-- Intro by Boalt Hall Student Association co-presidents. Talk slated to go until 2 (might end up boring me more than a patent litigation talk)
-- Dean miked for cameras. "I guess I should be careful with what I say." (Ditto).
-- Civil Rights project slated for Boalt similar to the one at Harvard he created.
-- Most of his time is spent on the $100 mil capital campaign. Meets with alumni who have the capacity and the interest to give $1 mil or more. There have been very few gifts of that size historically. But there are alumni with the capacity and there are a few who have jumped on board. "At Boalt and at the campus there's been no tradition of going out and getting gifts of this size. There's been depedence on the legislature...the process is basically one of culture change."
-- New Building Progress -- "I'm sorry I'm whining" referring to the bureaucracy at the campus over something like picking an architect for the new joint law school/business school building. Aside from the deans of the two schools there were 19 other people from various campus administrative units who offered their input.
-- Faculty hires -- A lot of new hires at entry-level and lateral hires in various fields. "When I say a bunch, I mean a bunch." There are 8 authorized searches. 6 weeks from now they will probably vote on offers for 12 people. "At the moment I am wildly optimistic about getting a lot...of people."
IT director programming a web-based discussion board (WOW!!! Did I call this or did I call this?
I'm so excited I can hardly type). His goal is to have this up and running by the end of spring break. Anyone from BHSA reading this, I'd be VERY HAPPY to give it a test-run.
--Environmental safety of building?
DE: Yes, architecture firm has impressive green credentials from Scandinavia. (Cool!) Prof. Civ Pro is part of a team creating a system for input from students on the building.
--FLAS funding? (Gov program makes graduate fellowship available to students undertaking advanced language training. Graduate and Professional schools waive fees if accepted).
DE: The cost for the professional schools has increased dramatically especially compared to letters and sciences. Partial forgiveness is not acceptable to the government. The policy judgment was either use Fin Aid money to students who want to study a language and may not have the need, or use it to enrich the loan repayment program. (Personally I'm very interested in international studies and language studies, but given the budget constraints I am absolutely glad that the Dean has decided to not fund the program).
DE: Only one offer to a person of color. Boalt in danger of losing Norm Spaulding to Stanford. DE willing to name one of his children after Spaulding.
--Pipelining, specifically what's Boalt doing to prepare its own students for faculty hiring?
DE: refers to threaded discussion and Dean of Students Ortiz.
I need to offer more detailed commentary on this. It sounds a lot like DE is very overwhelmed and just does not have the patience to deal with specific student concerns. This is unfortunate because there are some good ideas that should be thought through. I personally think UC Berkeley needs a program like UCLA where 2 and 3L law students teach a law seminar to undergrads on a particular topic. In case you've been a contestant on survivor for the past 5 seasons, I took such a class with Phil Carter on Law and Terrorism. It was easily one of the most rewarding experiences at UCLA...plus I got a heads up on how to brief cases.
--What the hell do you mean by a Civil Rights Center or Environmental Center?
DE: Well with things like nanotech, people think that Berkeley ought to be at the cutting edge of these issues in an inter-disciplinary way. That's the same with race and law theory, enviornmental law theory, etc. There's an opportunity for faculty and students to do multi-disciplinary work with adequate funds and space and to combine this work with outside things like advocacy, etc. For example the Berkeley Center of Law, Business, and Economy is an evolution of the law and economy program but it is much more expansive to include policy, business, maybe sociologists who study business organizations, etc. Trying to rebuild the environmental law program by adding some new faculty hires to repair old departures and then add to that a multi-disciplinary research center.
-- (Here's a fucking interesting question) "When you itnerviewed for the job and accepted you said that one of the considerations was the difference in the student body. [blah blah blah] You've been away for so long you can't appreciate some of the cool things...[blah blah blah] Then from our end we hear legacy admissions, partial-privatization, and higher LSAT scores which are not necessarily the goals of the institution from our end. There's one Harvard and possibly another one across the Bay, we don't need another one. We are a public school. [blah blah blah] So I'd like to know what we can do about that to make sure we don't lose what we have."
DE: I agree with everything you said, except how I spend my time. How do I put this? This school's been on a starvation diet for 15 years. You have experienced a doubling in tuition with no resources from that put to improving Boalt. Last year we lost faculty we had hoped to hire because we couldn't compete on salary. [HOMERUN OUT OF THE PARK COMING UP] And they were willing to sacrifice on salary because most law professors make less than what most of you, including those of you who just applauded, will be making in 3 or 4 years. [Splash into the bay] Every other law school has been investing in expanding faculty and their physical plant. And this is not just private schools, but I'm talking about Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Illinois, even Hastings. I gave a talk at Hastings the other day...wow. Now don't transfer to Hastings.
--You position is not enviable. We're definitely glad you're here. [more applause than other student's comments]
DE: I'm not interested in being a campus citizen.
--There is a lot of interest in various areas that are currently not part of the curriculum, what up?
DE: In the past 15 years Boalt has tried to fix curriculum problems on the cheap, by hiring adjunct lecturers. Currently in the process of replacing those with tenure-track faculty.
-- Concern that Boalt is concerning itself too much with social justice instead of corporate
DE: Yeah, like Fidelity can't have one good portfolio, a top 5 or even a top 10 law school cannot be a niche school. Had beer with interim dean of business school to expand curriculum in the area of law and business.
-- Funding for clinics?
DE: Regularized funding for clinics months ago, rather than requiring them to go through soft-money.
With appologies to the readers I need to leave now to work on my brief. I'm tempted to add a line of commentary or two just to wrapt things up. I really cannot understand the myopic views of some students critical of the dean. It is almost as if they need SOMETHING to complain about...anything. Dean out raising money for my fucking school? Let's complain. I just really wish sometimes, JUST SOMETIMES people can put down the student-advocate-at-xyz-undergrad hat and actually consider the long-term goals of the institution that will forever be tattooed to their identities.
As another student commented, news of Edley heading our law school created a buzz in the legal community and even in the State in general. We are the flagship public law school in California. Not many other states can claim a SYSTEM of public law schools. To take us to the Top 5 requires ambition and necessarily leaves no time to deal with your inconvenience with OCS. Should the OCS be improved? Yes. Is that what the Dean should be concerned about? Nah.
Current time 2:13.
Labels: DE, Law School, Rankings And Associated Bullshit, The Red Menace