Monday, December 03, 2007

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish . . .

. . . is what I might say (quoting the late great Douglas Adams) were I not a vegan. Why so long? No, I'm not killing Dorf on Law. Professor Sherry Colb and I will be moving to Cornell at the end of the current academic year. As reported first by Brian Leiter (of course), Cornell has hired Sherry ("outed" by Brian as having the dubious honor of being married to yours truly), myself and a mysterious "third senior scholar" whose identity is known to me but Brian has not yet revealed, perhaps because this scholar was not available to confirm or deny the move.

I sent emails today to my new colleagues at Cornell and my current colleagues at Columbia telling them, respectively, how delighted I am to be joining, and sad I am to be leaving, them. If that sounds like a contradiction, it isn't. It's the proverbial mixed emotions. Here I want to say a word to my current, former and future (i.e., next semester's) Columbia students, who might otherwise hear the rumors on the street and wonder what was up. And while I'm at it, I'll include the wonderful students I taught during my three years at Rutgers-Camden.

The word to all those past, present and future students is simply thanks. It has been a real honor to teach---and to be taught by---a diverse collection of inquisitive, hard-working, skeptical, and always challenging (in the best sense) students. By now the vast majority of students who took my courses have become accomplished lawyers. I hope that some of what you learned from me has been useful or at least memorable. Teaching all of you was both useful and memorable for me. And if you hated my class, please don't say anything about it to the students at Cornell.

Posted by Mike Dorf

23 comments:

Derek said...

I'm stunned! But also extremely grateful that you were both considerate enough to wait until my final semester at CLS was over before leaving. That was very thoughtful. J/K of course. :)

Best of luck to you both! Columbia will miss you.

Caleb said...

Wow. I'm sorry to hear that you are leaving, but I hope that Cornell is a fantastic experience. (Although, having driven through Cornell, I might be tempted to refer to the "restaurant at the end of the universe" :D)

Thanks again

Luis Villa said...

Sigh. My favorite professors have a habit of leaving. Good luck!

Bryan said...

If I remember correctly, I was in your very first Civ Pro class at Columbia. I've now been practicing for almost 10 years. Can you believe it?!? I'm sad to see you leave CLS, but I wish you both the best in your new endeavor.

Bryan Sells CLS '98

David said...

I was in your very first Federal Courts class at CLS (OK, so it was only last year...). I found it to be the singularly most useful, thought-provoking and entertaining class of my time at law school. Cornell is lucky to be getting such an exceptional professor.

All the best in Ithaca!

David Lachman
CLS '07

David C. said...

This is a sad day for the Columbia Law School community. I feel tremendously fortunate that I attended while you were still teaching there. If you and Professor Colb enjoy at Cornell a tiny fraction of the success and happiness that you brought to all of your students, then it will undoubtedly have been the right move.

Best of luck.

Ori H. said...

This is terrible news for Columbia and wonderful news for Cornell. Professor Dorf is Columbia’s leading Public Law scholar and he is a rising force in that field, he is one of the corner stones of Columbia’s experimentalist group (one of the few original school’s of thought on the law to emerge in recent years), he has an enormous contribution to the every day running of the school and his students love him. That Columbia is letting him go is shocking, but considering the school’s recent record maintaining its strongest non-commercial professors, it is not surprising.

I for one am grateful to have gotten to know Professor Dorf.

Best of luck

Ori

Max Miller said...

Dorf! How can you leave the Curriculum Committee!?! Just kidding. It was a pleasure working with you in that context, and I'm sorry I never had the chance to take a class with you (I was waiting till next year). It just goes to show, never put off for tomorrow what can be done today. Good luck in your new position.

Jordan C said...

Best wishes Professor Dorf! Cornell has secured a tremendous professor in every sense of the word. It just saddens me that future Columbians may never truly understand pirate law, clerk races, or the fraud of the so-called teleportation booth, much less the Constitution of the United States.

Good luck to you and Professor Colb. I am sure you will spread much knowledge and wisdom, but will you drain threes in front of thousands of screaming fans? Are you sure you have thought this through?

Ittai said...

I never post comments to blogs, but this time I couldn't resist.
This is an extremely sad day for all of Professor Dorf's students and an all-time-low for Columbia.

Simona said...

I agree with Ittai. What a huge loss for Columbia. Both in losing Dorf (how could you let that happen?!) and losing the chance to hire Colb permanently.

Boo to the CLS powers the be. This should never have happened.

Tam said...

Is it me or is there a brain drain going on at R-N? Anyway, big loss.

James said...

Best of luck, Professor Dorf. It was a great experience taking your Civ Pro class in 1998. As has been said, Columbia's loss is Cornell's gain. - James S. '01

Octopus Grigori said...

A sad day for Columbia Law School. Professor Dorf was one of the best professors we had at CLS. I'm shocked that Columbia would let this happen.

Good luck at Cornell.

Kera said...

Congratulations, Prof. Dorf, on the news. I'm glad to know you and Prof. Colb are doing what's best for you. I wish I thought that CLS is doing what's best for it. I'm having trouble seeing the wisdom in their faculty retention and acquisition policies.

Anyway, I hope they have better vegan options at Cornell than they did at Columbia (they have to, right?). You'll be near Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, which is heavenly (with a vegan B&B). And there is a great veg*n restaurant in Ithaca whose name escapes me. Also there's a fantastic coop with vegan goodies with "star" in the name in Ithaca. Best seitan selection ever.

Enjoy the new adventure.

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