The Los Angeles Times reported this morning:
UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake and Erwin Chemerinsky have reached an agreement that will return the liberal legal scholar to the dean’s post at the university’s law school, sources told The Times this morning.
With the deal — which is expected to be formally announced by 10:30 a.m., after which the two will hold a joint news conference — they hope to end the controversy that erupted when Chemerinsky was dropped as the first dean of the Donald Bren School of Law.
Drake traveled over the weekend to Durham, N.C., where Chemerinsky is a professor at Duke University, and the two reached an agreement about midnight Sunday, the sources said.
Drake’s decision to dump Chemerinsky last week set off a national debate about academic freedom and sparked a revolt by faculty at UCI against Drake.
Chemerinsky contended last week that Drake succumbed to political pressure from conservatives and sacked him because of his outspoken liberal positions. The flap threatened to derail the 2009 opening of the law school and prompted some calls for Drake’s resignation.
On Friday, details emerged about the criticism of Chemerinsky that the university received in the days before Drake rescinded the job offer, including from California Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who criticized Chemerinsky’s grasp of death penalty appeals. Also, a group of prominent Orange County Republicans and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich wanted to derail the appointment.
Drake has insisted that Chemerinsky didn’t lose the dean’s position because of his politics, saying that it was only because he expressed himself in a polarizing way.
Listen here to radio interview with UC Irvine Profs. Elizabeth Loftus and David Goldberg about the law school saga on KUCI’s Subversity program this morning.
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