Category Archives: U.Miami

Dean White Will Step Down After 10 Years as Law Dean

Here’s the official letter from the Provost:

October 31, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

Patricia White informed me a few weeks ago of her decision to step down as dean of the School of Law after serving 10 years in that capacity at Miami, and 10 years at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Now that she has told her faculty and staff, I would like to share this news with the University community and thank Trish for her tireless work as dean of Miami Law.

As dean, Trish has deftly navigated the challenges facing law schools and higher education across the country. While her expertise is vast, throughout her career she has demonstrated a steadfast focus on four key areas: students, the transformation of legal education, the interdisciplinary role of law, and public service. These longstanding commitments are reflected in many of the innovative programs and accomplishments established during her time at our law school. This includes recruiting a new generation of excellent faculty and very fine students.

We anticipate that Trish will serve as Dean until June 2019 and will remain on the law faculty. We are beginning the search process for her successor. We have begun to solicit proposals from major search firms, will soon name members of the Search Committee, and feel that we are well positioned to launch a successful national search for the next leader of our law school. Details about the search committee will be released soon.

We are deeply grateful to Trish for her dedicated service to our students, our law school, and our University. Please join me in thanking her and wishing her well.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.

Which means….we’ll be doing a Dean search.  One of my former colleagues once said that doing a Dean search is a bit like chewing aluminum foil.  And he had a point…

Posted in Law School, U.Miami | Leave a comment

‘Honor Him’ by Bill Widen

My colleague Bill Widen asked me to post this for him. (I added the photo.)

Honor Him
(cc: Senators Flake & Kyl)

William H. Widen

We respect John McCain for choosing honor over convenience under the extreme conditions of captivity and torture. A great man filled a large office. We too often fill large offices with small people—people who fail the test even when the test posed is less severe. Failing the test of telling the truth under oath—even when uncomfortable—might result in being disbarred for perjury. The testimony of Dr. Ford at the confirmation hearings for Judge Kavanaugh was compelling. Her testimony raises a serious question about the truthfulness of Judge Kavanaugh under oath. To believe her is to believe that Judge Kavanaugh is either lying about the event or lying about the degree to which, as a young person, he allowed alcohol to impair his judgment and memory.

Jeff Flake recently expressed support for Judge Kavanaugh while simultaneously expressing serious doubts about who to believe. He expressed a wrong idea about the standard required for Senate advice and consent—stating that due process and the rule of law required his support because allegations against Judge Kavanaugh were not proven. Tragically, this is the wrong standard.

A public office is not the property of its holder (or would be holder). The standard for Senate advice and consent to hold office is to error on the side of protecting the Republic. This standard will deny office to some unjustly, but that is the price paid by those who would seek and hold public office. The Federalist Papers make this abundantly clear. Impeachment proceedings illustrate the point most clearly. An office holder, such as a President, should be removed, with the Senate erring on the side of removal to protect the Republic. Only after removal do we apply notions of due process to protect the former office holder in his life, liberty and property. The humiliation of removal from office goes with the territory of submitting to service, but due process protects thereafter. So too with considerations of appointment to office. The failure to appoint may be humiliating and unjust—but there is no remedy for this. The public offices are our offices, not the property or entitlement of individuals. No appointment should be made here—even though, in fact, this may work an extreme injustice to Judge Kavanaugh. In the face of serious doubt, the exercise of Constitutional authority requires a “no” vote.

One cannot suspend Constitutional duty to properly exercise Senatorial advice and consent to exact a political price on fellow senators for bad behavior—that is a reckoning for another time. Bad behavior by small people is a bipartisan activity. The cycle of tit for tat must stop. When a large office is filled by an ordinary person, sometimes the ordinary person rises to the demands of that office by choosing honor when confronted with adversity. Allow a Gladiator moment in this American tragedy. John McCain was a soldier of the Republic. Honor him!

Professor William H. Widen
University of Miami School of Law

Posted in Guest Posts, Law: The Supremes, U.Miami | 2 Comments

Speaking at Two Local Events This Week

Wednesday morning I’ll be one of the panelists at UM’s Data Privacy Day event. Among the incendiary things I plan to say is that the University should be more open to the use of Tor and VPNs on its network. (Update: to be clear, the current openness is almost zero.) Further, the VPN service UM provides for off-campus use needs to make much fuller disclosures about what it logs, how long it keeps logs, and whether it will undertake to oppose private and/or governmental attempts to access those logs. (At present, as far as I can tell, there are no representations at all on any of these topics.)

