In the News

Christopher Kutz in the news:

The ‘pay-to-play’ law that snagged California State Senator Leland Yee

Christopher Kutz quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle, March 28, 2014

The law draws a distinction, Kutz said, between the typical politician-contributor relationship—donors give money to office-seekers who generally share their views—and a promise of specific favors in exchange for funds. “The test is whether the relationship between the contributor and the server (in office) becomes too much of an explicit transaction,” he said.

Three state Supreme Court justices recuse themselves from oil, gas case

Christopher Kutz quoted in Daily Journal, April 10, 2013 (registration required)

Christopher Kutz, a legal ethics expert who teaches at UC Berkeley School of Law, said it’s not ideal for state Supreme Court justices to recuse themselves. But it’s better than the alternative, he said.  “The alternative is justices voting in cases in which they have a financial interest.”

Christopher Kutz Reacts to Strauss-Kahn Case

PBS Newshour, August 23, 2011 Host Ray Suarez

I remember the thunderclap of the announcement in—early in the morning in France in May when he was arrested. This was the man who was likely to be the next president. And, suddenly, the political system was upended, followed by the next great shock at the end of June, when the DA announced that the case was essentially collapsing.

Christopher Kutz Examines Strauss-Kahn Case

Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2011 by Christopher Kutz,0,1568348.story

The trivialization of his past thuggish behavior as “seduction” and “loving women” marks the dirty if open secret of French politics: an elite tolerance for corruption and misbehavior that is nearly as much an outlier among developed nations as the American taste for prison farms as social policy.

Chris Kutz Comments on BP Investigation and UC Contract

Los Angeles Times, July 30, 2010 by Michael Hiltzik,0,1032270.column

“I’m waiting to see that happens with the investigation,” he says. “The oil spill is tragic and clearly negligent, but that alone shouldn’t be enough to cause us to revoke the partnership. But if we’re getting into serious criminal negligence, deliberate indifference to environmental or health risks, then the university needs to think about who it’s working with.”

Chris Kutz Questions Expansion of College Athletic Conferences

Inside Higher Ed, June 9, 2010 by David Moltz

“In general, of course, more revenue (assuming it is applied towards existing program costs) would be a good thing, though all the predictions are very speculative, of course,” wrote Kutz in an e-mail. “On the other hand, the faculty would certainly be concerned if the change in the league led to a lessening of the commitment of academic excellence of the member schools (or a greater tolerance for pressure on athletes at students). And there is worry that a bigger division will increase the pace of the spending arms race that has proven so costly to college sports.”

Chris Kutz Says It’s Premature to Examine UC Contract with BP

The Fresno Bee, June 6, 2010 by Laurel Rosenhall

“If it turns out that BP is guilty of serious criminal misconduct in relation to its environmental obligations, that could raise a question under this clause” of the contract, Chris Kutz, a UC Berkeley law professor who chairs the academic Senate, wrote in an e-mail to The Bee. “But I believe it is premature to begin any serious discussion until more facts are known.”

Christopher Edley and Chris Kutz Debate Pros and Cons of Online Education

KQED Forum, May 20, 2010 Host Michael Krasny

Edley: It’s an idea, it’s a vision, it’s something that I think we should definitely move toward but carefully because we obviously don’t want to sacrifice quality in any way. My principal motivation is access; it’s the social justice component of it…. And I think we really need to explore online technology as a way to do it not just for UC eligible students within California, whom we might not otherwise be able to serve, but ultimately for similarly qualified, similarly prepared students in Kentucky, in Kuala Lumpur.

Kutz: I’m sure Chris Edley would agree with this. It’s not simply about certifying competence. It’s about leading somebody into the kind of education process that really takes place in two dimensions: one is the dimension between the student and the instructor, and involves quite a lot of back and forth between student and instructor; and the second, and I think equally important, is the interaction among the students…. The online courses … do miss that component to a certain degree.

Chris Kutz Thinks UC Athletic Subsidies Must Be Cut

The Sacramento Bee, April 30, 2010 by Laurel Rosenhall

“Just like the university as a whole should think about what its size and shape should be… the same follows for intercollegiate athletics,” said Christopher Kutz, a law professor who sits on the panel advising the chancellor. “Our resources are not up to our size.”

Chris Kutz Thinks UC Needs to Belt Tighten

San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 2010 by Nanette Asimov

“We have to do this. I don’t think we have a choice,” said law Professor Chris Kutz, who chairs the Faculty Senate and served on the committee that analyzed the consultants’ findings. “We’ve been a very decentralized, sluggish bureaucracy for a long time.”

Chris Kutz Urges UC to Stop Subsidizing Athletics

San Francisco Chronicle, April 1, 2010 by Nanette Asimov

“This is meant to be a come-to-Jesus moment for athletics, in which (the department) realizes that it needs to make difficult choices to stay within a sustainable level of resources,” said law professor and panelist Christopher Kutz, chairman of UC Berkeley’s Academic Senate of tenured instructors.

Chris Kutz and Christopher Edley Fault UC Inaction on Budget Crisis

The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2010 by Josh Keller (requires registration; go to G:\Law School in the News\News Clips for article)

“There’s a political problem,” said Christopher L. Kutz, chair of the Berkeley campus’s Academic Senate. “In order to have credibility with the voters, we need to show that we’re thinking seriously, that we know it’s a problem.”

