Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Board of Governors should read ABA Standards

Torgo wonders if the Board of Governors realizes that the decrepit dismissal of the faculty's no confidence vote in the Dean may very well have contravened ABA standards on the matter.

Recently, on FUMARE, a post spoke about an action by the MSU faculty to vote no confidence in their Dean. MSU administration was careful to show that they will be working with the faculty to resolve differences. The behavior seems to show an understanding of how ABA accredited law schools must honor faculty governance.

Oddly, AMSOL's faculty was met with indignant indifference. Fortunately, the ABA standards say a few things about this matter. These standards provide an objective measurement against which the Board's performance can be measured.

The Dean should be selected by the faculty. Notice below that the faculty have pivotal role in appointment of the Dean.

Standard 205. DEAN.
(d) The faculty or a representative body of it shall advise, consult, and make recommendations to the appointing authority in the selection of a dean.

Interpretation 205-1:
The faculty or a representative body of it should have substantial involvement in the selection of a dean. Except in circumstances demonstrating good cause, a dean should not be appointed or reappointed to a new term over the stated objection of a substantial majority of the faculty. (August 1996)

The allocation of authority between the dean and the law faculty is a matter for determination by each institution as long as both the dean and the faculty have a significant role in determining educational policy.

More from ABA standards, Chapter 2.

The linked story above noted that the MSU administration took the faculty vote of no confidence with some consideration. The MSU allegations are relatively vague and light fingered (aka, "the Dean is not a team player"). In stark contrast, the Ave Maria vote appeared to have concrete problems of irreconciliable differences. Also, the Ave Board appeared to not care what the faculty said.

Torgo wants to point out that other standards nearby relate to the Board of Governors relationship with the Dean (among them, what is interesting is that the Dean may not be Chairman and the provision for the Dean's placement on the Board is permissive, but not required).

The matter is merely commentable by Torgo from the information that was sent around. Torgo is unaware of the specific charges or evidence the faculty had, but Torgo can surmise much of it.

What is important to note is that the Board's cavalier attitude against the faculty appears to be inconsistent with the ABA standards.

The bottom line: Torgo sees a pattern in these matters that the exclusion of the founding faculty has ushered way to the emergence of a school administration of a character that may likely be other than the one accredited by the ABA.

For more head explosions: Consider how Dean Dobranski has represented himself as being familiar with the ABA standards. Doesn't his position on the Board of Governors then at least impute some knowledge of the standards to the Board?


At 11:08 AM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous Sitting from the sidelines said...

Torgo, I love your blog, but I think you overestimate the due diligence of the board to actually slog through the ABA standards...

From the board's recent actions, it's pretty clear they haven't bothered to read "Ex Corde", or even "Fides et Ratio" - both supposedly founding documents to the mission of AMSOL. If they can't read through these documents and take them to heart, what makes you think they will slog through the ABA standards?

At 3:31 PM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a matter of public record that the founding faculty hand-picked Bernie as dean. It is not clear that he was appointed a term of years that expires, rather it seems that he is the dean until relieved of those duties and is therefore unlikely to ever be up for "reappointment". How is the ABA policy being violated by AMSL?

Does "educational policy" entail location of the campus? That seems to be an odd interpretation of "educational policy". It seems that under the ABA standards, a dean can be king in all other matters as long as he does not have absolute control over educational policy. Or did I miss something?

At 3:38 PM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point is not that being autocratic is good, but that being autorcratic does seem to violate ABA standards.

And certainly it cannot be argued that Bernie was selected against the wishes of the faculty.

For goodness sakes, even the evil TM was approved by the faculty to be the megahoncho of AMSL.

At 3:39 PM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"...but that being autocratic does NOT seem to violate ABA standards."

At 4:00 PM, July 26, 2006, Anonymous parsimonious said...

Being autocratic seems to be put in check by the fact that the standards place authority in the faculty not only in selection of the Dean, but also in the removal.

In other words, a fuller reading of that quote appears to show that the ABA envisions that the faculty are to be a controlling factor in the length of a dean's tenure.

At 1:54 PM, July 27, 2006, Anonymous Stanislaus said...

"For goodness sakes, even the evil TM was approved by the faculty to be the megahoncho of AMSL."

