Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You will respect my authoriTTTah!

Pictured is Kenneth Nunn, a presTTTigious "Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Race Relations and the Law, Police Brutality, Race and the Criminal Process, and Law and Cultural Studies" professor at the University of Florida, whose faculty he joined in 1990. The former "Professor of the Year" has also taught unspecified courses at Makerere University Faculty of Law in Kampala, Uganda. I'm trying to leave race out of this, but the guy is a walking cliché. Keepin' it real.

Professor Nunn's greatest didactic accomplishment and legacy happened outside his own classroom, recently. It teaches us how the legal academy REALLY works.

From the Gainesville Sun:
The incident happened Dec. 10 when Nunn's class of about 100 students was scheduled to take an exam in the Holland Law Center.

Nunn mistakenly thought the class was assigned to three rooms, including a room where about six other students were taking a tax exam, according to the investigation. Nunn's students interrupted the other class until one of the tax students placed a trash can in front of the classroom with a sign that read "exam."

The tax student, who was not identified in the report, later told Nunn "it was atrocious how you handled that." The student told an investigator Nunn then got in his face and pushed him full force using both hands, before saying, "I'm a law professor and deserve respect." A witness confirmed Nunn pushed the student.
He received a one week suspension. With pay. Another blog noted that the March 7-13 suspension corresponded with Spring Break.

UF warned him that a second incident might result in his termination. Salma Hayek just warned me that she might come over unannounced and ... sorry, Nando.

To summarize, a faculty member with a chip on his shoulder committed criminal battery against a student, which was witnessed, and received a one-week paid vacation. To quote Robin Williams, the school effectively told him, "Stop! Or, I'll say, 'Stop!' again."

Let's read between the lines. University of Florida has a top-ranked tax program. There were six tax students taking an exam. I'm guessing the shovee was a nerdy, white LLM. I'll give the school the benefit of a doubt and trust that it would have handled the incident the same no matter what the student's and professor's races (or gender, religion, color, creed, origin, and sexual orientation) were.

Professor Nunn's lesson for us is that law schools look out for their own, never for the students.

Society's lesson, which has eluded Nunn, is that respect must be earned.


  1. The student should sue Nunn.

    He has the money to cover the damages. If not, garnish his salary. I would take the case.

    IIED, Assault and Battery, etc.

  2. The student should file a criminal complaint against Nunn. I'm guessing this isn't the first time Nunn has done this, just the first time it's reached the paper.

  3. I love how you're "trying to keep race out of it," but race seems to be the only basis for your conclusion that "he has a chip on his shoulder" and "he must have done stuff like this before, but it was never reported."

    Of course, as one of the LLMs in the room, I'm probably biased on the situation.