Widener Law School goes Soviet, demands law professor undergo psychiatric evaluation


#1

Widener Law School goes Soviet, demands law professor undergo psychiatric evaluation
Posted by William A. Jacobson
Le-gal Ijn-sur-rec-tion blog
Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 10:00am

Lawrence Connell is a tenured law professor at Widener Law School in Delaware. I have noted in prior posts that Connell was accused of a wide range of racist and sexist conduct directed at students in his classes and at Dean Linda Ammons (because of hypothetical examples Connell used in class).

Connell has sued, and also went through a university disciplinary hearing process. The faculty committee which heard the evidence found that Connell did not violate any university policy with regard to the allegations of racist and sexist conduct. The committee report, available exclusively here, while it ultimately vindicates Connell, is a depressing narrative of the sorry state of political correctness and race/sex politics on campus, in which the feelings and reaction of accusers carries as much weight as the objective reality of the statements made. While Connell was vindicated on a wide range of charges, this case surely will have a chilling effect on academic freedom on campuses as professors now know that regardless of the context, they are at risk of the subjective feelings of those with an agenda.

But on one charge Connell was found to have violated university policy. The Committee found that Connell’s reaction to the false accusations against him, in which he sought to vigorously defend both his job and his reputation, constituted “retaliation.” …

But Dean Ammons recommendation, accepted by the university, went much further, demanding that Connell submit to a psychiatric evaluation, undergo ”anger management” counseling, and issue an apology:

Defending oneself decisively constitutes “retaliation” and earns a “sentence” of being required to see a shrink and get anger management training? Looks to me like this faculty committee is “retaliating” against this professor for successfully defending himself!


#2

One can not speak about certain subjects because if one does it is guaranteed someone will take offense no matter how you try to be impartial about it.

Look at what happened in Wisconsin where blacks attacked whites for no reason other than racism from appearances.

Racial harmony has really taken a beating.

Sure I see comments from both sides that are racial motivated but I also note that is because of what has been happening with any who dares question Obama on anything.


#3

The idea that blacks are entitled to attack persons even if the latter were racists is politically correct insanity.


#4

"Widener’s Dean Linda Ammons Doubles Down

David Bernstein • August 6, 2011 11:14 am

The saga of Dean Ammons vendetta against Professor Lawrence Connell, revolving around trumped up charges of harassment and discrimination, gets more and more absurd. Having been almost entirely vindicated by a faculty committee, with the only remaining “charge” that he dared to rebut false accusations against himself publicly, Dean Ammons has recommended that Connell be suspended for a year without pay and be forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Widener’s administration, apparently oblivious to the long-term damage this is doing to the law school’s and university’s reputation, agreed. I hope Connell sues, and I hope he wins his lawsuit, and wins big. Meanwhile, if any of our readers are considering attending Widener, I recommend looking elsewhere–anywhere else. If Connell can be abused in this way, so can you. H/T Instapundit.

UPDATE: I had agreed to participate in a Widener-sponsored project after the committee report was released, which I thought would be the end of the matter. I’ve now sent an email to my contact at Widener, withdrawing. I can’t in good conscience have my reputation associated in any way with Widener Law School."
The Volokh Conspiracy » Widener’s Dean Linda Ammons Doubles Down


#5

The Mess at Widener Law School
By Charlotte Allen
Minding The Campus blog
8/12/11

The Old Law School/New Law School distinction helps explain why Connell was meted harsh punishment despite his vindication on the underlying charges (Widener says that Connell might have been innocent, but he wrongfully “retaliated” against the complaining students by suing them—along Widener itself and some of its administrators—and by publicizing the charges against him in an e-mail to his other students). The Old Law School/New Law School distinction also helps explain another, truly ominous aspect of Connell’s punishment, also pushed by Ammons: As a condition of reinstatement, he must undergo a psychiatric evaluation and a course of treatment (including “anger management”). The psychiatrist or psychologist is supposed to report to Widener on the treatment’s progress and must certify that Connell is sufficiently cured in order for him to be allowed to return …

… Old Law School assumes that the process of training lawyers is training them to a centuries-old Anglo-American tradition of lawyerly thought …

… In New Law School thinking, the law does not embody a rational system of justice—or even strivings toward such a system—but is essentially a political construct that has historically operated to keep the rich and powerful … Since a shift in the power structure, not justice, is the goal, any tactic that coerces the recalcitrant into conforming to the new power regime is permissible in New Law School thinking.

This looks at the underlying context of this egregious mess.


#6

A professor gets ‘tried’ by a circus, defends himself, sues them for wrongfully accusing him, is now being required to undergo psychiatric evaluation for ‘retaliation’ (self-defense), AKA re-education. Did I miss anything?

Yeah, sounds to me like someone deserves to get shut down (and I ain’t talking about the professor either).


#7

You may get your wish, SLR:

This situation might get the attention of people who have authority over Dean Ammons. It’s sad that it takes hitting Widener Law School in the wallet to have a chance at getting basic justice!


#8

Interesting, thank you for the update. :slight_smile:


#9

Widener Law School loses major donor over Connell case
Posted by William A. Jacobson
Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion blog
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 8:35am

Now Widener has confirmed in an e-mail to me that one of the people who resigned was Capt. (Ret.) Robert P. Taishoff. Widener still declines to identify the reasons given by Taishoff for resigning, but I have seen what is represented to be the text of his resignation communication and it is clear that the resignation was in protest of Dean Linda Ammons’ handling of the Connell case and the sanctions imposed on Connell. Taishoff did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Taishoff is one of Widener Law School’s most prominent and generous alumni.

An update.