The article Kathryn Rubino posts on Abovethelaw.com today sounds much like so many published by Vanity Fair about the feuds in academia.
Those conflicts make for high drama. And that makes for compelling stories.
For instance, recent Vanity Fair coverage focused on the feud between then-dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business Garth Saloner and former professor James Phills. In the process a lawsuit was filed and the dean stepped down.
The feud Rubino narrates is focused on the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Current dean Jennifer Bard had been hired in 2015. Among her roles was to help the law school navigate financial difficulties.
Her initiatives included integrating the law library with the general university library, changes in faculty travel procedures and more.
Those might not have been well-received by some law school faculty members. That was despite the reality that on Bard's watch the ranking of the law school shot up 22 spots.
Some law faculty members approached the university interim provost with a threatened vote of no confidence. A six-month plan was created to address the faulty concerns. That included coaching for Bard.
Those of us who have studied and/or held positions in academia understand how this fall-out between the dean and some faculty can distract the institution from its mission of research and teaching. Also, because it has become public it can damage the brand. Needless to say, Bard's professional future could be in play.
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