It Reveals The Dire State Of U.S. Higher Education Culture That Dean William M. Treanor Of Georgetown University Law Center Isn’t The Most Unethical Law School Administrator Of The Past Year (It’s Close, Though…)

That distinction still has to go to Yale Law School Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Yaseen Eldik and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Ellen Cosgrove, who persecuted, and and threatened a student in this infamous episode last Fall. Their victim is a student, which gives them an edge over Dean Treanor whose target is Ilya Shapiro, GULC’s newly hired director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies and vice-president of the Cato Institute.

Just two days ago, I described Shapiro’s foray into the debate over President Biden’s looming Supreme Court nomination, which will have to be a black woman because race and gender are more important to the Far Left than qualifications, ability and experience in the branch of the government that protects the Constitution, but mostly because Joe promised he would while in Full Pander Mode as he fought for his party’s nomination to oppose President Trump in 2020. Shapiro issued a series of tweets that were crystal clear to anyone reading them rationally and honestly, making his case that Biden should be nominating Justice Breyer’s replacement on the basis of qualifications, ability and experience. A careless choice of words, however—this was Twitter, after all—gave race-baiters and progressive censors an opportunity to pounce, and they did.

Shapiro was accused of being a racist (of course); the law schools black student association demanded he be fired (also of course); and GULC’s ostentatiously woke Dean capitulated to the anti-free speech and anti-academic freedom mob, announcing yesterday to me and other “alumni/ae”, as the marvelous Dean I worked for, the late David McCarthy always called them…

Dear Alumni,

Over the past several days, I have heard the pain and outrage of so many at Georgetown Law, and particularly from our Black female students, staff, alumni, and faculty. Ilya Shapiro’s tweets are antithetical to the work that we do here every day to build inclusion, belonging, and respect for diversity. I have heard and listened to a wide range of views, and I am grateful to the many members of the community who have reached out to me and other leaders at the school to share their thoughts.

I am writing to inform you that I have placed Ilya Shapiro on administrative leave, pending an investigation into whether he violated our policies and expectations on professional conduct, non-discrimination, and anti-harassment, the results of which will inform our next steps. Pending the outcome of the investigation, he will remain on leave and not be on campus. This investigation will follow the procedures established by Georgetown University.

Racial stereotypes about individual capabilities and qualifications remain a pernicious force in our society and our profession. I am keenly aware that our law school is not exempt. We will continue our work with students, staff, alumni, and faculty to put in place strategies, policies, and practices to strengthen our community and our commitment to justice and equality for all. And I remain committed to working with each of you to create a community where we can all thrive.


William M. Treanor, Dean

As perspective, for those who don’t click on links (I know you don’t!), here are, again, Shapiro’s tweets:

It was the “lesser black woman” gaffe that Treanor and the other nascent totalitarians are exploiting. What Shapiro clearly meant—yes, clearly, though negligently phrased—was not that black women are innately “lesser,” but that there was a superior (in his opinion) and better qualified minority candidate for the job than any of those in the small pool Biden to which had limited himself.

But this was a “Gotcha!,” and Treanor, unethically, chose to side with those trying to de-legitimize Shapiro’s dissent by smearing him as a racist. To itemize how unfair, irresponsible and illiberal his statement is…

  • The “pain and outrage” is either based on bias that their owners haven’t learned to control, contrived for political purposes, or originates in stupidity. In any case, an ethical dean does not punish and humiliate a scholar and professional because censors and ideologues are screaming for his metaphorical head.
  • The tweets are not antithetical to GULC’s alleged goals of “inclusion, belonging, and respect for diversity.” Investigating and punishing Shapiro for a non-conforming opinion is.
  • The Dean is shamelessly pandering and virtue-signaling to those who believe enforced conformity with progressive cant is a virtuous objective. In fact, it is a dangerous and unethical one.
  • There are no “racial stereotypes” in the tweet, and the Dean’s statement that there are borders on defamation.
  • Nor is there anything in the tweets that can be reasonable regarded as “discrimination” or “harassment,” so nothing requires investigation. The process is the punishment. The protruding nail must be hammered down. Resistance is futile.

I have contacted Shapiro and offered to assist him in any way I can.

In the earlier post, I called his apologizing for his tweets cowardly, and it was. Those who are the targets of anti-democratic political correctness bullies for simply opposing them are obligated to avoid groveling, because it makes the speech and opinion censors stronger. Shapiro’s best course was to explain his tweet but not to disown it. I presume that GULC’s subsequent action has taught him what he should have figured out already: backing down does no good with these people. You have to fight, not just for yourself, but for the rest of us who see a real threat that the cornerstone of the American experiment, freedom of thought, expression and speech, is crumbling.

I don’t know, maybe Treanor’s conduct is more unethical than that of the Yale duo. He is the Dean, after all, the Big Enchilada. (Is that politically incorrect, Speech Police? Bite me.)

