Paul L. Caron

Monday, June 22, 2009

DePaul Names Illinois Judge as Interim Dean Over Unanimous Opposition of Faculty

Following up on my recent posts (here and here) on DePaul's abrupt firing of Dean Glen Weissenberger: the law school today named as interim dean 76 year old Illinois state appellate judge Warren Wolfson, effective August 15.  In response, DePaul's Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship & Faculty Stephen Siegel has resigned his administrative position.  In recognition of the turmoil the school is in, Judge Wolfson will serve a two-year term, and a search for a permanent dean will not begin until Summer 2010.

Update #1: Here is the unanimous faculty resolution presented to the Provost at this afternoon's meeting:

The Faculty of the College of Law protests the recent actions taken by the University administration without consultation with, or involvement by, the students, faculty, staff, or other members of the College of Law community. We are especially saddened and angered by the summary removal of our Dean, Glen Weissenberger. We strongly believe that these actions violate the principles of trust and shared responsibility that have characterized, and should continue to characterize, the governance of the College.

As a faculty, we are united in our commitment to the continued excellence and diversity of the University and to the Vincentian mission. We are proud of the contribution that the College of Law—students, faculty, and staff—have made toward these shared ends. It is our unanimous view that the unilateral actions taken by the administration are unfair to our students and to other members of the College of Law community who have contributed to and relied upon the progress the College has made under Dean Weissenberger’s leadership.

We particularly emphasize our opposition to the University administration’s announced intention to install an interim dean without any input from the College of Law community. We strongly urge the administration not to implement this action.

Update #2:  DePaul students are engaging in a sit-in at 3:00 p.m. CST on the 2nd floor of the Lewis Center to protest the firing of Dean Weissenberger.

Update #3:  Chi-Town Daily News:  DePaul Planned for More than a Month to Remove Law Dean:

DePaul officials had been plotting for more than a month to remove Glen Weissenberger, the dean of the College of Law, a spokeswoman said today. Weissenerger was unseated as dean late Thursday. But DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider and Provost Helmut Epp approached his replacement, state appellate court Judge Warren Wolfson, a month ago.

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I guess Roland Burris was unavailable. Whatever the merits of Dean Weissenberger, this has been handled atrociously.

Posted by: Robert Strassfeld | Jun 22, 2009 9:40:35 PM