Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicago Wednesday PM 11 July 2012  

Dean Schill:

A widely read national columnist (who honors me by occasionally responding personally to an item I blind copy him on) took only five minutes to respond to a letter I sent to the New York Times declaring that “the closest President Obama has ever been to being a law Professor … was 12 years as as a part-time instructor in Constitutional law at the University of Chicago”

The columnist's response:
“Obama was considered a professor during the time he was a senior lecturer, according to”

That link refers to Obama three times as Professor, but carefully qualified each time: "served" as a professor, Senior Lecturer "considered" to be member of the Law School faculty and "regarded" as a professor.  

In the UChicago Law School Faculty list I found 59 'Professors' and three 'Lecturers' - but not a single 'served,' 'considered' or 'regarded.'  

A University of Chicago News Office  Monday 10 May 2010 news item refers to Elena Kagan as “a former professor at the University of Chicago Law School” - not a hint of qualification.  Further reference is made that “Kagan had met Barack Obama while they both served at the Law School.”  Why no reference to Obama being a fellow professor?

There have been three recent articles in the Chicago press  referring to the possibility of getting an Obama library at the UC.  This is certainly a worthy quest for any University, especially for one as deservedly famous and respected as UC.  But is the University so wound up in having a president who was a former employee, with the possibility of getting a major new library, it will go to any length to describing the President as a Law Professor, w/o actually coming out and saying so directly?

Arnold H Nelson

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