Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Following up on my previous posts (links below): Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Beat Goes On:
The discordant beat at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Bowen School of Law in Little Rock unfortunately continues.
Two UALR law professors who questioned the way an endowed professorship had its title quietly changed to attach the name of William J. Clinton have found their lives and careers significantly altered since a legislative hearing on the name change not long ago.
Professor Tom Sullivan, who earlier this summer sent an open email to the faculty about the Clinton name change, has left the school on his own volition within the past two weeks.
Professor Robert Steinbuch, who publicly questioned the change, has seen both seminar classes he's taught for nearly 20 years yanked away and canceled, and he's been reassigned to teach an unfamiliar class vacated by Sullivan's departure.
Asked about these developments, Bowen Law School Dean Theresa "Terri" Beiner told me in an email exchange that she "cannot comment on personnel matters. Generally, courses are assigned by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs based on the needs of the law school. Any recent decisions had nothing to do with the Aug. 19th legislative hearing or any events leading up to that hearing." ...
My understanding of the fallout at Bowen following that state Senate hearing into this months-long flap are as follows:
Steinbuch and Sullivan’s questions and concerns over the change were validated during the hearing.
UALR’s chancellor also interceded to remove Clinton’s name from the endowed professorship based on the valid concerns by these professors. The chair of the Senate’s State Agencies Committee characterized the outcome as a “capitulation” by the Bowen School in a matter that should never have gone as far as it did.
(Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds)
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage: