Monday, January 24, 2022


Yesterday, I came across a tweet from someone who must be either law school legal writing or clinical faculty where they pointed out that a school’s faculty might very well have an atmosphere of “cordial hypocrisy[1]” depending on how doctrinal (and I assume tenured) faculty treat their legal writing or clinical colleagues. Various sources define “cordial hypocrisy” as having a pleasant demeanor towards each other in a way that seems like trust, but actually having an underlying distrust[2]. It is a no-no in the world of leadership and team building.

As someone in ASP, I see this cordial hypocrisy every day. We can be trusted to get a lot of work done, ensure our students’ success, and create curriculum for numerous classes, but we are not always (institutions obviously vary) able to, for example, teach some doctrinal courses, enjoy tenure, or even be considered faculty in some cases. I find that doctrinal professors are (usually pleasantly) surprised about what we do (or can do) despite the billboards and parades we organize to tell them.

Last week, I was in a committee meeting where I advocated strongly for the inclusion of ASP (and career development) in a new, potentially required, course devoted to student wellness. I really believe that these topics go hand in hand. After I made my point (concisely, I promise) that ASP assistance is never required until things have gone terribly awry (which is why embedding ASP into a required class would be a great thing), the facilitator of the meeting asked if anyone else had anything to add who hadn’t yet spoken. I was dismissed. My point was deemed not even worthy of comment or response-I mean even Ariana Grande said, “thank u” before she went right on to “next.[3]”  Was this brush-off permitted because I was merely ASP faculty and had no leverage in that moment to rectify it? I should note that this is not a common occurrence at my school, I was honestly surprised. You could see me mouthing, “wow, really?” because I had politely muted myself after I spoke. I guess any “cordial hypocrisy” I had enjoyed up until then ended when I didn’t agree completely with the facilitator. It was a blatant and public kiss-off and it stung. A lot.

I deserved better. We in ASP deserve better. We deserve respect, job security, and recognition for all we do. We deserve the time it takes for other members of the faculty to learn about what we do. We deserve to be as genuinely trusted by our colleagues as we are by our students.

And ASP surely deserved to be listed in that tweet.[4]

(Liz Stillman)

[1] Term attributed to Charles Feltman from:



[4] I did tweet a reply that said we should not overlook ASP faculty, and the poster agreed.

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