Friday, December 16, 2005

Who are the new Board of Governors for Ave Maria Law?

On Wednesday, the AMSL BoG held a meeting where, among other things, they were supposed to elect four new members to replace the outgoing governors, which include Professor Rice. It is now Friday and there has still been no word on these new members who will help to shape the future of the law school. We call on the Dean to release this information promptly.


At 8:57 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

I myself would respectfully request that the Dean offer the information in question, rather than call on him to do so. Last time I checked, he didn't owe me any favors, and he IS the dean, so couching the request in the form of a demand doesn't seem like a tactful way to get information.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Valjean said...

Cute, buddy. I know you hang around the law school a lot, but pick a team will ya?

Have you noticed what happens to "respectful requests" submitted to the Dean? The time for those went out the door right about the same time as "the Dean wouldn't LIE TO OUR FACES." And if you think BD, Fr. O, et al respect YOU...not just talk with you and give you the time of day but RESPECT you...forget about it. Oh, this comment may prompt some feint attempts at proving me wrong, but I'm not.

That said, there is nothing DISrespectful about "calling" on someone to do the right thing. I, for one, think "demand" is appropriate here, but "call on" is fine. You know, when I draft complaints I usually "respectfully request" that the court grant the relief I've requested. But a lot of people "demand" it and I don't see anyone batting an eye.

Bottom line, Mr. Corey: stand up for yourself and quit the State Department already.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

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At 7:08 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

Thanks for the advice.

It seems somewhat contradictory to be told to stand up for myself by an anonymous blogger with a cutesy screen name. But as I've mentioned in an earlier post, there are legitimate reasons for people to use pseudonyms, so I won't press the point.

At times in the past, I've been accused of being tactless--not always without justification. (Like that time I attended a service for someone who was being cremated, after going grocery shopping. Because I was on foot that day, I had the groceries with me at the service. When that package of marshmallows fell out--well, never mind.) However, though I may be deficient in tact, I'm not unfamiliar with the concept. While the dean probably won't release the names of the new members of the BoG until he's good and ready to, I have a feeling he'd be more open to a polite request than an abrupt demand. Also, since Christian principles are often invoked on this board and Fumare, I seem to remember hearing something about humility in the Bible. Of course, it's been awhile, so I'm not clear on whether it's a good or bad thing, but I'm pretty sure it's mentioned.

Glibness aside, I wasn't suggesting groveling to the dean. Asking politely is just classier. It's better manners. In the instances where it isn't effective, you still look better than you would by demanding something and being refused. ("We call on you to do what we want, or else we'll--we'll--um, we'll...okay, let me get back to you on that...)

On the subject of stands: I think the removal of Professor Rice from the board was wrong. If it was done for the reasons given, it was done in the most incompetent way imaginable. If it was done for other reasons, it was dirty pool and no questions asked. I'm more sanguine about the move to Florida. I'm not sure why Mr. Monaghan is trying to fix something that ain't broke. Ideally, I wish he'd consider opening the second law school as a sister school of the first (he knows something about franchising, I hear) but I doubt that'll happen. If the school moves, I think that several faculty members will be getting screwed. I'll be happy to express these views to Dean Dobranski, Father Orsi, and whoever else is listed as a villan. I never really worried about how much they respect me. To tell the truth, I could care less. I like them, and I get along with them, and hope to continue to do so in the future, whatever disagreements I may have with them. I've noticed that among lawyers and law students--especially among some really brilliant ones--there's often a tendency to be so immersed in the 'adversarial system' that it becomes the only system they seem to know how to use. Not being that bright myself, I think I'm safe from that particular failing. So I still like Dobranski and Father Orsi just fine, thanks.

Lastly, some geeky stenographer here at the State Department wanted me to mention that it's "faint attempt," not "feint attempt." Peace out!

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Valjean said...

It's feint attempt.

Thanks for the rest of the message.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

My pleasure.

The google directory gives 753 references to "faint attempt," ( a weak or half-hearted effort) and 202 to "feint attempt" (a battling ploy.) In the context used, I was sure that the first meaning was more appropriate, but I won't try to tell someone else what they meant, so I acknowledge my error. Now excuse me, I've got a steno geek to slap. Merry Christmas!

At 9:58 PM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...

yes, "glibness aside" - please

you said:
"While the dean probably won't release the names of the new members of the BoG until he's good and ready to, I have a feeling he'd be more open to a polite request than an abrupt demand."

