An Appreciation of Sanford H. Kadish

By Robert A. Gorman

One of the major leaders of the AAUP for two decades of the twentieth century passed away in September: Sanford H. Kadish, of the University of California, Berkeley, Law School since 1964, who lived and worked until the age of 92.

Sandy, as he was known to one and all, was called upon in 1965 to serve on an important national AAUP committee—the Special Committee on Procedures for Disposition of Complaints—along with two other twentieth century AAUP giants,
Ralph S. Brown of Yale University and Walter P. Metzger of Columbia University. The committee’s charge was to examine and make recommendations concerning the process by which the Association investigates and reports upon claims against institutional violations of academic freedom and tenure, the heart and soul of the AAUP’s activities. Their report is highly instructive to read even fifty years later. It was perhaps natural that Sandy would move from that assignment to become chair of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, from 1966 to 1970.

Sandy became president of the Association in 1970, and the two-year period of his service proved to be perhaps the most momentous in the modern history of the AAUP. It was at the end of that period, after much consultation and deliberation, that the national Council recommended, with the subsequent endorsement of the entire membership at the 1972 annual meeting, that “the Association will pursue collective bargaining as a
major additional way of realizing the Association’s goals in higher education, and will allocate such resources and staff as are necessary for the vigorous selective development of this activity beyond present levels.”

This pronouncement, which passed the Council by a vote of twenty-two to eleven, brought concerns that the Association would lose its distinctive status as the principled advocate of academic freedom, tenure, and other faculty rights with the purpose of elevating the quality and mission of higher education in the public interest.

In a dissent to the Council’s report, Sandy Kadish—along with two other Association notables, William W. Van Alstyne of Duke Law School and Robert K. Webb of Columbia— eloquently expressed opposition to this more vigorous movement into collective bargaining.

Sandy Kadish was also highly esteemed for his contributions as scholar, teacher, and academic leader. His principal field of study was criminal law. His coursebook on the subject was, and in subsequent editions across thirty years (with Stephen Schulhofer) remains, the most widely adopted and seminal book in its field. He was the editor in chief of the Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice. His work merited international recognition through Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Salzburg Seminar assignments. He was a visiting professor at Cambridge, Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford Universities and the Universities of Freiburg and Melbourne.

Sandy’s accomplishments as a wise and innovative leader in the academy must also be briefly noted. He served as dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1975 to 1982, and was relied upon by his successors in that office and by the faculty for decades thereafter. He was the only person who has been elected to serve as president of both of his key academic associations: the AAUP (1970–72) and the Association of American Law Schools (1982)—a mark of the deep respect in which he was held by his colleagues in legal education and beyond. He was elected vice president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sandy’s natural bent toward philosophy and issues of social justice was at the root of his shaping in 1978 a program unique in all of American legal education and still flourishing today: Berkeley’s PhD program in Jurisprudence and Social Policy, devoted to the study of law within the framework of disciplines such as economics, history, and sociology. Sandy and his wife June conceived of and generously endowed the law school’s Kadish Center for Morality, Law, and Public Affairs.

For all of these breathtaking accomplishments, Sandy Kadish was a wonderfully warm, witty, generous individual, a friend and mentor to generations of scholars, colleagues, and students. He lived a long and exemplary life, and the AAUP, his friends there, and the academy generally, have benefited so greatly from his service.

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