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Potentially Troubling, But Hard To Figure Out Without More Information:

Several people pointed me to this story:

In 2001, [William C.] Bradford was hired as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. . . . [H]e's under fire, he said, because his ideas about the war on terror do not conform to views held by [two tenured professors]. . . . Bradford said the two [professors] voted consistently to deny him tenure, despite good academic ratings.

In March 2004, he said, he was told during a review that someone described him as "uncollegial."

That's the new kiss-of-death buzzword. "Faculty seeking to get rid of others claim they are not collegial," Bradford said. . . .

Bradford wrote a defense of the flag after 9/11 — one that hung in the school lobby until some faculty objected.

He refused to sign a letter sent by [one of the professors] defending Ward Churchill. He's the Colorado professor who called victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns." . . .

The difficulty in this case, as in many others, is that it's so hard to tell exactly what's going on here. Actually, the story isn't even clear on what the current state of Bradford's tenure case is — was he denied tenure? Is the matter still being considered?

It's also not clear how strong the evidence is that the tenure decision was influenced (or is likely to be influenced, if the decision is still in the future) by the perceived lack of collegiality. From the story, it sounds like one stray comment, and it's not clear whether it was linked to political disagreement or just to some personal clash. (For some thoughts on whether true collegiality concerns should be considered in tenure decisions, see this post.) The story also quotes a professor who's saying that people are trying to drive Bradford away, but again it's hard to tell exactly what evidence there is that they're trying to drive him away because they disagree with his ideology (as opposed to, say, thinking that his scholarly work is badly reasoned).

Bradford does have a lot of publications for a junior scholar (the norm is two to five in the years before tenure, and he has much more than that), though I can't speak to their quality or meatiness. But in any event, without knowing more about how strong his tenure case is, how strong the evidence is that it's being blocked for political reasons, or for that matter what the status of his case is, it's hard to pass judgment. I wish that the Star piece gave us a little more to work with.

Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
What is interesting about him, is other than his military background (reflected in a number of his publications) he has done a fair amount of work on Indian treaty law and the related abuses of Native Americans.

So he is not a completely pigeonholed sort. That link to publications was interesting. Lots of minor law reviews, but Ohio, Georgetown, Notre Dame and some others in there too. Guess the real point is "lots." But some real quality too.

Should be interesting to get the rest of the story. Has anyone e-mailed him?
6.27.2005 9:34am
clarice feldman (mail):
Isn't this the same school where one law professor, Florence Roisman, succeeded in having holiday decorations (non sectarian) removed from the building on the ground they made her feel left out and when they were replaced by a sleigh and greenery, still complained?

Has this institution hired on a lot of outliers to make itself seem more in line with the left dominated big lawschools?
6.27.2005 10:53am
Eugene Volokh (www):
The rank of a journal is not, in my view, very strongly correlated with article quality. There is some correlation, and certainly enough to make article placement matter in practice. But one should recognize the limits of judgments based on journal rank:

(1) Student law review editors aren't great judges of article quality. (They're probably not appallingly awful judges, but they aren't great judges.

(2) Lower-tier journals often organize symposia that draw first-rate authors. (They also sometimes have invited lecture series that draw first-rate speakers, but those are usually more senior speakers.)

(3) Certain fields that are less sexy or more specialized tend to be in some measure disfavored by the top-level general journals (or perhaps they themselves tend to disfavor general journals, if there's a tradition in the field of publishing with specialists). In international law, I've found, lots of top people publish routinely in specialized journals.
6.27.2005 11:31am
JohnAnnArbor:
I wonder if the tenure process is intentionally opaque so as to allow for discrimination like this. Its opacity certainly ALLOWS those with tenure to exercise discrimination that they would think twice about if the process were more open to scrutiny.
6.27.2005 11:38am
Jeff Cooper (mail) (www):
This is indeed the same school that had the dispute over the Christmas tree. I commented on the controversy at the time, and I invite anyone interested to read those comments. You may agree or disagree, but it's certainly worth more than the eye-rolling dismissal suggested above.

