It's time to check in on Ave Maria, the Catholic law school with plans to relocate to South-West Florida.
Things were already quite bad at Ave Maria — just how bad can be seen from this Feb. '07 resignation letter from Assoc. Prof. Kevin Lee (“In my estimation the Law School operates in a manner more in tune with Thomas Hobbes than Thomas Aquinas.”). [It's an interesting letter on several levels, not least its assertion of a vision of Catholic legal scholarship as based “in true devotion to Mary.”]
But back to Ave Maria today. Set the scene with the Statement at Mirror of Justice (a blog which I really should read more often); then see the subtly-titled post Dean Runs Amok at AveWatch.org…or read the whole series of entries on that topic.
The full text of the letter sent by Dean Dobranski to the tenured Professor he is trying to fire would be appropriate if the Professor were a suspected ax murderer or rapist. The Dean has yet, as I understand it, to make the charges public (it's not even clear if he's informed the subject of them), but the real offense is thought to be that the Professor “was involved with the faculty's complaint to the school's accreditor, has filed a complaint with law enforcement against Dobranski, and recently called for a renewal of the faculty's earlier 'vote of no confidence' in governance.”
Next, there's the stiff, elegant, letter by Professor Emeritus Charles E. Rice, co-founder and former member of the Board of Governors, in which he urges the current Board of Governors of Ave Maria to fire the Dean, then resign en mass in order to save the school (and themselves).
Fumare, another blog that keeps an eye on doings at Ave Maria, reports that “Professors Lyons and Pucillo have cleaned out their offices and were evicted from the law school this past week.” Evicted? Cf. this Statement from Professors Lyons and Pucillo to AMSL Community.
There is no sign of any of this, however, at Incense, the relentlessly upbeat “independent weblog of alumni & supporters of the many good works of the Ave Maria Foundation, where we accentuate the positive about all things Catholic. Dominus vobiscum.”