Friday, December 01, 2006

Safranek response to Dean Dobranski

Subject: RE: Response to Nov 30 E-mail Memo
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 22:50:53 -0500
From: "Safranek, Stephen"
To: "Dobranski, Bernard" , "All Law System Distribution" , "All Alumni"

I write in response to Dean Dobranski's memorandum distributed just hours ago when most of us had gone home for the night. This, like the "Feasibility Study", was released after regular business hours before the long Thanksgiving Break.

The Dean's attached e-mail states that "the memorandum is misleading in that it suggests that it was passed by 'the Faculty of Ave Maria School of Law.'" Of course, what the Dean is saying is that it DOES NOT say that it was "passed by the 'Faculty of Ave Maria School of Law." It does not say so. Nowhere is that phrase found in the memorandum. If it were there, the Dean would quote it. He does not because he cannot. The Dean does not note how the memorandum "suggests" such. He merely posits it, i.e. we misled either intentionally or not. The Dean further states that the resolution "implies" "that it was a formally passed resolution of the faculty collectively." It nowhere says it - the Dean does not state how it "implies" such either. He merely posits this implication.

The resolution was signed by eleven faculty. That is a majority of the faculty.

The Dean states that there are 21 faculty. That is true in some fashion, indeed in some fashion one could claim that there are over 30 "faculty" at AMSOL. The Dean includes in the number 21 at least the following: a faculty member who has never attended a single faculty meeting and who does not reside within 300 miles of this school; and a faculty member on leave who lives over 150 miles away and obviously does not attend faculty meetings.

Therefore, eleven faculty signed the resolution. No more than eight faculty who are here at the school working regularly did not sign. The lack of those other signatures does not mean those faculty do not agree with the resolution, it just means they did not sign it.

The Dean states that "It is regrettable that students have again been drawn into a debate among faculty members, especially as final exams approach." I do not know what "debate" he is talking about. If the Dean is talking about a debate on the feasibility study, it is incomprehensible that such a debate was not certain to occur upon the release of the feasibility study.

It is regrettable that the Dean, who had complete control over when to release the feasibility study, chose to do so after 5:00 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving just before the last two weeks of classes. It is regrettable that the Dean then created a comment period for students running in the last two weeks of classes, i.e. right before exams. It is regrettable that the Dean felt it necessary to send out his e-mail to correct what he calls "misleading statements".

Of course, any statement could mislead anyone. The statement upon which the Dean chose to comment was issued by Professors Myers, Falvey, Murphy and me in light of the feasibility study which is ripe with misleading statements.

I wish to point out to you one aspect of the "study" that I think characterizes it and is reflective of so much more.

In the preparation of the feasibility study, Deans Read and White promised that all comments would remain confidential. The Dean reiterated this promise to faculty at a faculty meeting. Thus, if you look through the entire study, not a single faculty member, student, or alumni name appears - except mine. Deans Read and White did not say that written statements would not remain remain confidential (all the alumni and other written comments are scrubbed of names). Deans Read and White ensured that my name and my comment alone is placed as a special tab in the study with my name on it.

Deans Read and White explain that they did so because I did not ask them that my comments remain confidential. Of course I did not ask because they had promised that all comments would remain confidential.

It is clear that Deans Read and White knew, or should have known they were breaking that confidence, because they place the specific "explanation" in their study - I did not ask that my comments remain confidential. Of course, neither Dean White or Read called me to ask me whether or not I wanted my name on my statement. They never e-mailed me to ask me. Instead, they thought up their "explanation" and presented my comments to the Board. The Dean then authorized the release of the study to all of you and to the internet world even though he had promised confidentiality to the faculty.

I stand by what I said in my statement. If I had known that it was to be shared with the world, I would have written even more - or maybe I would have written what I did more eloquently. The release of my statement by the Deans was meant to expose me to all of you and beyond when it was released to the internet world. Of course that release did much more.

It showed that they broke their promise. That should tell you as much as you need to know about who is misleading whom.


At 11:17 AM, Blogger ad_maiorem_dei_gloriam said...

Did I miss something, or does the heading of the memo from the faculty not say "Passed by the faculty of AMSOL?"

At 2:35 PM, Blogger vebnworb13 said...

the memorandum (cover letter) does not, Dean said it did - thats what SS corrected

the resolution does say it, but it does not say it was passed at an official meeting

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Way to go Safranek for personally standing up to the Dean!


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