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Frank H. Wu
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Frank H. Wu is Chancellor & Dean of University of California Hastings College of the Law. He also is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White.

Entries by Frank H. Wu

Who's in Charge? Our Assumptions About Race and Gender

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 11:04 AM

Every now and then, one of my close colleagues will observe that someone else at the college which I head -- perhaps a student -- is displaying behavior that not only is disrespectful but likely different than they would dare with a leader of a different identity. That may be....

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Call Me Mr. Bennett: First Names, Last Names, Respect, and Diversity

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 7:10 PM

The more I take on the responsibility to lead diverse groups, the more I am aware of the importance of perceptions, symbols and subtleties, and the more I am skeptical of abstract rules. We often fail to communicate what we intend, without fault. I see these mishaps begin the moment...

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Chinese Who Cheat Versus Cheaters Who Happen to be Chinese

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 2:03 PM

There are so many reports of Chinese students cheating, either before they have arrived (for example, through identity fraud on standardized tests) or after they have enrolled. As a Chinese American higher education administrator, I feel compelled to comment on the phenomenon. I am...

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An Appreciation of an American Architect, I.M. Pei

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 4:26 PM

A recent review of the work of architect I.M. Pei repeated a common criticism of his work: That his career has been devoted to corporate clientele. I have always thought this disapproval to be misplaced. It seems likely that any design professional at that level of prestige would...

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Hollywood Has Met the Enemy, and He Is Us

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 4:28 PM

A new storyline is emerging in Hollywood blockbusters: The revolution of the malcontents has replaced the revolution of the idealists. (Spoiler warning: This blog ruins the surprise of the movies mentioned.)

Among the earlier films with this theme was the excellent Arlington Road (1999). With a modest budget...

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The Essential Chineseness of Ai Wei Wei, Guiseppe Castiglione, and Hung Liu

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 7:08 AM

A recent visit to the Palm Springs Museum affirms for me that all artists are immigrants. If not in a literal sense then in a figurative sense, they are strangers to the society surrounding them. In the desert resort city, populated by celebrities in steel houses,...

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Studying My Friends, 'Dead White Males'

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 3:59 PM

My friends sometimes are surprised that I endorse the tradition of liberal arts education.

They ask why study the work of "dead white males." In our diverse democracy, that is a threshold query. The liberal arts cannot rightly be reduced to the phrase "dead white males." But even...

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The High Cost of Higher Education

(1) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 3:22 PM

The high cost of higher education has become the central public-policy issue for the middle class, meaning it has become the central public-policy issue for all of America. And in the inevitable finger pointing about the cause of the hyperinflation of tuition, people prefer a villain (the proliferation of "the...

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The Utility of the Liberal Arts: Antigone and the Making of a Lawyer

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 7:35 PM

I have never believed that liberal arts education needed defending, but I am persuaded that it increasingly needs promoting. Twenty-five years ago, when I was in law school, I was honored to take a core course -- criminal law -- with a great scholar who literally wrote

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What I Learned from a College Tour: Visiting Johns Hopkins University

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 6:24 PM

I recently took a niece to visit my alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. Like most of us, I tend to assume however subconsciously that institutions I have passed through remain more or less preserved in time as in my own memory. I was surprised to see how much...

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What Professors Do

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 9:56 AM

A friend of mine recently became a professor. A widely produced playwright, he joined the theater department of a top university. When I have asked him about the transition to academe, he always has remarked upon the committee work that he has to do. It is not uncommon for new...

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What Law School Deans Do

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 9:06 PM

People interested in pursuing a job similar to mine -- Chancellor & Dean of University of California Hastings College of the Law -- often ask me for advice. Perhaps the most useful answer I am able to offer to their questions is to ask them whether they really want what...

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Why Law Firms Fail

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2015 | 4:51 PM

Law firm failures have become spectacles. Non-lawyers who witness what was once a rare event might take pleasure, because they have never held lawyers in high esteem to begin with. Lawyers at rivals down the street may look on anxiously, concerned about what they might not have read carefully in...

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Walking Orange County

(0) Comments | Posted March 1, 2015 | 4:41 PM

I enjoy visiting Orange County. I see why people like to live there. It's comfortable, projecting the sense that there is no hardship in life. It's also designed around the car -- the built environment encourages everyone to drive from Point A to Point B.

On my last trip, I...

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Howard University Changed My Life

(8) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 1:56 PM

I will always have a place in my heart for Howard University. Its new president, Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, is about to be inaugurated. I taught for a decade at its law school in northwest Washington, D.C., as the first Asian-American law professor there.

Founded after the Civil...

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Buy You a Beer?

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2014 | 8:19 PM

Although I am generally cynical about human nature, I am always gratified by displays of generosity. Lately, I have been impressed by the importance of reciprocity. My intermittent hope for our species is thereby renewed.

What I have been doing is this. I fly often. I have started to buy...

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How to Pick a College President

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 12:26 PM

I have never been persuaded that leaders in higher education should be selected from academics. Or, more precisely, I doubt that the customary responsibilities of a faculty member prepares her to preside over an institution of higher education. The skill sets needed for longevity heading a college do not overlap...

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How (Not) to Repeat History

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2014 | 7:08 PM

I wonder if we have it wrong. The philosopher George Santayana warned: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Maybe that sets it up exactly backward. Those who do remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

The original quote, favored by those striving...

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Greek Tragedy and John Wick

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 9:47 AM

Revenge rules.

I recently gave a talk after a marathon day of theater. The Cutting Ball, an avant-garde company in San Francisco, performed the Oresteia, the great Greek tragedy by Aeschylus. The trilogy is celebrated as an example of how the justice system has developed. After...

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Why I Collect Racism

(75) Comments | Posted September 27, 2014 | 4:29 PM

2014-09-27-Yellow_peril_300dpi_CMYK.jpg

Image courtesy of Verso Books

I have started to collect racist ephemera -- specifically directed toward Asian immigrants and their American descendants. I mean artifacts in paper such as pamphlets suggesting that Asiatic hordes would invade and take over, posters promoting the Chinese...

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