Friday afternoon, I’ll be speaking on AI and Medicine at the first panel of the University of Miami Law Review‘s 2018 Symposium, Hack to the Future: How Technology is Disrupting the Legal Profession. Why am I speaking about AI and medicine, even on a panel entitled “Emerging Technologies: Artificial Intelligence”, when the conference is about AI and Law? Well you might ask. When the organizers invited me, I protested that I didn’t know enough about AI’s effects on the legal profession to give a good talk — but I did know a few things about AI and Medicine. And they called my bluff…

Posted in Talks & Conferences, U.Miami | Leave a comment

The U to Forbid Back-In Parking

Man must serve (surveillance) machine as explained in New Parking Technology to Require No-Back-In Policy:

For the past two years, the Department of Parking and Transportation has been developing and implementing its License Plate Recognition (LPR) system, reads vehicle license plates and rapidly informs Parking Services Officers if vehicles are authorized to park on campus. The system has proven itself very beneficial. Permit holders are less likely to find their assigned zone overrun with illegal parkers and, more importantly, parking officers are enhancing campus safety by becoming more efficient eyes for the University of Miami Police Department.

The next step in the evolution of this technology is to switch to virtual permits, thus eliminating the need for plastic hangtags. However, Florida is among the 18 states that require a plate only on the rear of the vehicle, which creates a hurdle for the new technology. LPR-equipped vehicles cannot read the license plates of vehicles that back into parking spaces. As a result, Parking and Transportation will implement a ‘No-Back-In’ Policy starting in the spring 2018 semester.

There will be exceptions to this policy. For example, the drivers of out-of state-vehicles that have both front and back license plates will be able to back into a parking space. Additionally, for a $20 fee, drivers of Florida vehicles who prefer to back in to parking spaces will be able to purchase a front plate with a unique number that is linked to a virtual permit.

But do not fret dear parker, because this new rule is soooo goood for you:

There are many benefits to this new policy:

Permit holders will be able to register all of their vehicles on a single virtual permit, eliminating the need to remember to switch their hangtag permit when they use a different car.

The inconvenience and expense of losing a permit will no longer be an issue. Purchasing a permit will be an immediate transaction, with no need to wait for a mail delivery.

Returning or exchanging a permit will be just as easy, with most transactions not requiring a visit to the Parking Office.

Any questions or comments can be submitted to Parking and Transportation at 305-284-3096, option 2, or at parking.gables@miami.edu.

Don’t tempt me. How long will the records be kept of who parked where might be my first question….

Posted in Law: Privacy, U.Miami | 2 Comments

On UMiami Football

The last time UM had a winning football team both the team and the fans behaved badly. They called it ‘swagger’ but it was mostly rudeness. I was embarrassed for all of us.

Now the U’s football team is “relevant” again: UM beat FSU, is undefeated, and justly ranked 3rd in the College Football Playoff Rankings. And the U has the Turnover Chain (soon to be a beer near you).

So far at least the swagger has been cleaner; the Turnover Chain is a team celebration, not so much in the face of another team or its fans.

Of course, even if “the U is back” it’s far from cemented in its new status. The team has yet to equal its past domination, and remains far from a national championship, although that dream seems less ridiculous than it did two weeks ago. Until then, however, the team’s, and the fans’, ability to avoid the ‘swagger’ excesses of yore remains to be tested.

Meanwhile, the campus and the county are going nuts in a fun way even if the rest of the country hates us. Even UM President Julio Frenk gamely tweeted out a video supporting the football team. I like good PR as much as the next guy, but it has to be admitted that the sports media is totally in the tank for UM–presumably because it’s great copy, great visuals, and Miami is much nicer place to visit in November and December than, say, Madison, Wisconsin or Norman, Oklahoma.

Of course, as a world-class authority on public health, President Frenk must also be aware of the human toll that football takes on its players: college football causes many injuries including concussions, and creates a real risk of brain injury even without actual concussions.

Perhaps we’ll get to see President Frenk do a video on that topic in his last week on the job. It probably would be his last week, whether or not he intended it that way.

Posted in Science/Medicine, U.Miami | Leave a comment

500+ UM Faculty Stand Against ‘Hate and Intimidation’

I’m one of the more than 500 signatories to this letter in which UM faculty take a stand against hatred, intimidation, and a “post-truth” world. The letter was written by members of the English Department.

Media coverage in Miami Hurricane and Miami Herald.

Text of the letter is below.

Continue reading

Posted in Trump, U.Miami | 1 Comment