In the wake of the ABA’s Standards Review Committee (SRC) open forum in Chicago on April 2-3, SALT and CLEA issued an official report on the proceedings. The report details the strong opposition to the SRC’s proposals on security of position and the negative impact on clinical faculty.
Two proposals were up for debate. The majority proposal would “protect academic freedom by requiring each school to have a policy and set of procedures on academic freedom and a policy on law school governance”. The second was the “minority” proposal which “would require not only a policy and procedure on academic freedom, but also that ‘all full-time faculty [have] a form of security of position sufficient to ensure academic freedom and meaningful participation in law school governance.'”
Perhaps not so surprisingly, the “minority” propsal, in fact, garnered the most support at the forum. The majority of attendees expressed strong reservations regarding the proposed changes to security of position. While the SRC initially sought a vote on the competing proposals, by the end of the weekend, that vote was not seen as prudent. Instead, the committee deemed that more time was needed to consider alternate proposals. Specifically, committee members urged for language from the minority proposal to be incorporated and for the SRC “to study proposals from CLEA and from the ABA Special Committee on the Professional Education Continuum, both of which also provide for academic freedom and a strong governance role for faculty supported by a requirement of faculty security of position. In addition, the subcommittee will consider ways to insure equality of treatment for clinical and legal writing faculty.”