Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Perfect Foreign Progam

I was thinking of a perfect foreign program in the sense of symbolizing academia and a failure not just of leadership but of basic responsibility.

How's this.  The program would be run by a public school (who really cares what private school do with their money?). It would fly faculty to a foreign but developed country for two weeks at a time during the school year where they would teach in English to students some of whom are fluent but many whom are very very far from it. They would teach American law in a lecture format which could be simply taped and broadcast. Their own students would have to make up the classes later.

So, let's add it up.
1. Public money to teach no UF students.
2. The State has no compelling interest in teaching  the students.
3. UF students are burdened by making up two weeks of class because their profs take off in the middle of the semester.
4. The missing class practice probably violates the AALS best practices guidelines which read: "Classes should be met as scheduled, or when this is impractical, classes should be rescheduled at a time reasonable convenient for students. . . ." I'm no genius at interpretation but my hunch is that choosing to go somewhere else to teach mid semester does not render teaching class impractical.
5. The program costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How does this happen? Ah, there you have to understand law schools. First, it is nearly impossible to undo anything no matter how big a mistake. Second, law schools exist for faculty. Third, deans do not like to say no to faculty. Fourth, faculty don't like deans to say no to other faculty because it means the dean might say no to them next.  Fifth, deans know all this. Oh, and if you read my last post, it's the free travel addiction, too.

Students struggling to make ends meet or sitting in a class of 100+, here is one of the places your money goes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When done in the manner you describe, the program, even if not for a particular degree, seems contrary to at least the spirit of ABA Standard 308: "The additional degree program may not detract from a law school’s ability to maintain a J.D. degree program that meets the requirements of the Standards."