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E-mail exchanges Margaret Phillips 9-25-2007, 9-9-2008

E-mail exchanges Margaret Phillips 9-25-2007, 9-9-2008

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Published by Jeffrey Malkan
These two exchanges reflect the unhappiness and frustration the LRW instructors were feeling in 2007 and 2008. My job was to guide them through a faculty review process where they would receive the benefits of an upgrade to the LRW program without losing their jobs. After I was fired as LRW director, she unwisely continued to complain about "pay equity" to Professor George Kannar, my interim successor. Margaret was too outspoken and in spring 2009 was non-renewed, after seven years of service to the institution.
These two exchanges reflect the unhappiness and frustration the LRW instructors were feeling in 2007 and 2008. My job was to guide them through a faculty review process where they would receive the benefits of an upgrade to the LRW program without losing their jobs. After I was fired as LRW director, she unwisely continued to complain about "pay equity" to Professor George Kannar, my interim successor. Margaret was too outspoken and in spring 2009 was non-renewed, after seven years of service to the institution.

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Published by: Jeffrey Malkan on Jul 10, 2013
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08/19/2013

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E-mails to from Margaret Phillips to Jeffrey Malkan fall 2007From:
 
Sent:
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 4:56 PM
To:
 
Subject:
Re: faculty meeting on Friday
I think the problem is Nils Olsen because he was insisting on a national job search. If he's not in theroom, maybe no one else would have that idea. (Of course, there's no way to know for sure.) Theproblem is that this issue is just not on the radar screen. The new dean will be the 'decider,' and I don'tthink anything is going to happen until we get someone.----- Original Message -----
From:
To:
Sent:
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:23 PM
Subject:
Re: faculty meeting on FridayThanks for your response. I'm just so demoralized and frustrated. I'm back to feeling invisible at a time of the semester when I am working so hard. I was used to being invisible, but now it seems like people aregoing out of their way to treat us badly (although I know it's just an inevitable factor of the chaos).
 
I'm curious -- how would getting some faculty support result in a national job search? Has anyonerecommended lately that we do a national job search? Isn't there a way we can get some faculty supportwithout triggering a national job search?
 
If they did a job search without raising the salary, I'm not too worried about our competition. Anyway,didn't UB do a national job search for my position?
Margaret PhillipsAssistant Professor of Legal Skills709 O'Brian HallSUNY at Buffalo Law SchoolBuffalo, New York 14260(716) 645-7399mlphill@buffalo.edu 
----- Original Message -----
 
From:
To:
Sent:
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:13 PM
Subject:
Re: faculty meeting on FridayHi Margaret,
 
I don't think we want to push this forward in a way that will result in a national job search for the newlycreated positions. I'd rather wait until we're pretty sure that the present instructors are going to be able tokeep their jobs, or at least have a decision on their applications for reappointment, before outsideapplicants are solicited. Anyway, that's what I'm worried about.
 
Jeff 
 
----- Original Message -----
From:
To:
Sent:
Monday, September 24, 2007 8:32 PM
Subject:
Re: faculty meeting on FridayJeff:
 
 As per the committee assignments circulated by Cheri, aren't you on one of the committees? I assumedthat was the one that would look at R&W. Do you think the Friday meeting did away with the committeesalready formed?
 
What if you, or perhaps all of us, met with someone -- Makau? Rebecca?Sue Mangold? -- and tried toget some movement on this. Maybe at the very least we could get a faculty mentor/sponsor to try to get acommittee on this -- I know everything is chaos but we are really being jerked around . . . Nice about JimWooten, though.
 Margaret PhillipsAssistant Professor of Legal SkillsUniversity at Buffalo School of Law709 O'BrianBuffalo, New York 14260(716) 645-7399mlphill@buffalo.edu 
----- Original Message -----
 
From:
To:
Sent:
Sunday, September 23, 2007 8:18 PM
Subject:
faculty meeting on FridayHi everyone,
 
Just to let you know. The meeting on Friday did *not* approve the proposed "strategic plan." A lot of anxiety came out of the woodwork from some faculty members who have been brooding about this, andJack Schlegel filibustered for forty-five minutes (the meeting started at 2 PM and had to end at 4 PMbecause of Yom Kippur). At the very end, Jim Wooten, to his credit, reminded the faculty that decisionsabout the legal writing program were a lot more urgent than decisions about the mission statement, etc.Nevertheless, no progress was made. Makau, who has been quarterbacking the strategic planningprocess, was apparently disappointed, frustrated, and a little exasperated. I don't think this is necessarilya bad thing for us (status quo is acceptable until we get a new Dean), but it's not a good thing either because no committee can be formed to address R&W until the Strategic Plan is approved.
 
Jeff 
 
P.S. I can't think of anything I want to say to the R&W "student assistants," as a group, at this point. Thewhole idea developed too late. I think we use them as we individually see fit for this academic year andcome up with a program-wide plan for next fall.
 
 
E-mails to from Margaret Phillips to George Kannar spring 2008From:
 
Sent:
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 11:33 AM
To:
 
Subject:
Getting our summer money
Dear George:
 
Thanks for your continued efforts on this front, and for keeping us updated.I was told by Jim Newton that some sort of policy decision was made about the availability of summer money; I suspect we may have fallen through the cracks here. I've also been told that Makau appreciateslegalistic arguments. We certainly have those here: we were assured that, although he was giving us atiny raise (5k) we would still get our summer money (oral contract); we relied upon that assurance (I amreminded of just detrimental my reliance is as the fall tuition bills for my children come due!); we had noofficial notice that we would not be receiving this money (due process problem); and finally, taking awayour summer money seems to undermine Makau's intent to give us a "good faith" raise of 5K (contrary tolegislative intent/policy). :)
 
 Also, regarding the salary for the posted positions, as Laura indicated, the regional salary averages canbe found at 
.FYI, the Legal Writing Institute 2008 survey wouldalso give you an overview of the R&W programs across the country.FInally, did you want us all to send out our assignment schedule to the other 1L teachers in our section?
 
Best, Margaret----- Original Message -----
 
From:
To:
Sent:
Saturday, August 30, 2008 10:34 AM
Subject:
Re: Posting of R&W positions, etc.
greetings --well, it turns out that margaret's sources on this matter are better than mine. yesterday, i hada meeting with makau that had been scheduled by his office somewhat suddenly, and with noadvance communication to me concerning its agenda.the purpose of the meeting, it turned out, was to get me to start thinking about an expedited r& w hiring schedule, which makau now views as important in light of some new universitybudget information that makau himself only received on tuesday.makau and i agreed that i should spend the next several days trying to figure out what we mightrealistically hope to get done during the upcoming fall term -- and also how to do it, in view of 

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