Louisville Courier-Journal op-ed: U of L Law School Is No Longer Neutral, by Luke Milligan (Louisville):
Since 1846 the law school at the University of Louisville has provided nonpartisan space for individuals to teach, discuss, and research matters of law and public policy. Despite the thousands of partisans who’ve walked its halls, the law school as an institution has remained nonpartisan, preserving its neutrality, and refusing to embrace an ideological or political identity.
Unfortunately, this long run of institutional neutrality seems headed for an abrupt end. Promotional materials for the law school now proclaim its institutional commitment to “progressive values” and “social justice.” Incoming students and faculty are told that, when it comes to the big issues of the day, the law school takes the “progressive” side.
The plan, in short, is to give the state-funded law school an “ideological brand.” (The Interim dean says it will help fundraising and student recruitment.) In 2014, the law faculty voted — over strong objection — to commit the institution to “social justice.” Now we’re at it again, seeking to brand ourselves “the nation’s first compassionate law school.”
These branding projects are misguided. For starters, the chosen brands are divisive, alienating about half the people in the country. While terms like “social justice” and “compassionate” might seem “inclusive” to you, tens of millions of Americans disagree. People hear these terms in a legal or political context and think “liberal orthodoxy." ... Brands like “social justice” and “compassionate” promise to sap higher education of its vitality and usefulness, leaving universities little more than salons of ideological self-congratulation.
We're already experiencing the fallout at the law school. In the name of "social justice" and "compassion," students were instructed on Day 1 of law school to rise and make public declarations regarding their race, religion, and sexual orientation. Under the Interim dean’s gaze, new students came out as gay, the devoutly religious were told to cheer for atheism, and evangelicals were called on to applaud the LGBT community.
By working to slap divisive and partisan labels on our state-funded law school, we betray Brandeis’s vision for public universities, revealing ourselves as men and women “of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
(Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.)