Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More on Tulane Law Library

The deputy dean of Tulane Law School has posted a response to Joe Hodnicki's blog entry, which I copy below, with Joe's response:

As the deputy dean of Tulane Law School, I have to add to this conversation. The information posted here about the Tulane Law School library, which came from a questionable source at a highly emotional time, is in many respects inaccurate and in most respects very misleading. It would require a book to explain the truth about the transition the law library has been going through over the past couple of years, after more than three decades with the same structure and director, a process greatly complicated by Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath. Some senior position titles have been changed, but the jobs are still there and are occupied because the library has been restructured so that new supervisory positions (with new titles) now oversee all of the various functions. It is simply not close to being true that 9 people were fired from the library post-Katrina -- two were fired for cause pre-Katrina (and these positions will be refilled) and three positions that were not mission-critical were eliminated as a result of the storm. The search for a new director will be renewed next year. The University Librarian has done a fantastic job of helping us navigate the law library through this unimaginably difficult period, with the involvement of the senior law library staff. But he is anxious to return to his duties full-time in the main library, and it is simply wrong and irresponsible for anyone to suggest that he is attempting some type of coup to take over the law library. And as for the endowment of the University, 95% of it is restricted to generating income that can only be spent for specific designated purposes. A university cannot lawfully spend its restricted endowment on operating expenses or repairing hurricane damage. Restructuring and downsizing were essential if Tulane is maintain its position as a preeminent institution of higher learning. It's discouraging after all we at Tulane have been through the past five months to get the university and law school back and running as a viable and excellent institution, after suffering from the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history, then to have people damage us more with inaccurate and misleading claims.

Editors note: My source was hardly emotional, but I can excuse Dean Robert's ad hominem argument because I would like to invite the dean to write his "book" about the truth right here on this blog. - Joe Hodnicki

Posted by: Gary Roberts | Jan 17, 2006 3:31:30 PM

I'll repeat the comment I added to an earlier posting: "I understand that the law school had other priorities, but law schools always have other priorities. If they don't take an aggressive stance to preserve their library, nobody is going to do it for them."

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