Law School Discussion

"Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier

"Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« on: May 31, 2006, 04:01:21 PM »
I was visiting the Whittier Law School message board and I found a post about an email that current/former Whittier Law students have been receiving about impeaching their Dean. The email reads as follows:

Dear Whittier Law School students,

I'm sorry this letter is reaching you during a time of celebration. I would first like to wish all the 3L's good luck with the bar and congratulations on graduating. However, as many of you have been aware, our school has been having issues with our administration for years. Our administration has led our school down the wrong path and we are currently paying for it by having the ABA place our school on probation. The administration needs to step up and accept responsibility for their poor decisions, and I believe this person that needs to accept responsibility is Dean Cogan. Many of you have had personal experiences with Dean Cogan that have been less than stellar. On top of being unapproachable, he is the sole reason many of our favorite administrators and professors are leaving. As a student body, we need to be unified on this front and vote to impeach Dean Cogan.

Things have recently been put into motion to have Dean Cogan removed, and those forces need our support. Time is of the essence and we need responses from all the students before noon on Tuesday, May 16th.


We the undersigned respectfully request that the Board of Trustees of Whittier Law School remove Dean Neal Cogan from office.

Please respond to this e-mail with the words "i approve" and sign your name if you choose.

Thank you,
Committee to remove Dean Cogan


One of the Whittier students wrote back asking why the dean was being singled out as the cause of all of Whittier's problems and he received this response:

As of Thursday, the committee requested that this be sent out to all the students and they needed a response fast. This committee is not led solely by angry students that have a personal vendetta against Dean Cogan. This committee comprises of students, alumni, and professors that feel that Dean Cogan should accept responsibility for the problems with our school. Although I do have specific problems with Dean Cogan, he should be impeached solely for the incompetency for which our school has been run. Even if the problems do not lie solely on him, he is the Dean of our school and should accept responsibility for all the actions of his subordinates.

To begin, the registrar is a complete mess. I don't know of one student who hasn't had a problem with the registrar. When Dean Cogan was approached on how to fix the registrar by our committee, he responded by saying that he had no solution. The problems with the registrar have lasted for years and he has been told to fix it, yet he chose not to. When recommended to him that he should let the current staff go and hire new staff, he responded by stating that, "I never thought of that." Whittier students depend on the registrar for everything, and we deserve a registrar that treats us with the respect that we deserve. Dean Cogan has the power to fix the registrar, yet he has never done anything to improve it.

Another problem is that many of our beloved Deans before Dean Cogan have left or have chosen not to return because of Dean Cogan. Many of them have openly stated that they cannot get along with him and that he shares different goals with them. On it's own, that isn't a problem. But when many of those Deans are the ones that make this school great, I would rather have them then Dean Cogan. As with sharing goals, Dean Cogan has only one goal for our school, get us more money. He travels extensively to get our school more money, yet we see no benefits from it. Our goal should not be money but retaining those aspects that make our school great. I personal feel that our Professors are what make Whittier great. Ask any student that has transferred to another school, they will tell you that Whittier has the best professors. While some are leaving to improve their own academic careers, some have stated that Dean Cogan has affected their decision to leave.

A problem that affects the student body directly is the career services. Dean Cogan has placed no money and assistance with getting Whittier students better internships and jobs after graduation. Instead of spending his time making contacts with large or even medium sized firms, he is spends his time doing research to get himself published. Whittier law students have an extremely hard time getting jobs in non-public interest, and Dean Cogan has done nothing to assist us. Deans of other law schools make connections with firms and invite firms to come recruit on their campus; Dean Cogan refuses to assist the students.

Dean Cogan needs to accept responsibility and step down. We need your support. Trust me, our school would be much better without him.

Thank you,
Committee to remove Dean Cogan




Very interesting...I've never heard of impeaching a dean. I wonder if he really is the source of the majority of the problems at Whittier....any opinions?

redemption

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2006, 04:23:48 PM »
"Incompetency" is not a word.

Other than that, it sounds like the dude's a spot of trouble.

jmd001

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2006, 04:26:39 PM »
Thanks for the post, it makes me feel more confident with my decision to withdraw from Whittier and send my 1st deposit to Chapman.

H4CS

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Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2006, 04:31:19 PM »
The response seems really unconvincing.  Oh noes, a dean who is focused on fundraising!  The use of the superlative "the greatestest professors in the whole wide world" just makes me wonder how committed the author is to actual change and to what degree this campaign is merely using the dean as a scapegoat for what might be more complicated issues.  I do believe that as dean of a school that has lost its accreditation, he should ultimately be held accountable, but the differences between the first and second letter make me wonder.

redemption

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2006, 04:35:28 PM »
Eh. It's probably just some kid who wrote the second letter. Probation status is enough to get rid of him if he's been arond long enough to be responsible for it.

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2006, 04:45:36 PM »
As a former applicant, it is very frightening to me how much they are trying to hide all their problems. The ABA put them on probation last August and they never did anything to inform the applicants that they were on probation. I found out from this board! Plus their website has a hidden tiny blurb in fine print about the probation.


They tried to paint a totally rosy picture but it seems like they have a lot more problems then just their bar passage rate. The only OCIs at Whittier are the DA, Public defenders & other public interest organizations. Also many of the students describe the administration as horrible. Finally, they have allowed professors to give 0 As in 1L classes if they see fit.

