Friday, August 6, 2021
Via California Western release:
SAN DIEGO—California Western School of Law has announced that the faculty and Board of Trustees have voted to adopt a unitary tenure track. This change to the institution’s Faculty Bylaws creates opportunities for its clinical, Legal Skills, and other skills professors who were hired as full-time faculty to achieve tenure, with the same faculty governance and voting rights that come with an existing tenure-stream faculty position.
At the heart of this change is California Western’s commitment to living its values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Faculty hired without tenure are disproportionately under-represented in the academy, and yet face much more uncertain employment. A unitary track system provides these individuals with a clearer career pathway while promoting a spirit of collegiality and equality amongst all faculty.
“This is a momentous occasion for the California Western School of Law” reports Dean Sean Scott. “Moving toward a unitary tenure track reflects our desire to dismantle the traditional hierarchies within faculty ranks, which is part of the larger goal of addressing structural inequalities within legal education.”
The new system will also benefit the intellectual life of California Western. It incentivizes research and writing amongst faculty that typically fill legal skills positions, which solidifies the intersection of theory at practice. Adds Dean Scott: “we’re sending a signal to students about the need within their own careers to blend deep thinking and research with legal skills; to be successful they must have mastery of both.”