A point of contention is that the Dean's being "open" to requests or "demands" is, or should, be irrelevant. His *obligation* during this time of (self-initiated) crisis is to bring stability and transparency to the Board's proceedings, and buttress the Board's relationship with stakeholders. That includes the prompt release of mission-critical information. Deans abuse their authority, and their relationship & good will with stakeholders, when obligations are met merely "when he's good and ready to."

Ave Maria enterprises are replete with examples of administrators who completely disregard THEIR obligations to the community of stakeholders... yet another example of the dysfunction inherent in Mr. Monaghan's financially coercive sole proprietorship model. Those of us who have been repeatedly stymied by this model - whose simple polite "requests" for obligatory information have been met with hostility & threats - are tired of being run over roughshod. Their inexcusable behavior may be new to you, but please respect that it is old to many of us.

At 10:25 PM, Blogger SisterLiz said...

JTCOREY, You are quite right, and your civility and good manners are refreshing on this blog. The hammer-and-nail approach of NOman, Valjean, and mscience will get us nowhere. This builds walls, not bridges. There is far too much shouting going on on both sides are far to little listening. The Epistle is quite clear about this... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control--this is the fruit of the Holy Spirit--it is the right way and it does not matter how our opponent is acting or appears to be acting.
This whole exchange is probably pointless though. Has anyone considered calling DD or sending a note and asking him who are the new governors? It's quite unlikely that he reads this blog.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

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At 10:39 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

It would be unfair of me to imagine that you and every other person who has politely asked for information and been turned down is so thin-skinned that they regard a rejection as rudeness and hostility. Besides, I remember how Mr. Wendell was treated for his alumni idea, so your point's well-taken.

That being said, do you think that calling on the dean to release the new information will be more effective than politely asking him?

Finally, thanks to sisterliz for the kind comment, and an echo of her statement. Whether or not the dean reads this blog is irrelevant--has anyone, you know, um, asked him about the new appointees? If they have, and he's said no, then fine, let's talk about his responsibilities that mscience mentioned, and whether or not he's breached them--but I'd like to hear that he said no first.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Anakin Aquinas said...

I'm not sure that "calling on the Dean" to release the names qualifies as a "disrespectful request."

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Winston said...

Someone pointed this weblog out to me today and I must say that I am horrified by the disgusting pack of lies here. I am so upset that I don't know where to begin. "The Dean Intimidates The Staff" "Staff Faces Disciplinary Measures" how awful for you to print this. The Dean said no such things, I know, I was there. After our meeting there was another meeting for our senior administration. I asked one of them about that meeting and she told me plainly that nothing like this was said. She said the Dean said that the people who are considering forming a unionization are within their rights to do so and that we need to respect this. She said the Dean gave them guidelines about making sure that they act properly. I know and admire many of our alumni, but I am so disappointed at the way some of you are behaving on this weblog. I expected more. And shame on the person who is instigating this with these lies.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger NO man said...

I am a little confused concerning your post. First you claim that you were at this meeting, but then you go on to say that you asked another member of the administration about this meeting and then tell us what she told you. So your information is hearsay at best. Also, a number of people at the meeting have expressed disbelief at the Dean's comments that the meeting was not about any union, as they have said that was all that was talked about. Combine this with the fact the meeting was called on no notice (pulling some staff out of proctor duty), at a time when the organizing employee could not make it, along with the fact that the Dean won't release the minutes of the meeting. When the Dean comes forward and gives the minutes of the meeting, then we will see who is instigating lies, but until then, it's business as usual, with a complete lack of transparency coming from his office. We also know, unfortunately, that some will defend the Dean and Monaghan no matter what proof is presented to them, and for those we can only pray that they will wake up...

At 9:32 PM, Blogger fargoman said...

noman. You should actually read Winston's post before you comment. Maybe then you won't be so confused. He/she was at one of the meetings and then inquired an administrator about another meeting that was held later. Seems clear to me. His/Her comment on the latter meeting, you are right, is hearsay. But I can't imagine that would be a problem for you. That's pretty much all you have in your posts, along with the stuff you just plain invent. She is definitely right that you should be ashamed of what you are doing. And no, I am not one of those who defend TM orDD. I've got my issues with them. But this blog is now an entirely discredited forum for addressing these issues. It really is disgusting.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Anakin Aquinas said...

LOL fargoman goes thru so much work of he/she only to slip up later and identify Winston as a she later on.

