“law school administrators can act like craven cowards, scurrying away from academic principles at the first hint of trouble”
This happened to professor Jason Kilborn. We have been following his story.
George Leef writes at the James G. Martin Center:
Law Student Complains about a Question; Professor Sentenced to Re-education Camp
Law students are adults who have completed an undergraduate degree. They’re in a professional school to learn the law, procedures, and skills they’ll need in a conflict-ridden, frequently harsh world. You would expect that they would act accordingly.
Sadly, that’s not always the case. As we’ll see, law students can be petty and vindictive.
And you would also expect that the people who run law schools would act like responsible scholars, defending their faculty members against groundless attacks.
Sadly, that’s not always the case either. As we’ll see, law school administrators can act like craven cowards, scurrying away from academic principles at the first hint of trouble.
Welcome to the case of Jason Kilborn, a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago law school. He has been on the faculty since 2010, teaching civil procedure, evidence, and other courses.
In his final exam in civil procedure in the fall 2020 term, one of his questions read:
Employer’s lawyer traveled to meet the manager, who stated that she quit her job after she attended a meeting in which other managers expressed their anger at Plaintiff, calling her a “n_____” and “b_____” (profane expressions for African Americans and women) and vowed to get rid of her. Later, Plaintiff’s lawyer served an interrogatory demanding the identity and location of any person with information related to the termination of Plaintiff’s employment or any agent of Employer. Can Employer identify the former manager but properly withhold her location, as this is the product of a significant amount of work and expense by Employer’s attorney?
Professor Kilborn had used the same wording in past exams without any trouble, but not this time…
So, how did the law school administration react to this complaint? Not that way.
It announced that it would investigate Professor Kilborn’s behavior. In doing that, it managed to provoke first an abject apology from him (quoted here), where he said that he regretted his question and that he had “learned something valuable” from the controversy. He begged the BLSA to call off its “unwarranted and unconstructive attack.”
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