As the Associate Deans and Senior Administrators of Berkeley Law, we write to report on recent events and to express our admiration for—and faith in—our staff, students, faculty, and alumni. We have challenges ahead, but the law school will face them as a community.
Sujit Choudhry has resigned as dean of Berkeley Law, as has been widely reported. Under the University of California’s tenure policy, he remains a member of the school’s faculty at present.
We expect campus leaders to announce an interim dean soon, within two weeks, if not sooner.
Provost Claude Steele has requested input from students, staff, and faculty with respect to the selection of an interim dean.
We strongly encourage those of you with views on the subject to make them known to Provost Steele as quickly as possible. As soon as we know more about the process for selecting an interim dean, we will share it with the community.
This has been an extraordinary week at the law school. The faculty learned about the allegations on Wednesday morning, along with the rest of the Berkeley Law community. Faculty members issued a statement several hours after hearing of the allegations, condemning the conduct alleged in the complaint. Later that day, central campus released the University’s Title IX investigative report, in which then-Dean Choudhry admitted to conduct that led the University to conclude he had violated UC Berkeley’s sexual harassment policy. Faculty and senior staff met with Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Provost Steele Thursday morning and expressed their condemnation of the behavior to which then-Dean Choudhry admitted in the report. Without violating the confidentiality of that meeting, we can report that many faculty members expressed grave concerns about the University’s handling of this incident.
We would like to take this opportunity to commend the staff of Berkeley Law for their dedication and professionalism. We are so fortunate to work every day with the wonderful, compassionate members of our staff, and we know this has been an especially challenging time for them.
We are also encouraged and inspired by the response of our students, who have demonstrated an admirable commitment to the school during this very difficult time.
And we are proud of our alumni for their engagement, encouragement, wisdom and support.
We are looking forward, as a community, to confronting and addressing the concerns raised by this conduct—including how it was addressed administratively—and the broader issue of ensuring a safe and supportive environment for all faculty, staff, and students. We would also like to acknowledge the courage of Tyann Sorrell, the former dean’s executive assistant.
Berkeley Law has been through other crises in its 100-plus years as a public law school. As before, we know that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni will hew to our strong core values of community and justice and demonstrate the resilience and strength that will allow us to emerge stronger than before.
Ty Alper, Clinical Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for Experiential Education
Amy Ambrose, Assistant Dean of Advancement
Michael Bazeley, Director of Communications
Patricia Donnelly, Assistant Dean for Instructional and Information Technology and Services
Holly Doremus, James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research
Terrence J. Galligan, Assistant Dean, Career Development
Georgia Giatras, Senior Assistant Dean & Chief Operating Officer
Annik Hirshen, Dean of Students
Andrew Knab, Chief Financial Officer
Calvin Morrill, Stephan A. Riesenfeld Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program
Sheri Showalter, Director of Human Resources
Edward Tom, Assistant Dean, Admissions
Kathleen Vanden Heuvel, Adjunct Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for Capital Projects
Molly Van Houweling, Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for the J.D. Curriculum and Teaching
Charles Weisselberg, Shannon C. Turner Professor of Law, and Associate Dean for Advanced Degree Programs and Global Engagement
Susan Whitman, Assistant Dean, Academic Planning and Coordination