Leaping off a bit from what Brian Leiter said earlier, that deans really don’t have any academic freedom of their own, we should note that being dean occupies more than every waking moment of a person’s life. There are few who can do the dean’s job and continue their previous scholarship output at the same high level. Anyone who might have been concerned about Chemerinsky’s politics can take some solace in the fact that he will certainly have to cut back on his studies and writing at least a little, in order to do his duties.
UC-Irvine’s school will open with very high expectations. If Chemerinsky does half the job as dean that he is capable of doing, the entering class will carry with it some jealousy, or at least some wistfulness, from a lot of attorneys who will wish they could have had the experience.
If egos as big as those involved in this affair can shake hands and patch over a serious disagreement, there is hope for mankind.