After reading news reports in the LA Times, Friday, September 14, 2007, edition, and listening to NPR local radio reports my viewpoint has not changed much except for the following thoughts.
Some reports point to the possibility that the Irvine campus chancellor was pressured by some powerful political types to rescind the appointment of Erwin Chemerinsky. If this is true, then what about Mr. Chemerinsky offends those allegedly political types? Obviously, it is the fact that he is a liberal. He also engages in debate about his views. Do we take this apparent motivation to make the Irvine law school another Chapman University, to promote an agenda of conservative values? Or did some pretty powerful people get wind that Mr. Chemerinsky was going about creating a balanced faculty base as some reports suggest? If so, either or both plots seem to point to someone possibly orchestrating a conservative agenda for the new law school. Thoughts of some neoconservative individual or individuals standing in the shadows to force a political thought process upon all of us comes to my mind as a possibility.
I want to know who, if anyone, put pressure upon the chancellor. I think if there was a pressure process upon the chancellor, the people responsible should have the back bone, step forward and make their case and not hide behind anyone.
The people of California own the Irvine campus. The whole compete process of hiring Mr. Chemerinsky should be transparent to the people who own and rule this state. The chancellor must tell the people of California who, if anyone, has the power to over ride the faculty search committee recommendations and intercede in the process.
The best solution, to this debacle, is for the chancellor to admit he made a mistake, apologize to Mr. Chemerinsky, to his UCI faculty, and to the people of California and try like hell to get Mr. Chemerinsky back as the dean. To do otherwise is just plane stupid at every level of analysis.
On the lighter side, if Mr. Chemerinsky is not hired back as the new dean of the University of California, Irvine, then everyone who received the 14th Annual Best of Orange County, September 14, 2007, should make the following changes on page 55:
California State University, Fullerton #1
Chapman University #2
University of California, Irvine #3