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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Monday, February 21, 2005
Stifling Jealousy
Posted 8:34 AM by Joshua Claybourn
For several weeks now has learned about disturbing events surrounding expansion plans at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis. For various reasons we've witheld formal publication of these developments, but information from various high ranking administration officials has forced our hand.

In essence, plans have been in the works to expand IU Law - Indianapolis both physically and substantively. The plans called for an addition to the building, which would house the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) and the Indiana Bar Foundation (IBF). Others suggested an expansion of the Center for Intellectual Property Law as well. Dean Tarr set about securing money, donations, and support from alumni and the local legal community. As Dean Tarr has done so many times in the past, he succeeded in drumming up support and moved forward with the plans.

Yet when Dean Tarr sent the proposal to Bloomington for approval, he met an all too common resistance. Bloomington, it seems, was fearful of being overshadowed by its Indianapolis counterpart. IU Law - Indy found similar resistance to the building of Inlow Hall in the late 1990s, but this time Bloomington's jealous efforts succeeded. Bloomington will attempt to block any expansion plans in Indianapolis until Bloomington's law school has had their own chance to expand. This is not, according to reports, the reason that Dean Tarr left, but one would be understandably frustrated by the IU bureaucracy. The groups pledging to fund and support the expansion are furious.

The flap highlights a significant problem in the Indiana University leadership structure. There are simply too many administrators with too many arbitrary powers. Vice President Clapacs told Dean Tarr the project was put "on hold," but it took acting President Bepko to relay the project's termination.

No university is perfect, but IU seems to carry more than its fair share of jealous administrators, needless bureaucracy, and in-fighting that ultimately restricts the school's full potential. We wait anxiously for President Herbert to act by cleaning up the IU administrative system through streamlining its structure and promoting healthy competition rather than jealous bickering.

Correction: ILN originally reported that the Indianapolis Bar Association would be housed in the expansion. However, as noted in the corrected post above, it was the Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) and the Indiana Bar Foundation (IBF) that would be in the new building.

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