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Harvard Law

Harvard Housing Deans Ousted For Representing Harvey Weinstein

Two faculty deans at Harvard Law have been ousted of their housing deanships after representing Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein against rape charges.

The Patch reports that the law school won’t be renewing Ron Sullivan and his wife Stephanie Robinson as deans of the school’s Winthrop House, where they’ve been responsible for overseeing roughly 400 students for the past decade.

“My decision not to renew the Faculty Deans was informed by a number of considerations,” Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana says in a press release. “Over the last few weeks, students and staff have continued to communicate concerns about the climate in Winthrop House to the College. The concerns expressed have been serious and numerous. The actions that have been taken to improve the climate have been ineffective, and the noticeable lack of faculty dean presence during critical moments has further deteriorated the climate in the House. I have concluded that the situation in the House is untenable.”

In April, two Harvard students wrote an op-ed that highlights why they feel unsafe living in the Winthrop House with Sullivan as their house dean.

“It is naive and irresponsible to believe that Dean Sullivan’s decision to represent Harvey Weinstein will not discourage survivors from reporting their assaults in Winthrop House,” Allison Scharmann and Caroline Kaufman write in their post. “As survivors, it is difficult not to imagine ourselves on that witness stand. We have had our credibility called into question.”

Contributions to Harvard Law

Despite losing their titles as faculty deans, Sullivan and Robinson will continue to teach at Harvard Law, where Sullivan serves as faculty director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute and the Harvard Trial Advocacy Workshop and Robinson serves as a lecturer of law.

“This is a regrettable situation and a very hard decision to make,” Dean Khurana says to students. “I have long admired your Faculty Deans’ commitment to justice and civic engagement, as well as the good work they have done in support of diversity in their House community. I know that some of you are also proud of these efforts. I also know that some of you have been greatly helped and supported by your Faculty Deans in difficult situations. This decision in no way lessens my gratitude to them for their contributions to the College.”

Sources: Harvard College, Patch, Medium