Category Archives: U.Miami

They’re Breaking Out the Champagne

University of Miami President Donna Shalala is probably doing the Presidential equivalent of the victory dance today: U.M. is not listed among the Princeton Review’s 20 top party schools — and the University of Florida is.

That means we’ve found the sweet spot between Bacchanalia and infamy.

The only thing that might dampen the celebration is that #11 on the list is “Miami University.” That’s actually Miami (Ohio) University — but lots of people might be confused.

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CFP: An Uncomfortable Conversation

Three of my colleagues are organizing what looks like a super conference to be held here in Miami on November 14-15 (just a week after the Jotwell conference about which more soon).

An Uncomfortable Conversation: The Universal and the Particular — Vulnerability and Identities II” is organized as part of series of workshops on ‘Vulnerability and the Human Condition’. The full call for papers is online and responses are due by July 28. Here’s part of the CFP:

In recent years, key legal decisions in voting rights, gay marriage, and affirmative action have destabilized the identity-based anti-discrimination frameworks long used to pursue equality and social justice in the United States. The Supreme Court, for example, has been deregulating race, declaring in Schuette and in Shelby that the state’s involvement in the eradication of racial inequality and the protection of marginalized identities is now less imperative. Moreover, the Court seems reluctant to use the language of identity, instead framing gay and lesbian claims in the language of privacy, liberty and dignity. Yet, popular arguments for redistributive and reparative public policies remain steadily focused on traditional identity categories. For example, The Atlantic magazine has featured a series of essays on racial reparations to Blacks. Similarly, the #YesAllWomen twitter trend has drawn attention to normalized violence against women, even as the hashtag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen created virtual space for feminists of color to question what they perceive to be the dominance of white feminist voices in mainstream culture and gender politics. Amidst these complex legal, social and political changes comes a shift in academic discourse as well, with some critical theorists suggesting that “traditional” identity categories based on individual characteristics, such as race or sex, are inadequate to capture social problems that transcend such categories. Instead, they argue that focus should rest on paired social identities, such as employer/employee or parent/child – categories or statuses that are forged in social and institutional relationships and convey the allocation of legally sanctioned and shaped power and privilege.

These legal and social developments highlight the importance of building on the first Vulnerability and Identities Uncomfortable Conversation to further consider and assess specific identitarian frameworks (including both traditional and social identity formations) as well as more universal paradigms, such as human rights or vulnerability. This second conversation continues an investigation of the relationships between particularity and universality, with an emphasis on the ability of concepts like vulnerability and identity to deepen existing critiques of legal liberalism and advance our understanding of substantive justice. Central to this investigation is an evaluation of the impact of critical theory on understanding the state and its institutions, particularly their role in promoting human resilience through the provision of education, employment and training, healthcare, family structure, cultural recognition, and social welfare more broadly. In considering both the universal and identitarian approaches, we ask how they differently frame systemic disparities in access, opportunity and resources.

I wish I had time to do a paper for this based on my ongoing research on regulation of identification, but what with the Jotwell conference being a week earlier, realistically it’s not going to happen. I’m definitely going.

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Summer Research Assistant Wanted

Apologies, blog readers, but this announcement is for UM Law 1L & 2L students only:

I would like to hire a part-time summer research assistant. The hours are negotiable, but likely would be in the 15 hours per week range. It would be best if you could start soon after exams finish. Current UM 1Ls and 2Ls are welcome to apply.

My research assistant will help me with my summer writing projects. The job requires someone who can write clearly, is well-organized, and who is really good at finding things in libraries and on the Internet. There may be some bluebooking involved too. (If you happen to have some web or programming skills (some or all of HTML, MySQL, Perl, Debian), that could be useful, but it is not in any way a requirement.)

The hourly pay of $ 13 is set by the university, and is not as high as you deserve, but the work is sometimes interesting.

If you are interested, please send me an e-mail with the words RESEARCH ASSISTANT (in all caps) followed by your name in the subject line. In the email tell me:

– how many hours you’d ideally like to work per week and what other jobs/courses you have planned for the summer (if any),
– when you are free to start, and whether you have vacation plans (no problem if you are planning to take a week or two off during the summer)
– your phone number and email address.
– whether it is OK for me to share your application with other interested faculty members who might also want a summer research assistant.
– whether, if things work out, you might be interested in continuing on at 10/hrs week during the next academic year.

