some universities into veritable forensic play schools

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panview

Senior Member
Chinese
HI,everyone.The following is from Perspectives on Higher Education: Eight Disciplinary and Comparative Views
by Burton R. Clark p.63

Higher education has also become " legalized" through the introduction of appeal procedures and rights of appeal to due process which have turned some universities into veritable forensic play schools, as professors sit on appeal panels and measure their judgments against what might come to court./

I wonder what the meaning of "forensic play schools"? It means “There are many legal plays in schools"? here the author means that professors "have to Measure judgments from the courts" or " measure their own judgement according to different cases "? "appeal panels" means "the professor is in the accused position" or ”professors act as jurors"?
 
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  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Here's what happens.

    Someone at a college/university is accused of some wrongdoing and some university officials or some other body determines they are guilty of that wrongdoing.

    They protest that they aren't guilty and appeal that decision.

    Their case is sent to an appeal panel made up of professors (and possibly other students). Those people form the judges on that panel. The person who is saying they didn't do what they are accused of doing tells their story to that panel with the hope that the it will undo the earlier decision.

    There are several meanings of forensic, but in this context it means related to the law

    fo•ren•sic (fə rensik), adj.
    1. Law - pertaining to, connected with, or used in courts of law or public discussion and debate.
    "forensic play schools" is meant to be a negative description of what is happening.

    "play school" is a reference to children playing and pretending to do grown-up things. For instance, they might have a play kitchen and pretend to cook food but the food is plastic and there is no heat on the stove.

    So the speaker is saying these professors are playing at being a legal system but they aren't a real legal system. They don't have the training for it, structure for it, and any real authority and any real accountability. But they act like they do and make decisions like they do and affect people's lives like a real legal system. He thinks it has gone too far.

    In the old days, colleges would judge whether someone committed plagiarism and things like that. But now they are practically convicting people of actual crimes that, I'm guessing in the speakers opinion (and my opinion) should be handled by the real courts and the real legal system with real due process safeguards and real accountability.
     
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    panview

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Their case is sent to an appeal panel made up of professors (and possibly other students). Those people form the judges on that panel.
    Thank you very much for your detailed explanation.But there is still a little puzzle, in "measure their judgments", whom the pronoun "their" refers to , it
    refers to "professors' judgement"? and what does" against what might come to court" mean? Does it mean that "the professors in the panel imagine the cases they will encounter in court and the strategies they should adopt"?
     

    panview

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    There is still a little puzzle, in "measure their judgments", whom the pronoun "their" refers to , it
    refers to "professors' judgement"? and what does" against what might come to court" mean? Does it mean that "the professors in the panel imagine what cases they will encounter in court and the strategies they should adopt"?
    More help needed.But who could?
     
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