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To: Harper’s Magazine
From: Dr. John C. Eastman, Dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law, Chapman University School of Law
Subject: “John Yoo Hearts Orange County,” by Scott Horton
Scott Horton claims in a post on your website that Professor John Yoo
was originally announced as the “Bette and Wylie Aitken Distinguished Visiting Professor”—the holder of a specially endowed professorship set up by Chapman trustee and well-known attorney Wylie Aitken for a “prominent legal scholar whose expertise will compliment the strengths of the law school’s existing class offerings.” But it subsequently became clear that Yoo did not receive this appointment.
That claim is false. I offered visiting professorships to both John Yoo and Richard Falk at about the same time in the summer of 2007, shortly after becoming Dean. I offered the Aitken Professorship to Falk, and the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Visiting Professorship to Yoo. At no time was there any discussion about the Aitken professorship with John Yoo. Nor was it ever “announced,” “originally” or otherwise, that John Yoo was going to be the Aitken professor. I have no idea where Mr. Horton obtained his false information.
This may be a small factual error, but the implication Horton tries to draw from it–that somehow John was deemed not worthy of a distinguished visiting professorship–is patently untrue. John is the fourth holder of the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Visiting Professorship, a position that has previously been held by distinguished scholars Frank Read, Betsy Levin, and Rennard Strickland. I am honored that Professor Yoo accepted my invitation to join those ranks.
Harper’s Magazine regrets the error.
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”