative Law and International Dispute Resolution Processes” and will feature presentations on how comparative law affects various types of cross-border conflict, including but not limited to litigation, arbitration and mediation. Concurrent panels and works in progress papers need not fall within this general theme, although of course they may. Multilingual panel proposals will be considered as part of ASCL's mission to foster plurilingualism.

Information on the event, including the call for panel proposals and works in progress submissions, is available at
http://law.missouri.edu/faculty/symposia/comparative-law-international-dispute-resolution-processes/ Proposals will be accepted until May 20, 2019.