According to various reports (including here, here, and here), Tom Keefe, who was appointed last August to serve as the interim dean at St. Louis University School of Law for the 2012-13 academic year, has resigned from that position.
Last fall, I argued here that Keefe could not legitimately serve as interim dean at SLU Law for three separate reasons: (1) he was maintaining his full-time law practice while serving as interim dean; (2) he was serving as a member of the SLU University Board of Trustees while serving as interim dean; and most importantly (3) the SLU Law faculty played no role in his selection as interim dean. Apparently, however, Keefe's resignation was not prompted by a concern over violations of basic norms of institutional governance and ABA standards, but instead by complaints regarding a number of offensive comments that he has made.
It is regrettable for the folks at SLU Law (faculty, students, staff, and alumni) that it has come to this. At the same time, the episode provides a splendid example of how things can go wrong when a university administrator disregards the appropriate role of the faculty regarding a decision of enormous importance to a law school. The administator in question (SLU President Lawrence Biondi) ought to be taken to task.
Any chance that Tom Keefe will encourage his fellow Trustees to issue Biondi an appropriate reprimand for the poor judgment that Biondi exercised in hiring Keefe as interim dean?