Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A dean for all seasons

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

More. I have one question to ask the witness. (Rich stops.) That's a chain of office you are wearing. (Rich reluctantly faces More.) May I see it? (Norfolk motions Rich to approach and he moves to More. He examines the medallion.) The red dragon. (To Cromwell.) What's this?

Cromwell. Sir Richard is appointed Attorney General for Wales.

More. (Looking into Rich's face; with pain and amusement.) For Wales? Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world — but for Wales . . . !

— Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons 125 (1st ed. 1960)

Nancy Rapoport is right, as usual. In her most recent polemic against the U.S. News rankings (also previewed on MoneyLaw), Nancy reviews the reasons a law school might consider beginning or ending a part-time program. Without hesitation or reservation, she identifies "the one reason that's not pedagogically valid": "whether a news magazine is going to bump some school up five places or down five places due to the inclusion of the part-time students' median LSATs and UGPAs."

Nancy adds: "Are we so desperate for some sort of numerical validation of our place in this world that we are willing to cede our own sense of what type of educational program is appropriate for our mix of students?" Schools that heed this particular call from the dark side have said, in effect, "we are willing to sell our souls." Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'intrate: you might as well fetch your best price, in exchange for an eternity living out this video.

Bonus multimediaAfter contemplating how Thomas More, dean for all seasons, would handle the question of part-time legal education in the face of U.S. News-induced pressure — "It profits a person nothing to give her soul for the whole world — but for a deanship . . . !" — enjoy this video of the notorious "eleven" scene from This Is Spinal Tap:


Blogger Stephen said...

Ahh, but what we really need is a moneylaw sort of approach to rankings ....

7/12/2008 8:52 PM  

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