Friday, January 17, 2014

Clarifying the Record: A Rat's Ass and the List of Dean Candidates

Since my little dust up with officials at the University of Florida I have heard and read things that indicate the list of dean candidates became public because of me. Some folks feel I did a bad thing and others a good thing. The bad thing people believe I exposed the candidates to possible embarrassment.  The faculty lounge commentators are big on this complaint. Many of their comments are like the exam answers I get when students make up a new set of facts and then write an answer. Even the writer of the initial post goes off course by writing: ""Unfortunately for those candidates, and the committee, Florida has an open meeting law."  Every single candidate knew he or she would be on a list that would become public. And, to their credit, they applied anyway. The least we can say about the people on the list is they are not worried about publicly exposing a desire for something they may not get. In the law school world this is no small thing. How is that unfortunate? In fact, if it did scare some wussier candidates away they are delighted.

But to those who think I did a good thing, I cannot accept the credit as least as far as the list becoming public. The list would have become public anyway in a few days at most. And, in the words of diplomat and future Nobel Prize Winner, Dennis Rodman, I did not give a rats ass about who was on the list. I had the list within about 10 seconds of one of the more fretful members of the committee learning that I would complain to the newspaper if I did not get it.

Nope, the real trouble was not about the list; it was about the crazy, out-of-fashion especially at law schools and Universities, notion that people should tell the truth.  So, my digging (as it has be put on at least one blog) was not investigative. Instead it was about having a really bad anti authority streak and the perhaps irrational need to switch to bulldog mode when someone in the administration tells me something I know is not true. The Codes of law school conduct instruct us never to embarrasses anyone by noting they have not told the truth. Not telling the truth is evidently collegial but calling someone out on it is not. It appears all members of the search team, including law school members, live by this rule. It's to be expected, as I noted in the post two posts ago, they are all squad leaders now.

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