Case Western Reserve Dean Resigns
Lawrence Mitchell, dean of Case Western Reserve Law School, has resigned from his post.
“Upon thorough reflection, I have concluded that I cannot return to my job as dean with the same energy and enthusiasm that characterized my earlier service,” Mitchell wrote in a letter to students. “At this point, it is in the best interest of the law school for me to step down as dean. I will retain my position as a tenured professor and continue to seek to serve the school however I can.”
Mitchell, who has been on paid leave since November 6, is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Raymond Ku, a Case Western Reserve law professor and a former professor of the year at the school. Ku’s suit claims Mitchell retaliated against him for reporting that Mitchell had engaged in inappropriate touching and comments towards women.
According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the university is standing behind Mitchell, who will be taking a sabbatical during the 2014-2015 school year. A trial is scheduled for November 3.
The university will begin a search for a new dean after “consulting extensively with internal and external constituencies.” Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf are serving as acting deans in Mitchell’s place.
Mitchell was appointed dean in 2011. After graduating from Columbia Law, Mitchell spent six years practicing corporate law before serving as a law professor at George Washington for 20 years, where he founded and oversaw the school’s Center for Law, Economics and Finance. He also authored The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry, which earned ForeWord Magazine’s 2007 Gold Medal for the Best Book in Business and Economics. As dean, Mitchell has been credited with re-tooling the school’s curriculum to emphasize practical experience and leadership development. He froze tuition and offered no-cost summer courses to free students up for internships and pro bono work during the school year. However, his term was also plagued by low placement rates and declining enrollments.