Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh, the dangers of the traveling deans!

My, oh, my! ABA Journal online reports that the dean of Texas Wesleyan law school Frederic White has come out with what purports to be a work of fiction. It is based on his "firsthand observations of needy students, eccentric faculty members, power-hungry alums, manipulative trustees and cheating spouses.” The book is titled, Tenure Blues: A Soap Opera, and was self-published.

The ABA Journal reports that White's colleagues at Texas Wesleyan are not stirred up or offended by the book, which I thought was a little curious. Until I noticed that White has only been dean there since 2008. Before that, he was dean of Golden Gate University School of Law. Their website notes, "In 2004, Frederic White was appointed dean; he was the first African-American to be named dean of an ABA-approved law school in California." So, if he has been at Texas since 2008, he must have stayed at GGU until then. Before Golden Gate, Mr. White was a professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, and a municipal bond lawyer at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.

I don't know, but if I worked at any one of those places, I think I might buy that book and look through it to see if I recognized anybody. I don't think I'd like to consider having my institution's dirty laundry hauled off by a former dean or professor or lawyer colleague and then published a few years down the road. I wonder if you can create some kind of form to sign promising not to do that?

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