The Indiana University School of Law--Indianapolis, where I serve on the faculty, is not the exclusive province of lefties, and it certainly does not go out of its way to "hire[] on a lot of outliers." Prof. Roisman, one of the individuals at the center of the present controversy, strongly supported hiring a conservative job candidate this past year (regrettably for us, he chose to remain at his present position because of his wife's job). I know of no one on the faculty who proceeds according to a pure ideological litmus test.

Yesterday's Star column vastly oversimplifies and distorts an internal faculty issue. Prof. Bradford has not applied for tenure, much less been denied tenure. This past year, he applied for promotion from assistant professor to associate professor; his application was approved by an overwhelming margin. The present matter isn't a simple lefty-righty dispute, it isn't simply a matter of an academic ideological witch-hunt, and it doesn't belong in the media.
6.27.2005 11:46am
Craig Oren (mail):
Eugene is normatively correct. Still, sme faculty rely heavily on the quality of the journal in judging a piece.
6.27.2005 11:51am
bill bradford (mail):
I would be very pleased to communicate in great depth the factual and contextual background to this story to your readership. It most certainly is a witch hunt, but what is really interesting about it (or would be interesting if I weren't at the center) is that it's impossible to characterize me as a right-winger. In fact, the Indian law community knows me as a far-left radical, which I don't think is entirely true, but I have indeed called for reparations from the U.S. to Indian tribes and even for tribes, in the wake of U.S. v. Lara, to declare independence from the U.S. The real reason for the votes of 5 tenured colleagues not to renew my contract, as best I can tell and based on what little has percolated down to me, was that I defend the war on terror (for reasons of self-determination principally) and won't sign letters in support of Ward Churchill's assertion that the victims of the 9/11 terrorists are the moral equivalents of the architect of the Jewish Shoah. I'm sorry, but that's, in my view, a very hateful and hurtful thing to say. My mom's parents were born as POWs in a U.S. Army prisoner of war camp, and I still love this country. I've actually heard the expression "Clarence Tomahawk" used around the faculty suites. I could shrug this off if I didn't have a disabled wife and a two-year old daughter, but the threat to my livelihood is very troubling.
6.27.2005 12:00pm
erp (mail):
As a non-academic privy to hiring and tenure discussions and decisions, I can report that snobbishness, cattiness, pettiness, envy and liberal politics are some of the top reasons for both hiring and tenure decisions all other things being equal and contrary to the received wisdom, laudatory student evaluations were mostly seen as negative, citing either a lack of seriousness or an over abundance of avuncularity in the candidate. Good scholarship and publication is envied and mediocre is disparaged.

It's an old boys club pure and simple with some "girls" allowed if they otherwise conform. To say otherwise is to have blinders on or to have an overly developed ability to find rationality where non exists.

It's a very difficult row to hoe. Being to true to ones own self while trying to be collegial with colleagues who make it clear you are not one of them if you don't subscribe to the antics of a Ward Churchill.

Disclaimer: Truly brilliant and exceptionally gifted people will always rise to the top. They will, in academe as in every other field of human endeavor, write their own rules and make their own way.

I hope the president can get someone like that through the confirmation process and on the Supreme Court ASAP.
6.27.2005 12:16pm
Jon Porter (mail):
It seems that when word got out that Bradford was going to William and Mary in the fall, and on leave in the spring, students started a petition drive to convince the administration to grant him tenure. See the comments, including a note from Bradford himself,
here:
6.27.2005 12:32pm
Jon Porter (mail):
It seems that when word got out that Bradford was going to William and Mary in the fall, and on leave in the spring, students started a petition drive to convince the administration to grant him tenure. See the comments, including a note from Bradford himself,
6.27.2005 12:33pm
JohnAnnArbor:
From erp:
"laudatory student evaluations were mostly seen as negative"

Great. As a student (engineering/science, not law), at least three professors I thought were great teachers didn't get tenure. One case led to significant student protest, with most department students signing a petition for the department to reconsider. When presented with the petition (circulated by a leading student), the department chair made it clear (politely) that he could not care less.

