The Law School faculty voted yesterday to offer a tenured position to Visiting Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, a member of the Appointments Committee said last night.
Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence Charles Fried said Warren received strong support from the faculty, including a unanimous endorsement from the Appointments Committee.
The vote marks an advance in the student and faculty effort to improve faculty diversity, according to several of the approximately 65 students participating in a silent vigil outside the faculty meeting in Pound Hall yesterday.
Warren is a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She received her B.S. from the University of Houston and her J.D. from Rutgers University.
As a visiting professor, she has taught courses on bankruptcy and secure transactions.
"Everyone at CCR [Coalition for Civil Rights] is totally elated that Professor Warren received tenure," said third-year law student Lucy H. Koh. "CCR just wants to see some gender diversity on the faculty."
Second year student Darryl D. Chiang, co-chair of the Asian-American Law Students Association, said the silent vigil was "really meant to hammer home to the Faculty Appointments Committee our concerns...[so] they know their actions are being watched."
"We are trying to remind them we're watching," said Steven K. Homer, a second year student.
Despite the fact that a female was offered tenure, some students said they did not think the move went far enough, and said they wanted more ideological diversity as well.
"The fact that the tenure offers tend to be right of center, and only white women is disturbing," said second year student Julie A. Su. "Their definition of diversity tends to be very limited."
Former Weld Professor of Law Derrick A. Bell took a leave from the Law School to protest the lack of women of color on the faculty. He was dismissed for failing to return after two years of leave.
There are still no tenured women of color on the Law School faculty. Five of the 60 tenured faculty at the Law School are women.
Koh said the move to diversify faculty might not bring "ideological diversity" to the faculty.
"I personally will be disappointed if they just hire all right-wing women," Koh said.
Both Koh and Su said they think the school needs to go still further.
"The law school realizes statistically it is still in deep trouble concerning women," Koh said.
"In order to show a real commitment to diversity they need to do more than pass a resolution and bring in white women," Su said. "They need women of color and ideological diversity."
Yesterday's vigil was prompted by a tip from Clark, some students said.
"The rumor is that [Clark] asked a member of CCR to organize the vigil and that the dean told her they are voting on a woman today," said third year student Elizabeth G. Moreno.
"If the rumor is true, I'm surprised that Dean Clark would suggest a vigil," Moreno said