Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Chemerinsky Affair

Erwin Chemerinsky is a fairly liberal law professor who was hired by UC Irvine to be dean of their new law school. Then one week later, he was suddenly dehired. Apparently, UC Irvine feared that Chemerinsky was too liberal.

Interestingly, the right side of the blogsphere is rallying to Chemerinsky's defense.

The whole thing strikes me as weird. The law school obviously knew about Chemerinsky's beliefs when they hired him. And he is a well known and well respected quantity.

In any event, for me and most conservatives/libertarians, the really issue with academia is not its left bent, but rather the lack of diversity of any kind AND the lack of respect for opposing views. By all accounts, Chemerinsky is someone who values opposing viewpoints and is respectful of those who disagree with him. Libertarian law professor Glenn Reynolds notes that Chemerinsky is a "nice, fair guy" while conservative radio pundit/blogger Hugh Hewitt considers Chemerinsky his friend.

It seems to me that if people are serious about restoring civility to the academy, Professor Chemerinsky is the kind of person you want as dean.

It would not surprise me if there was something more to this, and I suppose we will find out more over the next few weeks.

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