Sunday, January 07, 2007

On Being Faculty - Programs from AALS

At the AALS meeting, faculty status for law school library directors came up in two different venues. The first was a program, "AALS Executive Committee and ABA Accreditation Policy TAsk Force Open Forum." At this program, the executive board of American Law Deans Association (ALDA) presented statements that carefully represented ONLY the board members. They had offered their statement to the full membership at breakfast Friday morning, and the membership refused to endorse the stance without a longer period of study.

The ALDA deans continued their attack on clinicians, writing faculty and library directors. Their new tune is that categorizing members of those groups as full faculty not only reduces the deans' autonomy, but also raises tuition costs, depriving minority students of the chance to attend law school. This is an outrageous and patently foolish argument, when one considers the relative size of the groups at any school compared to the full substantive law faculty. We also know that most members of those groups are already paid on a scale MUCH lower than substantive faculty. It is also an attack on the three most-femininized sub-groups of faculty in the law schools. I am pleased to note that CLEO (the clinical faculty organization) had some very good testimony prepared and presented it well. I am dismayed to report that NONE of the library organizations were prepared to offer testimony. The few librarians who attended sat silent. I hope that AALL, Academic Law Library SIS will prepare a statement, either alone, or in partnership with the current board of the AALS Section on Law Libraries!

The second discussion of the faculty status of law school library directors came at the final program by the Section on Law Libraries, "Program for New Directors: Relating to your Colleagues; or Faculty Relations for Law Library Directors." There was excellent discussion on various aspects of the role of the director as a faculty member. The excellent presenters offered recommendations, advice and great insights on how to be a great colleague. Members of the audience also participated in a fascinating discussion. I trust that this program was recorded for the CALI podcasts. I recommend you listen to both programs.

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