I had no idea that the Mr. Rogers’s shoe fiasco would turn into a three day story. I imagine that Stephen Griffin, Vice Dean of Tulane Law School, is a very nice man. He probably even helps his landlady take out her garbage.
But his handling of this issue has been nothing short of mystifying.
You might remember that when Vice Dean Griffin was begging for the shoe, he said:
Until close of business tomorrow (Wednesday) we are taking a “no questions asked” approach to this situation. Our primary goal is simply the return of the shoe. If you know anything about this incident, please report it to Dean Netherton or myself. You can also communicate with SBA President [redacted]. You can report anonymously if you wish. If the shoe is returned to Dean Netherton’s office by close of business tomorrow, the Museum will not turn over the matter to the NOPD. If it is not, the Museum will turn over the matter to the NOPD.
Well, today he sent around another email to Tulane Law students:
Because the item was returned, the museum will not file a criminal complaint with NOPD. At the request of the Law School administration, TUPD is investigating the incident under the University Code of Student Conduct.
Vice Dean Griffin
Not surprisingly, Tulane students are a little pissed:
According to another Vice Dean, the thief will likely be kicked out of school. Seems a little unfair given the “no questions asked” terminology of the last email.
Honestly, what are you doing Dean Griffin? I get that you only “promised” not to turn the thief over to the police, but “no questions asked” doesn’t really comport with “you’re getting expelled.” Don’t try to pull clever legal jujitsu on a community full of soon-to-be lawyers.
And don’t try to pass the buck to the “law school administration.” You are part of the law school administration. If you spoke out of turn initially, you’ve got to own up to that and probably apologize.
Why would anybody trust you after this? Sure, you got the shoe back and maybe it’s good to expel a “bad-apple,” but you’re hurting the community that you are supposed to represent.