by giusd, Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 01:24:54 PM EDT
Why did the University of Chicago press release not use a Capital P to call Senator Obama a professor and who wrote this unsigned memo. First this thread is not about if BO is a Professor of Constitutional Law and my views on this are well know. This can be discussed else where.
This is to discuss who wrote the so called memo and how it magically appeared on the UofC web page almost at the same time the BO campaign came out with a release suggesting that HRC is lying and BO is if fact a UofC Professor? And let me say for total transparency I went to Graduate School at the UofC and did part of my Medical training there so I know a little about the institution. So besides the fact of an almost super national cosmic event that these two releases came out at the same time it is interesting to determine who wrote the memo. And I have list of question that my University needs to answer. The post is below.
"From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."
There are several things about this letter than IMHO smell and I will outline them.
1. Who wrote this memo? There is no signature listed and to me that seems really odd. I mean this is about the likely Democratic Nominee for the Presidency of the United States. No name. Doesn't that seem odd?
2. Who approved this memo? It was on the Law School web page but something of this importance should have come out of the office of ether the Provost or University President Office?
3. This statement is full of parsing "Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track". First it does not say Senator Obama was a Professor it says "are regarded as professors". So we can all agree this does not say Senator Obama was a Professor it says regarded as which is clearly parsing. Second, did anyone notice a small but not Capital letter is used for professor? But the post does Capitalize the S and L of "Senior Lecturers" but the p is not capitalized when they write "regarded as professors". And this was done twice in the memo. ". Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School". Again when saying his 12 years as a professor the p is not capitalized. But in Senior Lecturers the S and L are capital.
The reason this was done was to make it clear that he did not have a rank as Professor. This may seem like pin-head academic stuff (and I agree it does kind of) but you can be sure several big shots at the University and likely the dean were involved with this letter and Professor should always capitalized. So I think we can all agree p is not capitalized to make clear his rank was not professor but they considered him like a professor.
4. The memo states that "Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined". Why was this included? If this memo is to address Senator Obama's University Rank why did it include that he was offered a full-time, tenure-tack faculty position?
5. Was Senator Obama ever officially offered a Full-time faculty position? Because the memo states this. While the University of Chicago is a private University there are rules and trust me lots of rules. Faculty positions at the University of Chicago have to be advertised, a committee has to meet and interview candidates, and then the chair of the committee has to recommend a candidate with the approval of the committee. But before an offer can be made the Department Chair must approve and then both the dean and the Provost must draft and sign an offer letter. Was this done? The University should either provide the documentation of this or state that we discussed the possibility of a tenure track position with Senator Obama but no offer as was suggested by the Law School statement.
6. Finally, the University needs to state for the record that no one from the Obama campaign was involved in ether the writing or the release of this memo.
OK first off. No "I am calling BO a lair stuff". My guess is this is just a misstatement and/or a mistake and it is not germane. However, I have read on dkos about how this statement from the University proves that HRC is a lair and suggesting that Obama is not a Professor is another example of what an awful person she is.
But lets also all agree that this memo does not say BO was a professor of Constitution Law at the University of Chicago it says he was regard as a Professor but did not in fact have a University rank as Professor. Finally, I am very angry that my University would post this parsed, less that correct statement. Like several other academic faculty on this page (who based on their comments are senior to me) we consider our graduate school as "Our University" and it is very upsetting to read this nonsense. I know there are politics on campus but Universities are political neutrals and are not suppose to get involved with political campaigns and right now the phones are off the hook at the Office of the President, Provost, and Dean. The University of Chicago is in a big mess.