Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Word broke last week that Bobby Chesney (right) has been appointed the incoming Dean of UT Austin School of Law. Dean Chesney is one of the nicest people you will ever meet in the academy. That is one reason why I have been hesitant to congratulate Dean Chesney on his new position. But he is currently UT Austin's Associate Dean, so maybe the new position will be somewhat less onerous. I wish him luck.
Dean Chesney is also a highly capable scholar, with some notable administrative and entrepreneurial skills that will no doubt serve him well in his new capacity. I met him early in my career as a law professor when I was writing about the state secrets privilege. He wrote a seminal article on the topic, which guided me into the literature. My views on the proper scope of the privilege were and continue to be far different from his, but he invited me to participate in a fabulous gathering of academics, JAG officers, and representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross. I had the opportunity to participate in a couple of these gatherings, and they proved very valuable as I was able to supplement my public international courses with the materials participants shared on the law of armed conflict. That in turn enabled me to develop some courses on the law of armed conflict, including one of my favorite teaching experiences, a two-week study-abroad course on the law of armed conflict in Israel and Palestine.
My real concern upon hearing the news, however, was that Bobby Chesney as Dean Chesney would have even less time than he had a Associate Dean Chesney to record his incomparable National Security Law podcasts with his phenomenal friend, colleague, and sparring partner, Steve Vladeck. Happy news! A new episode dropped this week, and the hosts predict that they will have more time to record than they have had during the past academic year.
This blog is indebted to that podcast for our occasional weekend frivolity feature, so I at least am relieved to know that the original frivolity, as well as very high-level discussions of national security law, will continue to flow.
Heartfelt congratulations all around!