Now erp says that student praise might actually be a strike AGAINST a candidate. Perhaps the tenured folks who get bad evaluations are jealous? Perhaps they assume that only "easy" teachers get good evaluations (not true in my experience)?
6.27.2005 12:33pm
Jeff Cooper (mail) (www):
I do not wish to debate my colleague (whom I like and admire) in public. I do wish to state, though, that signing a letter in support of Ward Churchill is not a prerequisite for tenure. The minute it becomes one is the minute I give up and look for other work.
6.27.2005 12:43pm
Chris Lawrence (mail) (www):

Prof. Bradford has not applied for tenure, much less been denied tenure. This past year, he applied for promotion from assistant professor to associate professor; his application was approved by an overwhelming margin.


Is this sort of thing common in law schools? AFAIK in the liberal arts and sciences, promotion to associate almost automatically means you get tenure, and I don't think you can even get tenure without asking for promotion (or seek promotion to associate without asking for tenure).
6.27.2005 12:54pm
Jeff Cooper (mail) (www):
I can't speak for other schools. At IU, it is common for someone who was hired at the assistant level to apply for promotion to associate after three years. Tenure is usually sought after six years; that application may be accompanied by an application for a promotion in rank, but it does not have to be.
6.27.2005 12:57pm
ProCynic (www):
Prof. Cooper writes:

"Yesterday's Star column vastly oversimplifies and distorts an internal faculty issue. Prof. Bradford has not applied for tenure, much less been denied tenure. This past year, he applied for promotion from assistant professor to associate professor; his application was approved by an overwhelming margin. The present matter isn't a simple lefty-righty dispute, it isn't simply a matter of an academic ideological witch-hunt, and it doesn't belong in the media."

Prof. Cooper is an excellent professor at IU and I learned a lot from him, but I respectfully object to the comments highlighted above. IU is a publicly funded university. The public has a right to know what goes on there. It is this veil of secrecy and mystery surrounding the tenure process that has allowed lowlifes like Ward Churchill to thrive and allowed leftists like Roisman to operate in a fascist-like fashion to intimidate and drive out conservatives and anyone else who disagrees with them. Maybe if the tenure and faculty hiring processes were more transparent, the public could have more confidence in it, but after Ward Churchill and plenty of others like him, the public needs more than assurances from academia that they can be trusted to make sure freedom of speech works both ways.
6.27.2005 2:01pm
anony-mouse (mail):
I have been part of a faculty hiring process (as a graduate student), but admittedly at a small, public engineering school with a very small and very focused liberal arts division. The liberal arts faculty was delighted to even find five students who cared enough to evaluate and opine on potential candidates for the position.

But, at the least, I can state from experience that student opinions are not universally reviled. Perhaps the issue is more pronounced at larger schools, where anonymity between students and faculty is inevitably a greater problem.
6.27.2005 2:26pm
Current IU-Indy Student:
ProCynic,

I really must question your comment that the Indy Star article has informed anyone of what is currently going on at the law school. The article was poorly wrote and inconsistent with established facts (i.e. claiming that Professor Bradford was applying for tenure). This specific article does not provide any information to clarify and explain the issues. It is of an incendiary nature and does not objectively explain the situation. Cooper is correct; it doesn't belong in the media.

I would welcome an unbiased explanation. One that contains actual facts and comments from all the parties involved. That type of article would belong in the media.
6.27.2005 2:33pm
ProCynic (www):
Current IU-Indy Student,

If your suggestion is that the Star should not cover the story, I disagree with you. But if your suggestion instead was that the Star handled the story poorly, then you may have a point. Was the article poorly written? Agreed. Pretty much anything by Ruth Holliday is. However, what facts do you suggest that she give? If the other side refuses to present its story -- and IU-Indy Law wasn't exactly forthcoming -- the Star is essentially left with only Prof. Bradford's version of events. What do you suggest the Star do? Ignore the story? Faculty hiring decisions are now news because of Churchill and other professors like him who have taken an anti-American bent. Prof. Bradford believes he is being run out of IU-Indy for taking a pro-war stance. He has presented evidence that supports his case. The other side refuses to respond. The Star should cover it. That they may have botched it should in no way suggest that this problem at IU-Indy in particular or in academe in general is not worthy of news coverage.