“We need some serious dental implants for this if we’re going to make any progress,” Mr. Edley said. “I don’t know any significant organization that defines or achieves budgetary priorities from the bottom up, so that poses a challenge for a university that very much believes that academics have to be focused on and delivered from the bottom up. We’re not there yet.”

Chris Kutz and Stephen Rosenbaum Expect University Policies to Comply with Law

Campus Progress, March 3, 2010 by Rebecca Green

“There’s a specialized set of case law regulating what a university can do,” explains Christopher Kutz, chair of the UC–Berkeley academic senate. “It’s not a criminal process.… It’s a different kind of entity.” Kutz says the academic senate has been following the student conduct cases and will be sitting down with the Center for Student Conduct to ensure that university policies comply with both the law and fairness.

Rosenbaum, who is taking on Bowin and other students’ cases pro bono, helped revise the code of student conduct 30 years ago when he was attending Berkeley’s law school…. “These students were guinea pigs,” Rosenbaum says. “It’s going to make them think twice before participating in any kind of lawful protest, and I think that’s part of the message the university was trying to send.”

Christopher Edley, Chris Kutz, Jesse Choper Discuss Academic Freedom and Prof Yoo

PBS, The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, October 20, 2009 by Spencer Michels

Christopher Edley, dean, U.C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law: While many students and faculty are critical of the Bush administration policies and even of some of John’s actions, they think that academic freedom means that his right to be here and to teach has to be protected, until or unless there’s some sort of a conviction.

Christopher Kutz, president, U.C. Berkeley Academic Senate: You need something more than simply incompetence to revoke a professor’s tenure, especially somebody who’s been hired, promoted, published in the top journals. John is one of the most prolific scholars on the Boalt faculty.

Jesse Choper, law professor: He gave them an approach that was wholly consistent with virtually everything he did as a scholar beforehand.

Chris Kutz Argues for State Funding of Public Education

The New York Times, October 15, 2009 by Chris Kutz and UC Faculty

If the legislators and the public have come to see investment in an educated citizenry as anything less than the central pillar of social and economic growth, then we educators must redouble our efforts to make the case.

Chris Kutz Supports UC Decision to Hire Bain & Co. to Analyze Budget

-Contra Costa Times, October 1, 2009 by Matt Krupnick

For the most part, instructors seem to be accepting that, said law professor Christopher Kutz, chairman of the campus Academic Senate. “We were really impressed by Bain,” said Kutz, who was involved in choosing the company. “They said the right things, and they understand their limits.”

-San Francisco Chronicle, October 5, 2009 by Nanette Asimov

Law Professor Chris Kutz, who chairs the Faculty Senate, likened the situation to a homeowner who wants to save money on the heating bill and invests in a new furnace. “We think there’s a good chance of achieving savings that dwarf this investment,” Kutz said.

Stephen Rosenbaum, Chris Kutz, Susan Gluss Respond to Questions about Professor Yoo

The Daily Californian, May 8, 2009 by Katie Meyer (Corrected May 11)

“One can argue about the appropriateness of someone teaching in a law school who has expressed those interpretations of the law,” Rosenbaum said.

“The dean is always mindful of the interplay between academic freedom, which is the right to express an opinion no matter how vile or odious, and the need for law professors to abide by the highest ethical and professional standards,” Gluss said.

“I do not believe that the memos are professionally adequate statements about the law, nor did the Justice Department—they repudiated all the memos written by John Yoo,” [Kutz] said.

Chris Kutz Notes Problems with Privately Funded University Research

The Daily Californian, May 6, 2009 by Carol Yur

One concern with privately funded research is that companies want immediate gains, which may conflict with the university’s interests, said Christopher Kutz, a Boalt Hall School of Law professor and vice chairman of the campus’s Academic Senate. “There are some special concerns about private corporate funding having to do with short-term profit interest,” he said. “Finding an intersection with short-term interests with the university’s interest can be challenging, but I think it’s also possible.”

Christopher Kutz Explains Limits of Spanish Case against U.S. Attorneys

The Daily Californian, April 1, 2009 by Erika Oblea

The court accuses Yoo and other lawyers of the administration with creating a legal framework that justified the torture of a Spanish citizen, said Christopher Kutz, a Boalt Hall School of Law professor and vice chairman of the campus’s Academic Senate. But because the case is being reviewed in Spain, Kutz said it is doubtful whether Yoo and the other lawyers will be arrested. “The likelihood of him being arrested and standing trial is basically zero,” Kutz said. “The case has legal significance apart from that, because it concerns the possible violation of serious domestic and international laws.”

Chris Kutz Says UC Berkeley’s Academic Senate May Consider Inquiry about Professor’s Off-Campus Work

The Panther, March 30, 2009 by Martin Syjuco
Corrected 4/20/09, Correction Printed 4/27/09

“It is possible that the Academic Senate will take up an inquiry based on these complaintsֽ” he said. “Yoo would not be disciplined for his work outside the university unless, and until, there are credible findings.”