Larry Ribstein has posted a copy of a lengthy open letter from several prominent members of the University of Illinois School of Law faculty responding to the Chicago Tribune's breathless coverage and editorializing on the University's response to political pressure to admit unqualified applicants. It concludes:
The Tribune’s “clout goes to college” stories have all been about the abuse of power of University administrators and politicians. Newspapers also wield a great deal of power, and like all power, theirs too can be abused. Such is the case here. The Tribune should publicly apologize to those whom it has unjustifiably demonized. We are not so naïve as to expect this. Criticism such as this more often evokes anger than it does guilt. Indeed, we were advised against publishing this letter – “the Tribune has more ink than you do,” we were told. Yet “ink” is only as good as its content. What say you, Tribune? Can you own up to your mistakes and at least express remorse for unjustifiably damaging the distinguished careers that took lifetimes to build?[Note: If you're going to comment on the substance of the letter, please read the whole thing before posting a comment.]
As I noted in my prior post, many of those commenting on this story seem shocked that a state-funded educational institution is subject to political pressure from state officials -- surely this cannot be news to folks at the Tribune! Yet there has been more criticism of the U. of I. than of the politicians who sought special treatment. Why is that?