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Case Western Reserve Announces Interim Law Deans to Remain in Posts

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The interim leadership at Case Western Reserve University’s law school will remain through the 2014-2015 school year. The school also said that it will not begin a search for a new leader yet, according to Crain’s Business Cleveland.

The announcement was made across the campus in support of interim deans Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf. The law school has seen an increase in admissions, annual fund contributions and graduate employment with the interim leadership.

The two took over in November after Lawrence Mitchell went on a leave of absence. Mitchell took the leave due to a lawsuit filed against him by law professor Raymond Ku. Ku claimed that the dean retaliated against him for reporting that Mitchell possibly sexually harassed law school staff members and faculty.

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Mitchell resigned from his post on March 1.

“From the very start of their leadership, Jessica and Michael made clear that the school’s success demanded a collective effort,” Case Western Reserve president Barbara R. Snyder said in the announcement. “By encouraging active and broad engagement, they helped create an environment where everyone recognized they could contribute — and did.”

Law school constituents said “they emphasized the remarkable momentum the school had begun to enjoy, as well as genuine admiration for the interim deans’ emphasis on collaboration and transparency.”

Applications have increased by some 60 percent and the incoming class increased by 50 percent in the last year. From the class of 2013, 91 percent are employed, which is a 6.5 percent increase from the previous year’s class.

“Advancing our school of law is both a team effort and a process,” Berg and Scharf said in the statement. “Over the past nine months, our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to demonstrate our strengths and commitment to students. Our alumni have called admitted students and supported us in countless other ways. And our current students also took the time to explain the advantages of coming to Case Western Reserve. Our gratitude to all of them cannot be overstated.”

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