Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ABA Accreditation Taskforce backs off tenure issue

An effort to put a halt to tenure requirements for law school accreditation has stalled. The American Bar Association task force investigating the issue failed to come to a consensus and decided not to explicitly recommend any changes to current “security of position” standards, which require institutions to have some tenure system.

The 11-member Accreditation Policy Task Force, in its final report to the council of ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar last weekend, recommended a number of changes, including more transparency during the accreditation process, a greater focus on “output measures” in evaluating law schools and taking potential costs of standards further into account.

But during discussions on the terms and conditions of employment, that consensus gave way to deep divisions between at least three different groups of members.

[snip]No one from the council pushed for a vote last weekend, although there is still significant — and possibly just enough — support for the movement to end regulations on terms and conditions of employment. (Several members of the council, which governs the ABA’s section authorizing accreditation decisions, are also on the task force.)

Nevertheless, the members present decided not to make any decisions on carrying out any of the recommendations until the annual ABA meeting in San Francisco from August 9-12. The report concludes the accreditation task force’s one-year mandate, and it is not likely that a new one will be appointed, so the August meeting will likely end the debate one way or another.

“By doing nothing they maintained the status quo, which is what I think the academic profession would have wanted to see. It’s a rebuff to this effort. It can’t be viewed as anything else,” said Matthew W. Finkin, the Albert J. Harno and Edward W. Cleary Chair in Law at the University of Illinois College of Law and a consultant to the American Association of University Professors’ Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Thanks to Barbara Bintliff for posting this to the LawLibDir listserve. The so-called ALDA deans' attack on tenure in law school seems to be at least slowed. Read the entire article in Inside Higher Education through the link in the title.

1 comment:

Richard Laramy said...

If you would like to learn more about accreditation or just keeping up-to-date on what the Feds are saying or what research is out there just go to , it's a great resource.