Postscript to a deanship
DOI link for Postscript to a deanship
Postscript to a deanship book
Annette Clark resigned as dean of the Saint Louis University Law School in August 2012, citing her lack of confidence in the ability of SLU’s administrators to lead the university. Many in SLU’s no-confidence movement saw her actions as inspiration for their own. In this chapter, reprinted with permission from the University of Toledo Law Review, Dean Clark both tells her personal story and illuminates the structures that she and her faculty acted within. Dean Clark’s willingness to go public with her grievances against the administration broke the silence that was a main feature of a culture of fear pervasive at SLU. But it did not immediately change how faculty, especially law school faculty, acted within an environment Clark describes as “a mini-fiefdom, in which absolute loyalty was expected and demanded.” Clark helps us see how structures that facilitate one type of resistance – her own very public resignation – inhibit others. She also makes it clear how opportunities for action are mediated through the perceptions of the would-be actors and the ways they make sense of their world. In the end, perceptions outweigh objective opportunities, and “common sense” can shut down protest.