Best of luck,

ProCynic
6.27.2005 2:52pm
erp (mail):
JohnAnnArbor,

Faculty members on tenure or hiring committees aren't jealous of a candidate's good student evaluations or care about bad ones for that matter. Students are simply irrelevant. I can't stress that enough to you young scholars in tenure track positions.

You may not like it, I certainly don't, but the savvy already know this and play up to the people who can help them. If you choose this course, remember to be subtle. Overt fawning is a death knell.
6.27.2005 3:07pm
Current IU-Indy Student (www):
ProCynic,

This has been an ugly situation for the school. We are loosing an excellent professor (although I have not had him for class - and now will never get the chance).

The arguments you make for the article failing to cite both sides of the story would have been more practical if it was printed in April when the story was fresh (I have included a link to the IndyLawNet Blog article). It has been two months. When I read the story in the newspaper on Sunday I was expecting some new insight. I hoped that the Star could offer an objective discussion as to what was really going on. I really thought that the full story (meaning both sides) would be given - it wasn't. After two months I expect a newspaper article to be objective - it wasn't.

One more thing, although I've never had Roisman as a professor, the amount of criticism she has recieved (and the outright defamation of her character) is uncalled for. I have read countless statements from anonymous bloggers which have went so far as to describe her as the "anti-christ." This level of unprofessionalism is sickening. Perhaps it could be described as "uncollegial."

Thanks for the discussion.
6.27.2005 3:40pm
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
In fact, the Indian law community knows me as a far-left radical, which I don't think is entirely true, but I have indeed called for reparations from the U.S. to Indian tribes and even for tribes, in the wake of U.S. v. Lara, to declare independence from the U.S.

...

I could shrug this off if I didn't have a disabled wife and a two-year old daughter, but the threat to my livelihood is very troubling.


I don't know about other issues, but I know a couple BYU law profs you would fit right in with on the Indian law issues.

I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties, but I appreciate your confirming the impression that I had from your Indian Law writing.

I'm also sorry to hear that five of the profs at your university voted to have you fired. Are there any public details on that?
6.27.2005 4:27pm
ProCynic (www):
Current IU-Indy Student,

Well, which is it? You can't complain that it took two months to make the Star after saying that it didn't belong in the media. One of the reasons it took two months to make the Star is because the faculty hiring and tenure process is so secretive. They don't exactly advertise these things, probably because their criteria are subjective and they want to keep it that way. When you get secrecy, you get Ward Churchill. When you get secrecy, you get Prof. Bradford forced out. Secrecy means no accountability. "Collegiality" becomes another word that means whatever the person saying it wants it to mean. If Prof. Bradford's detractors use of the word as a synonym for "agrees with us politically" is exposed to the public, then they may have to pay a price.

And pay a price they should. This has been an ugly episode for the law school? Well, la di friggin' da. They allowed the tenure process to become politicized. The only way to have any hope of getting the process back onto something resembling the track it was theoretically supposed to have is to expose it to the public eye and thet the law school take the bows or the blows, whichever is more appropriate, which in this case IMHO is the latter.

As for Prof. Roisman, I never had her for a class, so I can't comment on her as a teacher. What I have heard from other students and seen of her activities in the media, however, is suggestive of the stereotypical liberal prof who uses fascist-style tactics to impose left-wing views on others. They are typically thin-skinned and cannot intellectually defend their views, so disagreement is not tolerated and is squelched by intimidation and punishment. Prof. Roisman's activities with the Christmas display, the war in Iraq and Prof. Bradford suggest that she fits this stereotype. It is this type of professor that many, many students absolutely detest. The anger directed at her is understandable, and would probably be shared by many of the taxpayers of Indiana if her activities were well known.

