Several faculty members have issues with Drake last week characterizing his decision to rescind the offer to Chemerinsky as a “managerial” one.
At a hastily put-together academic senate meeting Thursday, some faculty recall Drake sidestepping questions when pressed for more details.
Drake has insisted no one leaned on him to drop the renowned liberal Duke University professor, but he has been vague on why exactly he changed his mind in a matter of days. And Chemerinsky said last week that Drake told him he was too “polarizing.”
Several say they still want to know exactly who he talked to, what was said, and how he accounted for it in his decision to rescind Chemerinsky’s offer only a week after it was signed.
Following a faculty meeting Monday morning, an emergency meeting of educators was scheduled for Thursday to discuss Drake’s leadership and the faculty’s commitment to academic freedom.
When asked if he can continue leading the university, Drake said, “Absolutely. If I didn’t think me being chancellor was in the best interests of the institution I wouldn’t be.”
Chemerinsky is a highly respected constitutional expert who has taken sometimes very public liberal positions on issues. On Aug. 16, the same day Drake made his offer to the professor, the Los Angeles Times ran a commentary by him critical of former Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales.
Chemerinsky in the news conference sought to appease potential conservative critics, saying he intended to “build a law school as diverse as possible in every single way.”