Scholars across the political spectrum protested what they called an assault on academic freedom after the University of California at Irvine withdrew a job offer from a liberal professor who wrote an op-ed criticizing the Bush administration.
Faculty members were furious, and blogs and editorial pages hummed Thursday with news that constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, 54, would not become dean of the University of California’s first new law school in 40 years. …
In a telephone interview, UC-Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake said Chemerinsky’s politics did not play a role in his decision to rescind the job offer. Rather, he said, Chemerinsky’s accessibility to the media made him uneasy “because my feeling was, if we had a problem — as the last couple of days show — that it would be huge.”