Tensions rise in UF law school over sexism claims and rankings push
- The Chronicle profiles the rocky relationship between the University of Florida's law school dean, Laura Rosenbury and members of its faculty as they work to resolve issues of alleged sexism and perceptions of under-performance and authoritarian management.
- The dean points to an incident at a welcoming banquet, in which a faculty member described her as "young and vivacious," which she perceived a sexist microaggression. Faculty members say the incident, while harmless in nature, has spurred a confrontational leadership style, undergirded by an obsession with improving the school's national rankings.
- Both sides of the debate attribute the acrimony to a clash of styles and perspectives on law school leadership and collegiality.
This is the second high-profile incident of discord between a female executive and faculty members at one of Florida's public institutions; the other resulted in the removal of Elmira Mangum as president of Florida A&M University.
The similarities between both schools are striking — stakeholders alleging too much change implemented too fast, too little communication and typically delivered with a harsh style, but also the potential for great ambition and success. It's well documented that higher education has persistent problems with race and gender, but with the increase of women in leadership positions and the backdrop of national political conversations about sexism, are we seeing the industry's most prevalent issue come to light in dire ways?
- Chronicle of Higher Education As U. of Florida law dean calls out sexism, her rankings-driven regime comes under fire