Huh? get your head out of your ass!

At 2:51 PM, July 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The history seems pretty clear:

1. The founding faculty AGREED to TM's bankrolling of AMSL,

2. and in exchange for that money, they agreed

3. that TM would chair a governing board

4. while they also insisted that BD be the dean (quite possibly thinking he would counterbalance TM's influence)

5. and then once the board was established and operational, the founding faculty by their outward actions and their own work on behalf of the school with the ABA (certainly Falvey and Murphy were actively involved representing the school as faculty and admin to the ABA) and positive representations individual faculty made to the ABA accredidation committee on their own behalf as part of the ABA process, indicated acceptance and approval of this governing structure and the leaders.

Obviously at some point these founding faculty had second thoughts about the horse to which they hitched their cart.

Now, since the facts are clear, why are you so interested in my head and ass?

At 3:37 PM, July 27, 2006, Blogger Torgo said...

Torgo thinks Stanislaus was attempting to make a rational explanation for why there was a brown scent about your first post.

With regard to your second post, it may be true that they partnered up with Tom, but that does not absolve Tom from doing what he is doing, nor Bernie for that matter.

As Tom or Bernie would be first to point out if they were public speaking on Catholic morals, promises are made to be relied upon or else all of society fails. Should the faculty have not taken these two self-proclaimed Catholic magnates at their word?

At 1:50 AM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I point out facts and analysis that get in the way of your groping in the dark for an ABA solution. You don't like that. I got it. But the facts are not going to change. Realizing the ABA Stadnards argument is feeble, you now wish to switch from an ABA Standards argument to a broen promises argument. That is a good idea. If there is proof of specific broken promises, I would stick to that. And be careful, because while such broken promises may prove immoral action, they often do not prove illegal action. Your posts infdicate that your goal is to win a legal victory.

Torgo and friends correclty want to find a solution to a big problem, but are so eager to do so that they are willing to pretend that the ABA is where the solution is to be found. Its not.

At 1:56 AM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having actually offered a rational analysis that poops all over the excitement of using the ABA Standards to skewer TM, anon awaits the next dismissive ad hominem (they so amuse).

At 1:58 AM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Dobranowicz said...


You point out things that don't exist... the broken promises argument is as old as this blog. Apparently, you can only deal with one issue at a time or you'd notice the blog has a developing theme around which posts develop facets. You seem eager to be the ring leader.

At 10:31 AM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say again: the ABA is not where the solution lies, and "broken promises" seems like a better moral than legal argument (and kudos to Professor Rice for teaching us all the concept that not all immoralities ahould be illegalities).

Back to the drawing board, Wiley - I am sure one of them facets will develop into the ultimate ACME weapon to destroy the evil TM.

And one more thought: because I notice no ring, aspiring to "ring leader" had not crossed my mind.

At 11:13 AM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous dobranowicz said...

An interesting little mind you have that can only discuss one issue and finds any other discussion worthless. My three year old has about the same attention span and direction in his discussions. My hope is that he learns how to discuss all aspects of a topic someday.

Maybe you and he can work on it together?

At 3:31 PM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea put forward by Torgo on THIS thread was that ABA Standards 205 and 206 could be used as a weapon against TM/BD.

That is the idea I chose to address on THIS thread.

And since Torgo's idea is feeble after any truthful analysis, I suggested that other weapons would be necessary.

You, for obvious reasons, keep changing the subject from the very facet that Torgo invited us to discuss on THIS thread - and resort to silly name-calling.

Perhaps you are spending too much time with the toddler?

At 4:13 PM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous dobranowicz said...

Obviously I am because I keep replying to you.

You are the great one, though, I ought fall in worship and listen to your every word. Please, O great one, pour some wisdom out on us lowly ones. Lead us in your masterful ways and make us whole again.

At 4:45 PM, July 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Void of ideas, I see.

At 1:05 AM, July 30, 2006, Anonymous Poor Billy said...

Anonymous is correct. The ABA will not solve AMSL's problems. I am very opposed to TM and BD's actions as it relates to the school but, in the end, it is only our AMSL community that can solve AMSL's problems - unless AMSL violates the law - then it moves to the Courts.


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