It's insignificant, but I found it funny.

At 9:47 PM, Blogger res_ipsa_loquitur said...

Of course, "Winston" is the name of the protagonist in Orwell's 1984, another story of tyrannical overlords who know better than the vox populi.

...which leads me to believe that "Winston" is either a sarcastic pseudonym, or else a victim of Uncle Tom's brainwashing with an extremely ironic blogger name.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger fargoman said...

Thanks anakin. I was trying to be careful and I blew it. I have a guess at who winston might be and my fingers betrayed me on the keyboard.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

Whoa, everybody chill.

While I've questioned NOman's perspective on some issues, I don't think he's "plain invented" anything. (NOBODY could invent the crap that's been going on.) And while people are using the scary word "hearsay," I'd remind everyone that the word has about as much application outside a courtroom as the words "tasteful, intelligent and enjoyable" do to any given episode of Will and Grace. Whereas with regard to the aforementioned television show, the words "dog vomit"--but I digress. "Hearsay" is essential outside a courtroom--couldn't have the gospels without it--and using the word just to undermine a statement's credulity is pointless if you're not in front of one or more black robes.

Winston, for not knowing where to begin listing the "disgusting pack of lies" on this blog, you made a pretty good start--I hope you read this and list some other things you consider to be lies. Point in fact, this blog has covered a lot of material that would otherwise have gone unnoticed outside of AMSOL. So if you've got anything to back up your statement, some of us would like to hear it. I think this blog's done a fair job of raising issues that need to be discussed, and giving alumni and others a forum for doing so. If it's somewhat lopsided at times, that's to be expected, but there's a difference between interpreting what you see and lying.

Sorry for playing Rodney King, but there's enough people who would love to see the law school fail--and now that two factions are fighting about its future, that's a possibility. If one side in the debate starts to fight amongst themselves, then you might as well kiss AMSOL goodbye, ladies and gents--cause then we are REALLY screwed. I don't want to give the U of M the satisfaction.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger NO man said...

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At 11:00 PM, Blogger NO man said...

Winston et al,

For those who think this blog and all of the alumni who would dare attack the school, TM, or BD are liars and are out to get the school, I would remind you of the following Wanderer story:

(print date September 29, 2005)
As this issue of The Wanderer goes to press, rumors are swirling around Ann Arbor that Dr. Rice will not be reappointed - rumors that the law school dean, Dr. Bernard Dobranski, says "are not accurate."
From Lynchburg, Va., where he was on his way to the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars meeting in Charlotte, N.C., Dr. Dobranski told The Wanderer in a telephone interview that he does not know what recommendation the nominating committee of the board will make with regard to reappointing Dr. Rice, adding: "why the confidential deliberations of the board are even being discussed is very strange to me."
"I simply do not know what will happen, " he reiterated, concerning Rice's appointment.

So either a vast conspiracy got together and decided to make up a story that Prof. Rice would be kicked off the board, and then the board decided that must be a great idea and we'll do that, or in fact, we had it right from the start. Please present evidence to show anything on this blog is not factual, because we have not been proved wrong on anything yet.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger fargoman said...

Thanks for your post Joe. I too hope Winston will come back with more information. It's clear that Noman was caught in a lie with respect to the things Dobranski represented at the meetings. Which calls into question everything else Noman has posted. Regardless, what Noman is doing is not a postitive contribution to this debate (On your admonition I'll lay off harsher language for what Noman is doing for the moment)

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Valjean said...

Enough with the orchestrated obfuscation from Winston and Fargo. As much as the Dean is lacking in defenders, I'd personally like to hear some substance from people who aren't paid to take his side.

Winston, your high prose can't hide the fact that you've gone to work for the Ministry of Truth. You know damned well what would happen if one of your fellow employees actually spoke openly about what is going on to them. One need look no further than what was done to Professor Rice to see the small-minded retaliatory tactics employed by certain people of influence at the law school.

Even you, who in offering up the company line can hardly fear retailiation, refuse to speak openly.

And Fargoman, on what evidentiary basis do you accuse NOMan of lying? A lie is telling the world that the Board addressed the life governor issue months before it actually did. However, publishing information from credible sources which attempts to convey the oppressive treatement of employees at AMSoL, and which the author believes to be true, is not a lie.

Rather than attack NOMan, you might offer to clarify any minor details that are not correct. As Corey said, "NOBODY could invent the crap that's been going on." Don't insult the intelligence of your fellow employees who reported the information on this site, or of those of us who have followed this debacle with interest, by challenging the basic reality of the situation. Either that, or take off your rose-colored specs.

