A hallmark of horrible regimes everywhere is the insistence that everyone around them profess a deep and abiding faith that they are, in fact, super-awesome regimes. This is why Kim Jong-un has at least 35 laudatory epithets attached to his name and holds parades about how awesome it was that he sprayed the populace down with AXE Bodyspray. Or something. I’m a little shaky on the details because bad regimes make a point of keeping the truth out of the public eye.
At least one law school has taken a lesson from mid-20th century fascism and adopted a total blackout on the truth about the substandard results it’s been getting. A blackout so absolute that, while hosting a candidate for the open position of dean, the school reportedly asked the candidate to leave and threatened to call security when he or she brought up the fact that, “hey, enrollment is down and those jerks from Above the Law make fun of us for our terrible bar passage rate” at a faculty gathering.
Can’t let the proles hear that.
So let’s have some fun — which law school do you think it is?
Our good friends from Florida Coastal. Apparently Infilaw functions just like a dictatorial regime with a healthy propaganda ministry. Come to think of it, most of our coverage of Infilaw reads like a news report about a rogue state.
Today [Infilaw/North Korea] raised grave concerns for its neighbor [South Carolina/South Korea] when it made threatening moves to take over [Yeonpyeongdo Island/Charleston School of Law]
Anyway, Final Four ATL Worst Law School Florida Coastal has an open position for dean. From what we gather, the search was relatively routine — search committees, phone interviews, meetings, etc. — until the school worked itself down to seven candidates (it seems another school has eschewed common sense and passed over Elie as a candidate). Then things got kind of totalitarian regimey. Dean Richard Gershon of Ole Miss posted a roundup of the intel he’s gathered about the process on the Law Deans on Legal Education Blog:
One oddity was that the faculty was told they could only exclude one of the seven candidates from consideration. In effect, that means that the faculty has very little role in selecting the dean from the six remaining candidates. That is odd, but not particularly alarming, provided that the faculty had a significant role in the selection of candidates.
Not particularly alarming if the faculty had a significant role before then. Did they? We don’t know, but given the tenor of what happens next, I’m guessing they didn’t.
The disturbing part of the report involves a candidate who raised concerns about the school’s declining student credentials and bar pass rates. That candidate was asked to leave in the middle of the lunch presentation. The candidate resisted, but was told that security would be called to remove the candidate from campus. This all happened in the view of about 40 faculty and staff present at this presentation, which was being recorded so others who were teaching class could see it later.
If anyone is willing and able to smuggle that video out of
Pyongyang Jacksonville we’d absolutely love to see it.
This story is ridiculous, but also sad. We take a lot of pot shots at some law schools, but we do it out of concern for the students getting shortchanged by the system. And there are few places where students are getting more of a raw deal — statistically — than Florida Coastal. One might think that the purpose of hiring a dean would be to lead the law school to bigger and better things. Blackballing any candidate willing to point out that the Emperor lacks appropriate attire isn’t exactly a recipe for success.
But success isn’t the goal for some regimes. Some regimes pilfer the country’s resources for their own private gain.
Florida Coastal Dean Search Raises Deeper Issues [Law Deans on Legal Education Blog]