Contrary to Prof. Cooper's assertion, my experience at IU-Indy suggest that there are many, many more liberal faculty members than conservative or libertarian ones, but the liberal professors that I have known there have generally welcomed and enjoyed disagreement and reasoned debate. Whether Prof. Roisman is one of them is difficult for me to say, since I never had her for a class, but her comments and activities, as well as stories and opinions on her I have heard from my friends who did have her, suggest that someone of my political views would have had a difficult time with her.

As for Prof. Bradford, I had him for a class and found him indeed to be an excellent professor and an independent thinker. He is a major loss for IU-Indy, but if they want to point fingers of blame, instead of looking at the Star, they may want to look at Prof. Roisman and her backers in their quest for liberal purity at the law school ahead of intellectual (ahem!) diversity.

Best of luck,

ProCynic
6.27.2005 4:36pm
bill bradford (mail):
Thanks, Steve. The deliberations of the P&T Committee are conducted in secret, but a great many of my colleagues were so outraged over what went on in the meeting that they gave me some insights. The gist of it is that I'm not the "right" (or maybe I should say "left") kind of Indian, meaning a Ward Churchill-type who hates America and takes every opportunity to be outrageous. What's really funny is that they've obviously not read my Indian law stuff, because if they had they see that I'm a really strong critic of federal Indian law and that I pull no punches. I'm also a real Indian, rather than a fake wannabe with the hair and shades to hide behind. I guess I've forgotten my place and become an uppity red man. It's a real shame, but I still believe that there's a world of difference between the September 11th terrorists and people who are just going about their business trying to make a living in the WTC. Maybe someone can show me the error of my ways.
6.27.2005 5:43pm
Current IU-Indy Student:
ProCynic,

I think you are taking my comments about the Star's inability to make a timely report out of context. I was trying to state that the Star has had two months to get both sides of the story. I don't understand how they can responsibly print a story with only one side of the argument. Especially, when they've had two months to get that information. A newspaper that prints a story about a conflict between two parties has a responsibility to provide the views of both parties. I am not complaining because it took 2 months to become newsworthy. I am complaining because this piece should have never been printed!

I'm much more conservative then you think. I would agree with many of your comments about the loss of conservative professors (this is a problem with all universities). I would also agree that the tenure process (as well as many other university decision making processes) should be open to the public and accountable to the taxpayers. But,I refuse to publicly denounce this situation without both sides of the story. I don't believe that an inflammatory article that points fingers at two specific individuals (Roismann and Mitchell) without their comments is the way to achieve this. Printing a one-sided story creates confusion. Individuals are left with opinions that are based on conjecture and inuendo.

Once again thanks for the discussion (I think this would be much more fun over a beer).
6.27.2005 5:49pm
Jeff Z (mail):
The activities of a state's leading law school, especially a publically-funded one, certainly does deserve the scrutiny of the press, probably far more than any other school or department at the university. What is taught in the law schools becomes the way that many issues of public policy are decided, especially as the courts assume more and more power. Also, historically one of the most common entries to public life is through a major law school.
6.27.2005 5:58pm
ProCynic (www):
Current IU-Indy Student says, "I don't believe that an inflammatory article that points fingers at two specific individuals (Roismann and Mitchell) without their comments is the way to achieve this." My response is that they had the opportunity to comment and chose to turn it down. This is a story worthy of press coverage. The story does not have Roisman's and Mitchell's point of view because Roisman and Mitchell refused to provide it when asked to do so. To then not print the story because it did not have their side of it effectively gives Roisman and Mitchell the veto rights over this story. In my view, considering the importance of the story, that is unacceptable.

Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts and enjoy this type of discussion. I try to be reasoned and intellectual when I comment on other people's blogs. I save the incendiary, over-the-top stuff for my own blog :-)

Best of luck,

ProCynic
6.27.2005 6:06pm
Francha:
Academia is *so* sad in these respects, where here there's clearly a serious &productive &iconoclastic scholar whose departure would be a great loss for any institution that takes intellectual originality--and its own students--at all seriously. You don't have to be any sort of conservative-- indeed I'm a Democratic leftist--to know that academic leftists &feminists oftentimes behave *so* badly in situations like this. I know personally only a handful of members of this particular law faculty, but individuals with the moxie of Eleanor Kinney and David Orentlicher ought to be speaking out publicly in protest over their few colleagues' behavior toward Bradford.......
6.27.2005 6:15pm
Chops (mail):
ProCynic said that "the article was poorly wrote" but I think it was wrote purty good!
Also, it was not an article, it was a column. Different journalistic standards.
6.27.2005 6:32pm
Recent IU-Indy Grad (mail):
I recently graduated the law school, and can say (without fear of either retribution or accusations of brown nosing, now that I've graduated!) that Professor Bradford is a top-notch professor, uncommonly dedicated to his students, and a true advocate of the most noble aspects of the legal profession. I can also say that Professor Cooper deserves similar praise. Professor Roisman, on the other hand .... *shiver*.

Professor Cooper, I do understand your perspective, and I'm sure you are probably a little tire of addressing the tenure process and Ms. Roisman. Nonetheless, this appears like a "looks like a duck, walks like a duck" issue. In other words, Professor Roisman has created her own reputation, and it is that reputation which makes the allegations of political fascism so plausable. Therefore, I have a tough time feeling sorry for her. Too many stories, too much history, too many letters-to-the-editor, demonstrate that she is the faculty equivalent of those anti-conservative pie throwers (so en vogue among the left these days). Nothwithstanding this, however, I do appreciate your view.

Professor Bradford, the very first day of your first class as a professor (and I believe, my first as a law student), you said that you felt like you were doing what you were born to do. I agree with that assessment. I hope you manage to stay at IU-Indy, for the sake of the students. (ironically, it appears we just missed each other at my church today, which is unfortunate, because I would have liked the opportunity to say as much face to face). However things work out, good luck and thank you... and watch out for flying pies.
6.27.2005 9:04pm
John Boyle (mail):
Sounds like "collegiality" can be an arbitrary euphemism for "conformity." If that, it seems consistent with tactics widely reported as the intolerance of the "tolerance" regime at so many universities. If independent thinking is no longer an ideal in the university, why have a university?

These institutions seed, or poison, the future of civilization. The public has a right to know what they are up to and how and why they choose our childrens' mentors. Expect the whole idea of tenure to come under increasing pressure.
6.28.2005 12:09am
arbitrary_aardvark (mail) (www):
As chops said, Ruth Holladay is a columnist. Sort of like a blogger, but on paper. Her stuff is a mix of gossip, news, and opinion. Some of her stuff is outrageously offensive. So is some of mine, I just have a smaller audience. She has a good nose for local controversies. Sometimes she has been able to right an injustice by writing about it. Whether or not she's captured all the nuances of the IU-indy tenure process, she's spelled the names right and has the general idea.
6.28.2005 3:34am
bill bradford (mail):
There is an insightful story from Inside Higher Ed that lays out more of the story.
6.28.2005 10:22am
bill bradford (mail):
Sorry, forgot to give the link, which is here: http://insidehighered.com/news/2005/06/28/indiana
6.28.2005 10:23am
Current IU-Indy Student:
Aardvark and Chops,

Could you point me to a more detailed description of the journalistic standards that you have commented on. I am interested in how the journalism community formally defines the appropriate standards for columns and articles that are published in the paper. Unfortunately, I don't know where to begin to find such information.

