The Boston Sunday Globe has a Page One feature on Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren that a bookend to the Globe’s big takeout on Scott Brown two weeks ago. That one dealt with Brown’s “searing childhood” and “improbable rise.” Today’s piece is about Warren’s relentless rise in the academic world (with a headline Brown must love, since he never misses an opportunity to brand Warren an egghead):
For Professor Warren, a steep climb
Original scholarship, and singular ambition, drove her legal career
The piece is generally positive (as was the Brown piece), and seems to answer the question the Herald has been endlessly asking: Did Elizabeth Warren use her claim of Native American heritage to improve her professional prospects?
The answer, according to the Globe, is no.
Her unorthodox career trajectory has been scrutinized since she became a candidate for Senate, particularly after the revelation that for years she had listed herself as a Native American in a professional directory often used by law school recruiters.
Critics insinuated that she must have leveraged her self-professed heritage to advance her career in the 1980s and 1990s when law schools were under pressure to diversify. However, in two dozen interviews with the Globe, a wide range of professors and administrators who recruited or worked with Warren said her ethnic background played no role in her hiring.
That won’t end the Herald’s hammering away at Warren over this issue, largely because of this:
In a recent interview, Warren declined to authorize Harvard and Penn to release her personnel records from the private universities where she taught. Her opponent, Senator Scott Brown, has requested that she do so, to satisfy questions about whether race played any role in her hiring.
The records, she said, are not what defined her as an academic.
“The core of my career is my teaching and my writing,” she said, insisting she was hiding nothing in her records. “It’s all out there.”
Well, not exactly all.
Other fun facts from the piece:
• Silent on the race and gender wars that divided campuses in the 1980s and 1990s, she was never a liberal crusader.
She was not even a liberal.
She was a registered Republican as recently as 1996.
• [On the University of Pennsylvania's controversial rejection of tenure for feminist professor Drucilla Cornell] Warren told the Globe that she did not work against Cornell. But she refused to say how she voted when the faculty had to decide whether to grant Cornell tenure.
• [On turning down a full-time position at Harvard in 1993] She told the Globe in 2009 that she found Harvard to be a “hostile environment” for women. But in a recent interview, Warren downplayed that concern, saying instead that she declined the job because her husband wasn’t offered one, too.
All in all, there’s plenty of material here for supporters and critics alike of Professor Elizabeth Warren.