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Teaching Credentials of Elizabeth Warren Questioned in 1990

Robert Clark, the former Harvard Law School dean, said during an interview in 1994 that the school was working to use an affirmative action policy to hire more female faculty members. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate, was offer professorship in 1992 at the school and then was given tenure in 1995. In 1990, the qualifications for Warren to teach at Harvard came under attack in an academic law journal.

Warren’s book, “As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America,” was reviewed by Rutgers Professor Phillip Schuchman in 1991 in the Rutgers Law Review. He discovered ‘serious errors’ that cause ‘grossly mistaken functions and comparisons.’ Schuchman also said that Warren and the co-authors on the book drew incorrect conclusions from ‘even their flawed findings’ and ‘made their raw data unavailable to check. In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct. It contains so much exaggeration, so many questionable ploys, and so many incorrect statements that it would be well to check the accuracy of their raw data, as old as it is.

According to the Daily Caller, Greg Stohr, from the Harvard Law Record, wrote, “Clark said HLS was engaging ‘affirmative action’ to the extent it was working to increase the number of women considered and interviewed. He also said the Law School would be willing to hire a qualified woman, even if her area of expertise did not fit an immediate need, but he stopped short of saying the school would lower its qualification requirements for women.”

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Warren is currently on a leave from Harvard so she can run for office. She is the only professor of law who did not graduate from a law school ranked in the top ten. There are 350 law school professors in the Ivy League and Warren graduated from the second worst ranked law school, Rutgers, which was ranked at 82 in May of 2012.

Clark touted his own success in a letter that he wrote to the Harvard Law Record back in December of 1995. “I should note that if one includes visiting professors, lecturers, and clinical instructors, the number of women teaching here full-time in 1995-1996 is 33. Including part-time teachers the number of women is 51. Of the 15 appointments made over the last four years, seven have been women. It is my goal to offer women students the best possible environment for the study of law and to increase the number of women students and the number of women on the faculty. I think we have made substantial progress in this direction.”

In fact, Warren even comes across as someone who doubts her ability to be a professor of law at Harvard. “If you’d told me [I would be granted a tenure offer], I’d simply have laughed at you and said, ‘What a charming thought! I have as good a chance of flying a rocket ship to the moon,’” she said in an interview with the Harvard Law Record in February of 1993.

Teaching Credentials of Elizabeth Warren Questioned in 1990 by

  • Guest

    What you meant to say is that of the alma maters of ivy league professors, Warren’s is the second lowest ranked– according to US News and World Report. Bear in mind, there are some 300 law schools. Also bear in mind that Rutgers has traditionally been viewed as a top public school, only recently declining in US News because of its unwillingness to play statistical games like many other schools– which are now being sued. Is it that stunning that ivy league law schools would hire very few people from outside the Ivy’s? These are some of the world’s most elitist institutions, so yeah, they are not chock full of grads from an NJ public school which most people go to in order to become litigators in NY or the mid Atlantic. It’s only to Warren’s credit that she overcame the perceptions, and only to Rutgers’ credit that it is the only institution outside the top 10 to be represented on the Harvard faculty. You should stop insinuating otherwise.

  • Tony

    She knows she’s not qualified to teach at Harvard. Furthermore, she didn’t get on faculty because she was a woman, she did because she lied about her Native American heritage. Harvard should have investigated that a long time ago. It’s never too late to fire a liar ;)

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