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Amid Controversy, DePaul Names Interim Dean

The latest news to come out of DePaul University College of Law is that it has named a new dean, Illinois Appellate Court Judge Warren D. Wolfson. But that merely begs the question: What happened to the former dean, Glen Weissenberger?

It is a question many students, faculty, alumni and bloggers are asking in the wake of Weissenberger's hasty dismissal last week by University Provost Helmut Epp. Supporters have launched a petition drive for his reinstatement and started a Facebook group in his support. The Chicago Tribune reports that within three hours of the petition's posting, more than 200 faculty, students and and alumni had signed it.

The uproar is due not just to the former dean's popularity, but also to the circumstances of his dismissal. Law Librarian Blog summarizes what is believed to have happened:

Weissenberger was fired apparently because of a recent letter he sent to the Consultant on Legal Education for the American Bar Association, disclosing that certain information about tuition revenue sharing given to the ABA Accreditation Committee was no longer accurate. According to published reports, he sent the letter last week because the ABA Accreditation Committee is meeting this week. Should be an interesting meeting.

More details on this come from Brian Leiter, who collected several of the ABA documents and provides this summary:

I believe the following is an accurate summary: the College of Law at DePaul was entitled to 75% of its tuition revenues under an ABA-enforced agreement between the College and the University Administration; the University has repeatedly breached this agreement. Professor Weissenberger challenged the University's failure to honor the agreement. Now he's been fired.

The appointment of Wolfson as interim dean hardly seems likely to be the end of this situation. Already, it appears an associate dean will resign in protest over the appointment. To keep up with developments at DePaul, check back with the blogs mentioned above as well as others that are following this story, including Above the Law, the ABA Journal, Law Blog and The Faculty Lounge.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 23, 2009 at 03:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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