Today DePaul named 76 year old Illinois state appellate judge Warren Wolfson the interim dean of its law school. The university fired Dean Glen Weissenberger last week after he alerted the ABA accrediation committee that the University was not - in his view - living up to its promised financial commitments to the law school.
The Trib is reporting that Associate Dean Stepehn Siegel told the university's provost that he would resign if the administration installed an outsider as its interim dean. Here is the text of an email from Siegel (apparently to the DePaul community) alerting them to his decision:
Late last night I informed Provost Epp, President Holtschneider, several trustees, and my fellow Associate Deans, that I will resign my Associate Deanship "effective when the expected announcement is made that an interim dean has been appointed from outside the law school community without any faculty input or consultation."
It was a difficult decision to reach given that my associate deanship, in part, involved working with you - as individuals and as a collective - on our mutual academic development. You should notice that, although I strongly disagree with the decision to remove Glen, my resignation is tied into the mode of his replacement.
In my 37 years of service to DePaul I have served under 5 deans. (I'm not counting interim and acting deans). Four of them were replaced mid-term. The three mid-term replacements before Glen were removed because they had become incompetent or ineffective. I whole-heartedly welcomed those replacements and only wished the University had acted sooner. But every previous time, the University turned to the faculty with expectation and trust that we would step into the breech - and we did, superbly, working cooperatively to bring the best out of the situation. This time, although we have the most talented and prestigous collection of faculty we ever have had - we have effectively been put into a two year receivership - with no consultation, dialogue, trust.
My associate deanship consisted of two parts. One part was working with you - giving and participating in workshops, reading drafts, discussing ideas. I did that before becoming a dean, that is what colleagues do for each other. I look forward to continuing that as a colleague.
The other part was doing work that Glen would otherwise have to do - taking notes at T&P meetings, writing reports and recommendations for the T&P process etc. I was an enabler - I enabled Glen to do other things. I do not want to enable this transition.
With a heavy heart,
Image: Judge Wolfson