Chops, I must correct your post. It was I that made the grammar faux pas when I typed "poorly wrote." ProCynic did not insult the English language -- it was me. While reading the posts last night I caught my error (along with numerous others). In the future I'll try to be more careful.
6.28.2005 2:04pm
The way I see it...:
So much of what is being written about here is based on unsubstantiated, whining from Bill Bradford himself. He complains about not getting tenure when he is not even up for tenure yet. He applied and received a promotion to full Professor, received a fellowship even though he will not even be teaching at the IU Law Indy this academic year and he complains about being pressured to sign the petition standing up for Ward Churchill. Bradford is stirring up controversy where there is none. Florence Roisman is a person with passion about what she believes and she is the first to admit that she is liberal in her beliefs. She is also an educator from the core. When something is important to her, she shares that information and encourages her colleagues to think about the issue and to act if appropriate. In the case of Ward Churchill, she was not asking people to agree with what he said, she was asking people to sign a petition that would protect his right to speak, regardless of his views. I have never seen her pressure anyone to abandon their beliefs "or else". She may challenge someone if she thinks that they haven't thought things through, and some people get tired of her sharing things of importance to her, when they may not be important to them, but that is her prerogative. She is not threatening in any way and she does respect others beliefs if they are well thought out. As for her and Mary Mitchell not responding to the Star columnist, it is probably because so much of that story is so absurd that they don't want to waste their time trying to sort it all out. The article was just plain bad. I don't disagree that law school news should be published in the newspaper, but I hardly see this as news. Most of what has been written about is based on whining and has been taken for fact. Prof Bradford has been highly respected among the community of IU Law Indy, until now.
6.28.2005 7:18pm
ProCynic (www):
"In the case of Ward Churchill, she was not asking people to agree with what he said, she was asking people to sign a petition that would protect his right to speak, regardless of his views."

No one challenged Ward Churchill's right to speak. What they did challenge was the substance of what he spoke, and whether someone who holds the views he espouses should be teaching at a state-supported school. Come to think of it, the same question could be asked about Prof. Roisman.

"I have never seen her pressure anyone to abandon their beliefs "or else". She may challenge someone if she thinks that they haven't thought things through, and some people get tired of her sharing things of importance to her, when they may not be important to them, but that is her prerogative. She is not threatening in any way and she does respect others beliefs if they are well thought out."

Not having had her for a class, I cannot say for sure about whether she pressures or not, but I've talked to my classmates who had her. Literally every single one of them -- conservative, liberal, middle of the road -- would disagree with you. As for whether she respects others beliefs "if they are well thought out," the accurate translation is probably "if they agree with hers." Prof. Mitchell -- and I have had her for class -- is much different in this regard. She does respect people of different beliefs, but she is not effective at debating them, and it gets her frustrated.

"As for her and Mary Mitchell not responding to the Star columnist, it is probably because so much of that story is so absurd that they don't want to waste their time trying to sort it all out."

Probably because? I don't know why they won't respond and neither do you. But this kind of response is typical for people who know their case is a losing one in the public's eye. At a publicly-funded university, where decisions should be transparent, Roisman and Mitchell in hiding in their bunker are doing what they can to keep it opaque. Again, typical behavior of academia.

"Prof Bradford has been highly respected among the community of IU Law Indy, until now."

Maybe the students, but probably not the faculty.
6.29.2005 1:38pm
Young Alum:
If any are interested, Professor Roisman and the University have responded. Now, Bradford says there will be no more public comments unless through his lawyer. See www.indylawnet.com.

As far as the substance of the dispute: I have had Bradford and think he is a good professor, but far from perfect. Like many academics of both the right and left, he has his quirks.

I have not had Roisman, but her reputation certainly preceeds her. I have no doubt there is some kernel of truth to Bradford's claims at least concerning the Roisman animosity. However, given that no adverse decision was actually made regarding him other than a lack of total unanimity in an apparent straw poll concerning his future possibility of tenure, I think there is no real basis to his allegations of discrimination. Heck, they gave him a raise and renewed his contract!

It seems to me that this public dragging of the school and faculty through the mud will not do him any good in the future (at IU or any other law school that gets word of the way he handled this). Who wants a trouble maker. I thought you were supposed to wait until after tenure for that!
6.29.2005 10:36pm