Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reminder - ABA Standards Review Committee will hold open forum in Chicago on Saturday for comments on proposed change to faculty job security

I don't think there's anyone in the legal academy who doesn't already know that the ABA Standards Review Committee is considering changes to the accreditation standards that would eliminate tenure as a requirement for running a law school. The request originated with deans who say they need more flexibility over labor costs at a time when applications are down creating additional pressure to keep tuition costs reasonable.

Many constituents have weighed-in.  Just about all of them strongly oppose the proposal on the grounds that the elimination of tenure would threaten academic freedom and thereby compromise the educational experience for students.  By clicking here and scrolling down, you can access the many letters and position papers that have been filed with the committee (including a letter by Guido Calabresi). Below are the details about Saturday's open forum (the deadline for submissions has passed):

The Standards Review Committee of the ABA Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will hold an open forum in Chicago on April 2, 2011 to hear comments about the following topics currently under its consideration:

1.  Student Learning Outcomes.

2.  Security of Position, Academic Freedom, Governance, Attracting and Retaining  Competent Faculty.

3.  Valid and Reliable Admission Test.

4.  All other Standards, Interpretations and Rules of Procedure.

Anyone interested in speaking at the open forum is encouraged to submit a written notice of intent by March 1.  Here are the other details:

Speakers are requested to advise the Committee by March 1, 2011 if they wish to speak at the open forum. 

Persons who wish to speak are encouraged to send written comments by March 28, 2011.

The amount of time allocated to each speaker will be determined after speakers have registered their interest in speaking.

If there is insufficient time for all interested persons to speak at the open forum, preference will be given to individuals and organizations that have attended prior committee meetings or provided written comments on previous drafts.

The Committee will post new drafts on its website by March 15, 2011.

Requests to speak and written comments should be sent to JR Clark,

The open forum will be held at the following time and address - Saturday, April 2, 2011, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Hotel 71 - Penthouse Ballroom, 39th floor, 71 East Wacker Drive, Chicago.


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