The PoliBlog

The Collective
Saturday, September 15, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

On the heels of yesterday’s discussion about the odd maneuverings of UCI Chancellor Micheal Drake, we have the following via the LAT: UCI reportedly working on a deal to rehire Chemerinsky

UC Irvine officials on Friday were attempting to broker a deal to once again hire liberal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky as dean of its fledging law school, just three days after its chancellor set off a national furor by dumping him.


An agreement would be an extraordinary development after Chemerinsky contended this week that Drake succumbed to political pressure from conservatives and sacked him because of his outspoken liberal positions. The flap threatened to derail the 2024 opening of the law school and prompted some calls for Drake’s resignation.

Also Friday, details emerged about the criticism of Chemerinsky that the university received in the days before Drake rescinded the job offer, including from California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who criticized Chemerinsky’s grasp of death penalty appeals. Also, a group of prominent Orange County Republicans and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich wanted to derail the appointment.

As the story evolved it become clearer and clearer that indeed, yes, the issue at hand was ideological, which is unfortunate. It also males Drake look bad, as he has insisted that, in fact, the withdrawal of the job offer had nothing to do with politics.

Indeed, the following suggests that politics was very much at issue:

Michael Schroeder, one of Orange County’s most powerful GOP political players, said a group of 20 prominent Republicans organized against Chemerinsky in recent weeks, believing him to be a “longtime partisan gunslinger” and too “polarizing” for the job.

Another member of the group, who asked not to be identified, said Drake’s cellphone number was distributed so the protesters could call the chancellor.

And then there’s this:

Any deal would therefore require Chemerinsky to “successfully transition from being a very outspoken advocate on many causes to being a dean of the stature that we expect in a start-up law school,” said Malcom, a prominent Orange County Republican who was going to be a member of Chemerinsky’s advisory board.

On the one hand, I can understand why one might want a dean to be less controversial than a professor, it is not clear to me why it would be in the University’s overall best interest for Chemerinsky, or any potential dean to eschew being a public intellectual. One wonders if Malcom would feel that way if the potential dean was a prominent conservative intellectual.

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1 Comment

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    1. […] The Anteater Turnaround? […]

      Pingback by PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » The End of the UCI-Chemerinsky Saga — Tuesday, September 18, 2024 @ 10:58 am

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