More & more it seems like, bar passage is not the only problem at Whittier....

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2006, 05:08:44 PM »
"Incompetency" is not a word.

Other than that, it sounds like the dude's a spot of trouble.

http://www.bartleby.com/61/68/I0086866.html
http://dictionary.law.com/default2.asp?selected=924&bold=

 Looks like it is a word, misused though it may be.  

Sorry, this is what years of Scrabble beat-downs by the girlfriend have done to me...  
 ;)

redemption

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2006, 05:13:06 PM »
"Incompetency" is not a word.

Other than that, it sounds like the dude's a spot of trouble.

http://www.bartleby.com/61/68/I0086866.html
http://dictionary.law.com/default2.asp?selected=924&bold=

 Looks like it is a word, misused though it may be. 

Sorry, this is what years of Scrabble beat-downs by the girlfriend have done to me...   
 ;)

Damned American English. It's "incompetence", "relevance", etc. Why people substitute a y for an e is beyond me.

flydog

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2006, 05:15:30 PM »
As a former applicant, it is very frightening to me how much they are trying to hide all their problems. The ABA put them on probation last August and they never did anything to inform the applicants that they were on probation. I found out from this board! Plus their website has a hidden tiny blurb in fine print about the probation.


They tried to paint a totally rosy picture but it seems like they have a lot more problems then just their bar passage rate. The only OCIs at Whittier are the DA, Public defenders & other public interest organizations. Also many of the students describe the administration as horrible. Finally, they have allowed professors to give 0 As in 1L classes if they see fit.

More & more it seems like, bar passage is not the only problem at Whittier....

From your post it is clear you havent taken the time to fully research the school and are making statements that have no basis in fact or careful research.

Whittier hasnt tried to hide their probationary status. Its mentioned in their application package, their website, they mention it in almost every letter they send out, and it was also discussed at the open house. In fact I get a letter every 2-3 weeks from the Dean updating applicants and admitted students on the probationary status. They have gone far beyond what is expected in both disclosing the issue and doing their best to resolve it. They implemented an upper level writing course, a bar prep program, a summer early start program and many other changes that show they are committed to resolving the problem. Perhaps you feel they should be have run a nationwide tv commercial during the Superbowl.

I disagree that the only OCIs are with the entities you mentioned. When I visited the career bulletin board was full of opportunities with Federal and State Judges and Magistrates, the US Attorneys Office, and even opportunities with Federal agencies in DC and law firms. The students I spoke with mentioned plenty of opportunities and that students could pretty much pick and choose what they wanted to do with their summers.

The Dean as the leader of the school is ultimately responsible for its success. Leaders should be held accountable for the success or failure of their policies, administration, and directives. In my opinion he has done what can be reasonably expected or possible from anyone in his position that needs to balance financial viability of an institution, maintain a quality student body and please the ABA. Ultimately its up to the students and faculty to decide and they are most knowledgeable of the internal issues that led up to their current status.

Re: "Interesting" issue(s) at Whittier
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2006, 05:19:43 PM »
As a former applicant, it is very frightening to me how much they are trying to hide all their problems. The ABA put them on probation last August and they never did anything to inform the applicants that they were on probation. I found out from this board! Plus their website has a hidden tiny blurb in fine print about the probation.


They tried to paint a totally rosy picture but it seems like they have a lot more problems then just their bar passage rate. The only OCIs at Whittier are the DA, Public defenders & other public interest organizations. Also many of the students describe the administration as horrible. Finally, they have allowed professors to give 0 As in 1L classes if they see fit.

More & more it seems like, bar passage is not the only problem at Whittier....

From your post it is clear you havent taken the time to fully research the school and are making statements that have no basis in fact or careful research.

Whittier hasnt tried to hide their probationary status. Its mentioned in their application package, their website, they mention it in almost every letter they send out, and it was also discussed at the open house. In fact I get a letter every 2-3 weeks from the Dean updating applicants and admitted students on the probationary status. They have gone far beyond what is expected in both disclosing the issue and doing their best to resolve it. They implemented an upper level writing course, a bar prep program, a summer early start program and many other changes that show they are committed to resolving the problem. Perhaps you feel they should be have run a nationwide tv commercial during the Superbowl.

I disagree that the only OCIs are with the entities you mentioned. When I visited the career bulletin board was full of opportunities with Federal and State Judges and Magistrates, the US Attorneys Office, and even opportunities with Federal agencies in DC and law firms. The students I spoke with mentioned plenty of opportunities and that students could pretty much pick and choose what they wanted to do with their summers.

The Dean as the leader of the school is ultimately responsible for its success. Leaders should be held accountable for the success or failure of their policies, administration, and directives. In my opinion he has done what can be reasonably expected or possible from anyone in his position that needs to balance financial viability of an institution, maintain a quality student body and please the ABA. Ultimately its up to the students and faculty to decide and they are most knowledgeable of the internal issues that led up to their current status.


1) When I applied to Whittier I had no idea they were on probation. If I did, I wouldn't have wasted my $60. In my opinion, its most important to let people know BEFORE they apply, not after.

2) The OCI that I listed have come straight from current Whittier students who are very unhappy with the job the law school has done in terms of trying to get more OCIs. Even most Whittier students will admit that job prospects (outside of public interest) are bleak.

3) It is some of the current students/alumni/former dean/faculty & staff that believe the Dean is doing a bad job & should be impeached. They should know best.