“It was abruptly announced in class [earlier this week] that Dean of University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law Jim Chen is resigning effective in one month. No one knows why. I was wondering if you guys knew anything. He is a really accomplished guy…. a Harvard grad, Fulbright scholar, and former law clerk for Clarence Thomas. People seemed to like him and our rankings have been moving slowly but steadily upwards.”
This was confirmed by a statement from the school:
Jim Chen is resigning as dean of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law effective June 30.
Dean since 2007, Chen plans to take one year of administrative leave. He will retain his appointment as a member of the law faculty.
“It’s been the privilege of my professional life to serve as dean of the UofL law school,” Chen said.
University Provost Shirley Willihnganz credited Chen with several key accomplishments, including converting the night school to a part-time program, establishing a legal clinic and improving fund raising.
“Dean Chen has a strong legal background,” Willihnganz said. “We hope he will agree to share his extensive knowledge of commerce and health law to help us move forward with key initiatives in other areas of the university.”
Though there is no definite indication why he is leaving, Chen’s choice doesn’t seem out of touch with the pressured atmosphere of law schools in this difficult market, with students frustrated enough to sue their schools and less jobs available to graduates than ever before.