Review's Trustees To Probe Charges Against Schulman

The Harvard Law Review's board of trustees will meet in emergency session today to discuss charges of racism and abuse of power by Review President Emily R. Schulman `85.

The four Black women editors who initially raised the charges met with President Neil L. Rudenstine earlier this week to discuss the controversy. In interviews last night, they said they were considering various options, including asking the Administrative Board to investigate, bringing suit against Schulman and resigning from the staff of the Law Review.

The women--third-years Rhonda Adams, Renee M. Jones, Shelley Simms and Stephanie Sowell--have also spoken with Dean Robert C. Clark and other Law School administrators and faculty members.

In an interview last night, Dean Clark said that he is aware of the controversy and is considering it seriously.

"I have been in touch with a great number of people on this," Clark said. "I've talked to students on both sides and I've talked to faculty members who have suggestions, and we're trying to work it out. I'm hopeful we can make some progress in the coming week or two."


The Law Review was at the center of an emotional debate over issues of race and gender last spring when it published a parody of the feminist. writings of Mary Joe Frug, a New England Schoolof Law professor who was murdered in Cambridge.

Today's meeting is a highly unusual step by theboard of trustees, which traditionally does notintrude in the day-to-day operations of the LawReview.

The meeting is the latest chapter in a divisivecontroversy that began with a charge of racismfrom a Black woman at a September 30 Review staffmeeting.

On October 4, the staff took an unprecedentedvote of "no confidence" in Schulman. The vote wasa tie, with Schulman voting for herself.

The accusations that are mostcontroversial--because Schulman has flatly deniedthem--are of racist and sexist comments sheallegedly made.

According to third-year Review editors speakingon the condition of anonymity, Schulman said thatallowing a Black woman to edit an article writtenby Assistant Professor of Law Charles J. OgletreeJr., who is Black, "would be a disaster." Schulmanallegedly said that "this 3-L editor would be theBlack editor on the piece and you know howcomplicated that would get."

Editors also alleged that Schulman discourageda female classmate from seeking to advance in theLaw Review hierarchy, because that would mean "toomany women in leadership positions."

"The ones [allegations] that speak directly torace and gender are the ones she's denying,because they're the most politically devastating,"one editor said last night. "I think she knowsshe's lying."

"The bottom line is where she's flatly denyingthings that are very memorable, others are flatlyremembering them," the editor said.

The Crimson attempted to contact Law Reviewofficers and editors last night, but some couldnot be reached and others declined to comment onthe record.

Other accusations against Schulman are that shechanged the assignment of a Black editor withouttelling her and that she suggested checking theacademic background of a Black editor.

Schulman has admitted to those charges andapologized for her conduct.

Adams, Jones, Simms and Sowell said last nightthat they plan to pursue the issue.

"We take these charges seriously and we havebeen assured that the University administrationtakes them seriously as well. As a group we areinvestigating all of our options and aredetermined to vigilantly pursue this issue to asatisfactory resolution," they said in astatement.

Schulman has said repeatedly that she will notresign her post, according to staff members. Theeditor also said that it was unlikely that Reviewmembers will vote to impeach Schulman. The editorsaid that many second-year members, who compriseabout half of the staff, have qualms about takinga stand on an issue about which they do not haveall the facts.

"I think something's going to be done," theeditor said. "Some decision will be made on how can't drag on much longer withoutsome kind of action. I don't know what it will bebut I fear the worst, because I fear Emily isn'tgoing to move.