As I said…it’s close.


 Pointer: Pat Rogers

11 thoughts on “It Reveals The Dire State Of U.S. Higher Education Culture That Dean William M. Treanor Of Georgetown University Law Center Isn’t The Most Unethical Law School Administrator Of The Past Year (It’s Close, Though…)

  1. It’s unethical, bordering on tortious, and if adverse employment consequences fall on Shapiro he has the makings of a pretty strong lawsuit against Georgetown and the Dean. If I were him I’d retain counsel and instruct him to write to the Dean telling him “drop this investigation and reinstate Shapiro today or I file the biggest employment lawsuit you’ve ever seen tomorrow.”

  2. I’m sharing some similar incidents from scientists working at universities. To paraphrase, it was discussing scientific researchers being allowed to spin misinformation while others doing legitimate research get fired because their stance is unpopular. I find this similar to what I read about in Galileo’s time with science vs the church (mainstream narrative). Everyone knew he was wrong and a heretic, didn’t they? Shapiro just got burned on the digital bonfire for hearsay. Witch-hunt indeed.

    Or the article they linked.

  3. I have one for you as well. I won’t reveal this guy’s name, but he was one of my professors for my undergrad. He taught ethics (philosophy branch). Here’s what he posted on Facebook about this topic.

    “Brief rant (re: language and critical thinking skills). “Biden shouldn’t be choosing a SCOTUS candidate based on race, gender…it should be based on qualifications…”

    This bit of laziness that passes for clear thinking in some circles is making the rounds, and it relies on a missing premise to sound “fair.” Put simply, there are dozens of qualified candidates, and so Biden is not choosing JUST based on race/gender. He begins with a field of candidates who are all qualified, and then he moves to the next criterion in the selection process, and that narrows the field, so that tertiary and quaternary factors are the determining factors because the primary and secondary factors — education, qualifications, expertise — are already a given.

    From that perspective, choosing a Black woman makes perfect sense because representation matters, and in a field of qualified candidates, a heuristic like “who’s never been represented on the nation’s highest court?” makes more sense than “pick the most qualified candidate.” There is likely no such thing as “most qualified candidate,” but Americans have been conditioned to think every category has a “champion,” so Biden is working against sloppy assumptions and the missing premise (bias) that requires the conservatives say the quiet part out loud: “whichever Black woman Biden chooses won’t be as qualified as the (likely White) person we prefer.”

    The state of higher education at its finest.

    • I’m sure he got all sorts of “likes.” I wonder if he really believes that tortured false logic, or if he’s just using circular reasoning to justify a position to people he think are too dumb to see what he’s doing. In the middle, he resorts to a leaden “because I say so” non-argument, “representation matters.” Why? Why should it matter? That’s just a Left-based article of faith without support. “Representation” of who and what? I’m a Greek-American: there been only three Greek-American Senators in US history, and none currently. There has never been a Greek-American on SCOTUS. Should I care? Does it matter? What should matter is having the best Court possible at all times, to ensure the best decisions. Similarly, this hack jumps right past the “qualified” issue. OK, if there are 100 minimally qualified candidates for SCOTUS, isn’t it still important to determine who is the best qualified? Let’s say we can confidently ID the top 20: how does he know a black woman is in that group, unless he applies the “representation matters” edict?

      • Exactly. Snark combined with bad argument annoys me to no end. The only “representation” that matters is the racial quota inside the particular liberals head who is making the particular argument. Arguably, according to the leftist logic, looking for someone who was raised by parents who spent the majority of time in another country would probably be more “diverse” than a minority whose family has been in the United States the whole time.

        My favorite comment was:

        “I suggest you use smaller words to get your point across to the folks mentioned in the first paragraph.
        You’re 100% correct though.” This guy then says people who don’t like his argument don’t care about truth.

        The left is exhausting sometimes. I took this professor as a freshmen in college, and I thought he was insightful. Being 19 and naïve, I had no idea what was even going on. Knowing people like this are the majority of college professors in the humanities explains why college students can’t think critically.

        It’s pretty much come down to, “My textbook says this, and the writers of my textbook are experts, so they are right and you aren’t.” Students don’t know how to engage with the actual reasoning and evidence of experts, so they are blindly following whatever the current academic fads happen to be.

        I think the aura of the college professor is really hard to break because of how much you are primed to follow it before you even enter college. College professors are portrayed as the smartest of the smart, so some people (myself included for a long time) have a tendency to believe them.

        • That is why, ironically, the really bad college professors—I had one, and a lot of spectacularly good ones—teach the most important lesson of all. The bad one was a sociology professor who assigned his one book as mandatory reading for the class in introductory sociology.. The book was about 18th Century painting, and had nothing to do with the course at all

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