I am writing in the spirit of conciliation, hoping two colleagues and professors can work together again.
The law school suffers from a pervasive hostile culture including most prominently, constantly bickering professors, and a contentious relationship between the law school and main campus administrators that several of us involved in the Student Bar Association were forced to deal with frequently frustrating student wishes, opportunities and enhancements.
The professors, that conciliation is needed for are, Jendayi Saada, dean of the Center for Academic and Bar Readiness, and Diane Klein, a tenured professor of law at the College of Law. Previous media accounts sensationalized the dispute between these College of Law professors by focusing on a completely fictional racial element and the allegedly violently charged language involved.
The College of Law lost its ABA accreditation purportedly because the school was financially unsound.
That is not the case. The University of La Verne has more than enough financial resources to support the law school. There is an ABA compliance problem with the bar pass rate and that is essentially what the dispute is over and what Professor Klein’s statement is relevant to having nothing to do with race or violence.
A hearsay statement, taken out of context made by Professor Klein, during stress times for the College of Law, is being used to besmirch and fire one of the College of Law’s, best tenured professors. However, the statement had nothing to do with race or actual violence because Professor Klein has never been a violent person at the law school. Yet this statement is being given the legal effect of a threatening statement, unfairly racialized without meeting the legal definition of a threat nor even being directly overheard by Dean Saada. A threat legally requires specific intent. This misconstruing of a regrettable statement will cause irreparable harm to the College of Law and Professor Klein. The College of Law needs to start dealing with the reality that Professor Klein’s statement was not a legally threatening statement to Dean Saada or lose one of its best professors.
Professor Klein will lose her career over an unfortunate statement being taken out of context to pretextually fire Professor Klein when the College of Law is struggling with loss of accreditation, low bar pass rate, and its future.
College of Law, Class of 2019