Sunday, December 04, 2005

Professor Bradford's Meltdown Another Embarrassment For IU-Indy Law School

The meltdown of conservative IU-Indy law professor William Bradford ended rather embarrassingly for the university when the embattled professor resigned after revelations of his resume padding became public. And the journalist who started it all with a controversial one-sided column supportive of Bradford, the Star’s Ruth Hollady, now admits how wrong she was.

Bradford, who claimed to be a highly decorated war veteran, alleged that he was being denied tenure at the law school because two liberal faculty members of the tenure committee disliked him because of his veteran status and support of the Iraq war. After Holladay’s column first ran, university officials fought back, detailing many discrepancies in Holladay’s initial reporting. Some conservative faculty members sided with Bradford, while most faculty members sided with the university.

Bradford, who is also a native-American, filed an EEOC complaint against the university and threatened to file defamation law suits against the liberal professors. Bradford began making many appearances in the media, including a national appearance on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, in an effort to cast himself as another victim of liberal academia.

Bradford also began writing daily posts to an IU School of Law-related blog site. That is where his deceit first became apparent. He made numerous claims and allegations, promising proof, which turned out be untrue. He was even caught leaving posts under pseudonyms to promote his cause on a university-related blog site.

According to Bradford’s resume, he claimed to be a U.S. Army veteran of the first Gulf War, serving in the infantry with the rank of major and the recipient of the highly coveted Silver Star medal. In actuality, Bradford had been a mere second-lieutenant in the Army Reserves with no active duty and no awards. He served in military intelligence and not the infantry.

Upon learning of his resignation amid the latest disclosures, some students and faculty wondered aloud about Bradford’s mental fitness on the IndyLaw Net blog site. One of Bradford’s staunchest supporters, Professor Henry Karlson, told Holladay he regretted his role in the whole affair: “’This is all very sad,’ said Karlson, who considers himself Bradford's friend. Karlson believes the votes against Bradford had nothing to do with his record. Everyone believed he was a decorated vet. He also confirmed what others in academia have told me: Universities don't check every detail in resumes. ‘I don't think that anyone comes off looking very good in this,’ he said.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time IU Indy’s law school has been caught with its pants down concerning a professor’s credentials. Several years ago a former military aide to Olive North, who was attending the law school, got into a grade dispute with an African-American torts professor. During that controversy it was revealed that the professor’s claim on his resume that he was admitted to practice law in the state of Florida was untrue. In fact, he had failed the bar there on several attempts and had never been admitted to practice law in any state. Remarkably, that professor is still employed by the university.

The law school is currently looking for a new Dean after its last one departed after a very brief tenure.


torporindy said...

I remember the controversy several years ago. I thought he was just not a member of the Florida bar. I am not sure if he had failed the bar exam. I may be wrong though.

Anyway, those students cheated and they were looking for any excuse to try to deflect attention away from their misdeed.

Gary R. Welsh said...

That is not my recollection of the reporting at the time--I stand corrected if I have misspoken.

I also believe a lawsuit was filed by the former North aid--I don't know how that was resolved. And the widow of the late Lawrence Inlow--for whom the new law school building was named--was caught in the middle of the controversy as well. Some faculty members actually demanded that the school turn down the $5 million his estate donated to construct the new school. Wisely, the university turned down their demand.

Don Sherfick said...

"...a military aide to Olive North"

Hmmmm, was there a side to Oliver that we didn't see, well before "don't ask, don't tell"? (: