THE UALR LAW ADMINISTRATION IS HAVING A BAD YEAR, AND DESERVES IT:

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ADL supports professor.

I’ll bet good folks at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and its Bowen School of Law continue yanking out handfuls of hair after months of contention over a law school professorship named for former governor and President Bill Clinton until faculty questions canceled those plans.

More recently, the failure to support the religious needs of Jewish law professor Rob Steinbuch has also made headlines.

And last week, a leading official with the Anti-Defamation League wrote Bowen Law School Dean Theresa Beiner, along with the leadership of the University of Arkansas and UALR, a strongly worded letter over the dean’s handling of Steinbuch’s religious rights in his classrooms.

Beiner, who also clashed with Steinbuch over the professorship quietly named after Clinton, objected to Steinbuch’s using a guest speaker to address his classes while he was participating in Jewish holidays, which he had done without conflict in previous years.

Contention over the matter made news and was addressed in my column, which apparently wound up directing the ADL’s attention to Steinbuch’s situation. “They read about it in a link to your column and responded from that,” Steinbuch said.

I had no idea my written words from here in Harrison had that kind of range.

In his letter, Aaron Ahlquist, the Director of Policy for the ADL’s Southern Division, said he was writing about Beiner’s role in accommodating Steinbuch’s request to observe Jewish High Holidays.

Ahlquist began by explaining how the ADL was founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry.

Well, nowadays antisemitism and bigotry are mostly to be found in institutions of higher learning. But wait, there’s more:

State Sen. Jason Rapert, a candidate for lieutenant governor who chairs the Senate’s State Agencies Committee, also sent me strong words about the treatment Steinbuch received.

“People who work and serve in the public sector expect that they will be treated as fairly as anyone could ever hope to be treated in our state and nation,” said Rapert.

“The ongoing targeted harassment of Dr. Steinbuch due to his conservative beliefs and willingness to be outspoken on issues of concern is bad enough. But to read that he has suffered insults and punitive actions related to his desire to observe the Jewish high holy days is over the line and must not be tolerated.

“The Arkansas Senate State Agencies committee has already heard testimony about the hostile work environment Dr. Steinbuch has had to endure. I call upon the leadership of UALR and the U of A system president to get to the bottom of all this at once. They should be able to address this and restore fairness for all concerned.

“It’s an embarrassment and mark on the reputation of UALR that Dr. Steinbuch has endured what amounts to actions that one could argue are antisemitic. Dr. Steinbuch and the people of Arkansas deserve much better,” added Rapert, who also is the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers.

The Dean’s politics of petty revenge seem to be backfiring, and that’s good.

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h/t Glenn Reynolds 

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