To the Editor:
I am responding to Law School Dean Harold Koh’s comments in the Yale Daily News (“National group petitions Univ. to lift JAG ban,” 10/19). By not hosting military recruiters on campus, at job fairs or law school-sanctioned interviews, universities such as Yale refuse their students equal access to employment opportunity. Stating that students may seek out JAG positions on their own is not equivalent to allowing recruiters equal footing with those employment firms invited on campus.
As outlined in our letter to Yale’s trustees, students can make up their own minds to approve or disapprove military policy and to pursue or eschew a JAG career based on those convictions. Personal opposition of law school administrators should not limit the future employment of their students and should not block students’ ability to make career decisions for themselves.
Finally, we take issue with the dean’s reported description of institutional governing boards. As dean of the Yale Law School, he should certainly know that boards are, by definition, the ultimate governing authorities and are not judicial in nature. I dare say the Yale trustees would be bemused by such a perspective on their fiduciary obligations.
While boards should necessarily be informed by and guided by university views, they are ultimately responsible for setting university policy. It thus lies squarely with trustees to modify or change policies regarding campus access — particularly those that fundamentally undermine students’ right to choose employment in the service of their country.
Anne D. Neal
Oct. 21, 2005
The writer is the president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.