[Word document “ReclaimHLS Minutes — 12.14,2015” 2nd set of notes from protesters’ meeting with left-wing faculty members held on Dec 14, 2015; cut and pasted from Word file; typos in original; annotations in brackets; all hyperlinks & bolding added.]


Meeting with Ally Faculty

December 14, 2015 – 6:00pm-8:00pm


• Ogletree
• Sullivan
• Robinson
• D. Kennedy
• Halley
• Stilt
• Hanson
• Bordone
• Desan
• Rabb
• Rosenfeld
• Suk
• Ummuna
• Gianni

Temperature Check

Ogletree [Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.]

o Demands are very good and very important

o Look at Bill Cosby media around money donated to HBCUs compare to Isaac Royal

Sullivan [Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.]

o Temperature is varied

o Critiques

 Language of demand – sympathetic to aims but don’t like demand vocab

 Don’t think things are as bad as students are claiming – what’s the fuss about

 We agree that there are issues, but the students are missing the point on how to remedy the issues

 Support the aims and students should be able to choose the methods

 Agree with the spirit, disturbed by the personalization of Minow – pulls them toward empathizing with Minow despite sympathizing with students aims  (Suk) [Jeannie C. Suk]

o Evidence

 Some people will not receive it no matter what

 Need a mixture – examples, arguing that it’s the accumulation of these examples, difference in the way this lens is being treated

• Law is not hermetically sealed from the outside world – but we don’t recognize race as one of the lens through which we should be viewing the world  Treats this differently than other ways of looking at the issues

[Christine A.] Desan

o Here are people who frankly don’t get it, which is consistent with the problem

o They don’t see it in themselves

o The structure of the community meetings did not allow the students to make the case or present the evidence  structure of the meetings is really important

o Faculty can go in denial of structural problems

o Media about outside events is making it more difficult to recognize systemic failures here

[Robert C. Bordone]

o A lot of confusion

o A lot fear – negative repercussions from administration, how they are going to labeled by the movement

Afraid of saying the wrong thing to not be attacked

[Intisar A. Rabb]

o Critiques – demands are very broad and unclear who the target is for change

 What can students be doing to move change? (e.g. partner with other schools, write amici, etc.)

o Push internal problems along with external issues

o Students have more power

[Janet] Halley

o Yearning to get to a level of the discussion about who decides the demands – what can and can’t be done? Who are the decision makers? Who runs this place? What can happen through student pressure?

 Breaking down the institution

Move passed the impasse that Minow has become

 What are the levers? What institutional tools to we have for changing the process?

Reflections on Governance Structure


o Faculty talked to Minow, asking her to look to student government to but processes in place  Minow rejected the idea because she believes SGA is too weak (“it’s a toy”)

o Can we go around Minow and directly use SGA?

 Neutralize claims that only reflects views of some students

 Invite as many professors as possible

o Get as many people working together as possible

 Unclear that getting school to make changes will change culture


o How does faculty get items on to the agenda of a faculty meeting? NO RULES

 “I think the dean sets the faculty agenda”  could get faculty to ask dean to put certain things on the agenda

o 51% all you need to pass anything that’s not appointments

Start a heated conversation among faculty

[Duncan] Kennedy

o No a crazy demand for students to seek to put something on the faculty meeting agenda (70s-80s)

 A single faculty member can ask the dean to put something on the agenda

 The dean can say no, but then move at the beginning of the faculty meeting to add it

 The faculty then vote to add it to the agenda

 It can be a motion drafted by students – no process requirements


o A single faculty member can work with students to put certain proposal on the agenda

o Minow is open to student involvement in appointments

o Create a written work product in conjunction with faculty

o Faculty wasn’t involved in anything that Minow already proposed at second community


o Written pieces go out one week ahead of meeting

o Suggest inclusion of anonymous anecdotes

[Jon D.] Hanson

o Minority issues are not reflected in democratically elected governance body  majority dominates

 Need counter majoritarian decisions

o Other students are starting to mobilize against us

o Faculty lend legitimacy even where faculty can’t make the change

Feedback on Demands

1. Change seal – no comment

2. Establishing a critical race theory program

a. Guinier

i. List of people who we would want to bring to campus

1. Get a list of visiting professors who got could feedback

2. Gerald Torres (607-254-1630; gt276@cornell.edu) – visiting at Harvard several times before

ii. Invite new professors (4-5) to teach course during J-term, but MUST follow up  use it as a recruitment

iii. Faculty dominated by law/economics professors; other areas aren’t being address because of imbalance

b. Kennedy

i. Regina Austin

c. Sullivan

i. Faculty can help create list

ii. Avoid offending by saying we want to build an institutional home for critical race theorists and invite more

iii. Must push against the “not real scholarship” “not good enough” arguments

d. Rabb

i. Educate on what is critical race theory

e. Desan

i. Building working group today to educate on critical race theory  students and faculty, read scholarship, nominate a named lecturer every semester in the interim  raise the salience of the scholarship

ii. Rich Ford got an offer here (presumably didn’t accept)

f. Halley

i. Agrees with the idea of having a program, but scared of the program

1. Reproductive justice – afraid because might end up appointing the conservative position

ii. How are nominations and pitches for appointments made?

iii. Wants to work on appointments with students! Will partner with Suk

g. Suk

i. Supports involving students in appointments process and thinks possible in way that the faculty would find palatable  wants to work on appointments with students!

ii. Minow may be overplaying hurdles

1. There is no confidentiality issue, people already know who gets and who doesn’t

iii. Non-starters

1. Students cannot attend confidential faculty meetings

2. Vote on appointments to president

iv. Instead have student committee that meets continuously, reading scholarship, think about strategy, and write reports with recommendations, meeting with faculty to introduce fields and names

1. Student committee would also interview based on scholarship and teaching tactics

2. Write report about candidacy for file to be reviewed by faculty before vote

3. Interface with faculty and clinical committees

a. Pushing on committees to push more candidates and not be afraid of denial  shouldn’t be essentially making the call ahead of time

b. Assumes faculty is more conservative that actually is

v. Currently students only have teaching evaluations

1. Very reasonable for students to be part of the process

2. Students already attend some job talks

vi. Other schools already do this! (e.g. NYU)

h. Hanson

i. Agrees with Desan’s and Suk’s ideas

ii. Doesn’t buy Halley’s fear of a program because of wrong staffing, those just aren’t the people studying critical race theory

iii. Afraid that wrong students will want to be part of these committees for the right reasons

1. Still boils down to who is on the committee and will the faculty want the critical race theory professors

iv. Need to get the faculty to understand the problem here

1. Create working group to educate faculty on the issues and why this is all important

2. Fund out of professor’s student discretionary accounts

3. Curriculum

a. Kennedy

i. Divergence of strategy

1. Modules to adopt – professors who adopt likely already do it, not going to do

2. Professors who don’t do this must have pressure from students and colleagues!

3. Faculty need to be concerned with the first year teaching curriculum

ii. First year of teaching intentionally hides distributive consequences of racism

iii. Not a demand against academic freedom, but an ask that the community gets angry about the lack of race considerations

1. Should not have direct recommendations!

b. Hanson

i. Every section has one critical race theorists

1. E.g. almost all sections have a law/economics professor

c. Halley/Suk  Want to work on curriculum

4. Office of Diversity and Inclusion

a. Bordone

i. Afraid will be under-resourced (not enough people, staff salary-graded low, no authority or power)  need to get setup right

b. [Tyler] Giannini

i. Need to go into the weeds more on this demands through administration regs

c. Hanson

i. Minow is not your biggest ally  just act as if she is your ally to thwart off faculty who are trying to protect her

5. Affordability and Financial Access – No comment

6. Staff of color recruitment, retention, and upward mobility

a. Kennedy/Bardone

i. Great!

b. Hanson

i. Move up in the list of demands

7. Diversity committee

a. Hanson

i. Ask faculty to come to aid to give the committee some teeth

b. Kennedy

i. Might appeal to Minow, may be more amenable than faculty

ii. Could put this on the faculty agenda to vote, but maybe not necessary

Feedback on Movement Tactics


o In the short-term the faculty will only do something if

o Don’t spend time on talking about long

o Devote spring to change the law school, but must put pressure

Raise the ante

o No one will be appointed as senior professor given two-thirds

 No current plausible candidate, need someone to come out of the woods (probably young)

Scream and yell at faculty to figure out who the right person is!

 Not something the students can figure it out

o Microaggressions – don’t say anything else, but point to socratic shortcomings and move on

And just keep demanding professors to do something about it!

o Focus on short-term before, don’t let them pacify until graduation!

[Diane L. Rosenfeld]

o Don’t want gender questions to get lost in race questions

o Need more outreach between student groups

o Need to use alumni

o Very hot, have attention, focus on short and long term
 Make sure you have 1L and 2L succession plan in place

[Stephanie] Robinson

o Have short-term, medium-term, long-term strategy  employs different students, faculty, staff, etc.

 Make roles for all relevant parties (e.g. 1L probably shouldn’t be protesting, etc.)

 Don’t need to alienate anyone – get people in where they fit in

• Everyone has different agendas, but those can be leveraged

 Must divide the group into sub groups that actually work on stuff!

o Not a fan of working groups… but thinks it’s important for appointments

o “Need to fan the flame, not let the fire die”

o Don’t over analyze

o Disagree that Minow is not the leader, she is… she is the representative of the administration and the institution

 Makes sense to

o Think about how to think about faculty individually and what they can actually do as a group


o “You must figure out our character and identity… we can’t figure that out for you because you will bear the costs”

o Concerned that going in different directions

o Leverage each other’s different tactics  Dr. King would say, “Do you want to deal with me or deal with Malcolm”


o Focus on positive and negatives

o Wants to see more than a committee

o Needs to do something, even 1 or 2 things

 Really wants students to make a contribution to the school or greater world and try to get institutional support


o Clarity and unity around purposes and goals, not style as much

o Figure out everyone’s skillsets

 Mover – people who make things happen

 Opposer

 Bystander – observers who name things for those who are engaged and thus not able to seeing

 Follower

o “Want a war department, but want a state department too”

o Caution against using the word “calm” for people who are taking the negotiations route

o Need to figure out who needs to say “yes” for each demand and develop specific strategy


o Use local governance (e.g. clinics, etc.) to make change


o Take demands and identify faculty to target

 E.g. 1L orientation – section leaders have a lot of control, need to target

o Take the low-hanging fruit while trying to attack administration


o In opposition to Kennedy – Protests can be more than against administration up for a veto from any other body; just do it yourself

 E.g. use j-term to get credits to develop case study that want to be taught  create a bank of case studies

 Not going to fix everything


o Put the faculty on the 8-ball, get on the faculty agenda with something that bigger than the faculty would ever accept

• .[Lani] Guinier:

o For history sake, you all should be taking very detailed notes in your meetings about what students are voting in what directions on actions

o “We’re so proud of you”