Drake Apologizes; Law School Dean Re-Hired
Chancellor Drake issued a public apology before the Academic Senate and the UC Irvine faculty at an emergency meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20 for his role in the previous week’s controversy surrounding Erwin Chemerinsky, Duke professor of law and political science and future founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law.
Drake had initially offered the job of founding dean to the noted constitutional scholar in August, but personally rescinded the offer the weekend of Sept. 11 apparently because of Chemerinsky’s vocal political beliefs. A nationwide outcry ensued and Drake’s actions were condemned by many including the New York Times Editorial Board. On Sept. 17, Drake re-offered the position to Chemerinsky and he accepted.
The Academic Senate met on Thursday to discuss two topics: academic freedom and the leadership of Chancellor Drake. The chancellor appeared to read a written statement but was not present for the proceeding discussion.
In his speech, the chancellor explained that he had ‘made a series of difficult decisions without consulting senior faculty’ and gave a sincere apology for making sudden declarations and ‘for the problems that followed.’
‘I am sorry for this,’ Drake said. ‘The decision was mine and mine alone. There were many