Both of you: if you want to be taken seriously, speak the truth in a straightforward manner that does not scream "I've been bought!"

At 6:11 AM, Blogger informationoverload said...

I get a feeling of evil on this blog... Something who desires deeply the destruction of Ave Maria School of Law. If you are pointing a fingure at someone else, I suggest you look to yourself first.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger The_Peach said...

Yes...we alums who came to AMSL thrilled that a really Catholic law school existed are desperately determined to destroy the school now that it's served our purposes. Riiiight. Especially given that our degrees wouldn't be worth crap if the school were to lose its accreditation or otherwise fall. Very, very logical.

Fargoman, your line about looking at oneself before pointing a finger at others is apt, given Winston's and others' sudden accusations that the posts on this blog are shameful lies. Frankly, I find it a little difficult to stomach the allegations of lies without having an identity for the accuser. Other staff members have said the opposite of what you've said, Winston, so it's their word against yours. Who should I believe-- a staff member who I'm familiar with or an essentially anonymous blogger? Until I see some concrete proof otherwise, I'm sticking to the story I originally heard.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Anakin Aquinas said...


now I have officially seen everything. Accusations that posting on this blog is carrying out the will of Lucifer is a bit much?

I know this is a sensitive time for all involved, and that people on both sides see things differently. Perhaps that is why this time exists, Perhaps this is God's will for this to happen, to make the school community stronger. The Church itself has had great disagreements and called councils to resolve such disagreements. I can't think of a Bible passage where Peter refers to Paul as doing the work of "evil" over circumcision.

What we all have to do is pray every day, that God's will be done. Once we start demonizing our fellow catholics, that creates a rift in the Body of Christ, which is not a good thing.

We should be fully prepared to examine what the other side says, and every day ask ourselves 'what if it is true."

Quite frankly It's extremely hard for me to call a multibiollionaire who founded catholic schools and organizations in league with the devil. It's also, and even more difficult for me to call alumni who came to the school when it was just a promise 'to be accredited' and really gave up alot to get the school founded in league with the devil either.

I personally am confused as to the elimination of the Life Governor seat for Charlie Rice, especially given the Dean's prior assurances. However Hopefully this can all play out.

It would be nice for us to see the minutes of that meeting. That would help settle everything.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger The_Peach said...

Ooops, fargoman, I meant to quote informationoverload. My bad.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger mrbooks said...

I follow this blog intently and with great sadness. What I have witnessed and experienced at AMC has been more than enough heartache.

Like the disunity of the church, this cannot be God's will, not His perfect will. In his permissive will, however, he does allow us our freedom to choose poorly.

Regardless of who "started it," and you bet I have strong opinions in that area, we certainly all played our part in getting to where we are now. I wish I could say categorically that our "side" did everything perfectly, so I appreciate the admoishions I read here for self-reflection. We may be incapable, in and of ourselves, to conduct ourselves perfectly, but we can and must give it our best effort, calling on the Holy Spirit to guide us and lift us up out of the mire.

That said, neither can we hide our heads in the sand and pretend there is nothing wrong. Some of us tried that for awhile at AMC. It just doesn't work!

For all the good intentions and good works of TM and the foundation(building a great football powerhouse not included - mentioned in a number of talks), mscience is right, there is a serious flaw in management style that undermines it all. Those of us who have been in the Ann Arbor area most of our lives have seen it, even before the foundation was officially established. Indeed I was warned about the risks when I hired on.

I want to see AMSOL continue here, just as I wanted to see AMC (albeit under a new name and management) continue. My prayers are with you daily.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger HeWhoMustNotBeNamed said...

Messrs. Kuhn, Pryor, Carfagna, and Uhlmann are the new governors.

Messrs. Kuhn and Pryor likely need no introduction, their reputations are widely known.

Mr. Uhlmann is a well known (in conservative circles) legal scholar and author; he is (on information and belief) part of the federalist society, and has published often in First Things.

I personally know nothing of Mr. Carfagna's reputation, but a Google search confirms that he was a Rhodes scholar, and a double crimson at Harvard.

I'd say they're all well-respected chaps in the circles that denizens of this blog are likely to credit; shall we give 'em a test run to find out?(ie personal contact with the new members to present a calm, rational critique of the actions undertaken in the name of the body they now represent)


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