Please attach the following to your email:

1. A copy of your resume (c.v.),

2. A short writing sample (non-legal is preferred — in any case, please do NOT send your LCOMM memo),

3. A transcript (need not be an official copy).

(You might also mention that you saw the ad here. Can’t hurt.)

Please note that this job is different from the Jotwell summer editor position I am also advertising.

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Management-Speak

According to an email full of corporate jargon I received today,

The results of the 2012 Mini-Pulse engagement survey and the ‘Canes Total Rewards-Your Thoughts assessment have been compiled and reported to University senior leadership. Nearly 6,000 faculty and staff responded to the surveys.

You cannot imagine my joy at learning that results are in from a 2012 survey I don’t remember. Especially given the exciting outcomes, which include, as the dramatic finale, the following:

In response to the Mini-Pulse survey and action plan submissions, the University has created a Culture Leadership Team to work on our common purpose, core values and behaviors, and employee value proposition. High-performing organizations have strong organizational identities based on established values and expectations for every member of the team. To continue to be successful we must be driven by a common vision, united in our core values, and focused on a set of aligned strategic goals. Along with President Shalala and more than 20 senior leaders, we have launched a formal process focused on leadership accountability for our workplace environment. In the months to come you’ll hear more about this effort and how you can get involved.

It is undoubtedly possible that there is a meaning hiding somewhere in that paragraph other than “more meetings,” but I for one don’t have the time or energy to figure out what it is.

Posted in U.Miami | 2 Comments

Osamudia James Wins Derrick A. Bell Jr. Award

thumb-2701aCongrats to my colleague Osamudia James who recently won the Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award:

Professor Osamudia James was named a co-recipient of the 2014 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award. Awarded annually by the American Association of Law Schools Minority Groups Section, the Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award recognizes a junior faculty member who, through activism, mentoring, colleagueship, teaching, and scholarship, has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. The Award is named in honor of Professor Bell, who was the first tenured African American Law Professor at Harvard Law and a co-founder of Critical Race Theory.

James writes and teaches in the areas of Education Law, Race and the Law, Administrative Law, and Torts. Some of her more recent work includes “White Like Me: The Diversity Rationale’s Negative Impact on White Identity Formation,” which will be published in the New York University Law Review; “Opt-Out Education: School Choice as Racial Subordination,” to be published in the Iowa Law Review; “Predatory Ed: The Conflict Between Public Good and For-Profit Higher Education;” and “Dog Wags Tail: The Continuing Viability of Minority-Targeted Aid in Higher Education.”

James shared the award with Stephen Lee, University of California Irvine School of Law. Past winners of the Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award include Professor Mario Barnes, who won in 2008 while a professor at Miami Law.

Undoubtedly well deserved.

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UMiami’s Holiday Wishes

Online here if you don’t see it below.

Your university tuition dollar at work.

Stop here if that filled you with holiday cheer.

Continue on if you want some Grinch.
Continue reading

Posted in Law: Internet Law, U.Miami | Leave a comment

Annals of Town/Gown Relations

Smart university Presidents know how to butter up local government officials.

The online Herald only has the boring version of the story, UM, Coral Gables tout partnership at annual meeting, in which town and gown recited their talking points about their accomplishments in the past year. That story ends, however, with this:

The manager listed his sole complaint, and addressed it to Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs and a guiding force behind the new SAC and its rebuilt Rathskeller. “Those delicious onion rings that sustained me through my college days are no longer on the menu,” he said. Salerno was a UM student in the 1970s when the old Rat was a hub of activity and for gastronomical pursuits.

Shalala laughed, suggesting she’d look into the omission.

The followup by Howard Cohen is in today’s print edition, Page 3B, and it’s more interesting than spoken equivalent of joint press releases:

City Manager Inspires Onion Rings

For the most part, University of Miami and CoralGables officials had nothing but praise for each other at the annual meeting last week.

The exception: Gables City Manger Pat Salerno found something missing from the Rathskeller at UM’s new $46.5 million Student Activities Center.

“Those delicious onion rings that sustained me through my college days are no longer on the menu,” Salerno lamented. UM President Donna Shalala chucked, suggesting she’d look into it.

The next day, the school announced that onions rings would return as a a special menu item when students hit classes in January. Salerno has a standing invitation to come taste test.

“I will add this item to the city’s list of accomplishments for this year,” he said. “I can’t wait to eat them.”

UM says the new snack will get a new name, too: SalernOrings.

Previously:

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