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Jessica Berg, Michael Scharf Appointed as Deans of Case Western Reserve University
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Two interim deans will now lead Case Western University as its full-time deans, after their leadership led to significant improvements within the school.

Summary: Two interim deans will now lead Case Western University as its full-time deans, after their leadership led to significant improvements within the school.

According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, two new deans have been appointed to lead Case Western University.


Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf, who have served as interim deans for nearly the past two years, will formally become the deans of the school.

On August 21, the school announced that the pair would be appointed as the deans, noting their significant contributions to fundraising, the school’s reputation, and admissions applications to the school.

Under their guidance, the school received its largest gift ever–$4.5 million to endow a professorship and support scholarships. With this donation, the school set an $8.9 million annual fundraising record.

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Additionally, improvements in GPA and LSAT scores have been reported, employment rates increased, and the school was able to tighten its acceptance rate to 33%, down from 49%.

Case Western Reserve president Barbara Snyder said, “Jessica and Michael worked closely with faculty, staff, students and alumni to create a sense of community and possibility. The results have been outstanding, and we look forward to the school’s continued progress.”

Berg and Scharf took over in November 2013 after former dean Lawrence Mitchell took a leave of absence after a lawsuit was filed by Raymond Ku. In that suit, Ku argued that he reported Mitchell’s possible sexual harassment of law school faculty and staff to the university, and that Mitchell had retaliated against him in response.

Did you know that a school could make such significant turnarounds in such a short period?

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Click here to read about the dramatic lawsuit.

By the end of last summer, Ku and the school said their dispute had been resolved. Mitchell is no longer associated with the school. According to, Mitchell was going to rejoin the faculty, but resigned “to pursue other opportunities.” Ku now serves as the director of the school’s Center for Cyberspace Law & Policy.

Read about the settlement in this article.

In the spring of 2014, the law school continued with Berg and Scharf as interim deans, and reevaluated whether a true dean search was necessary. Over the summer, a search was conducted that was limited to candidates within the school. Berg and Scharf were the only members of the faculty nominated for the position. After committee interviews and open meetings, their appointments were confirmed.

Read about those decisions here.

Due to Berg and Scharf’s efforts, the school shot up nine places in U.S. News & World Report rankings. The school has also seen an increase in its quality and number of student applications, which is quite impressive, considering that most schools have seen a drop in enrollment and have lowered their standards over the past few years.

Berg and Scharf said, “We are honored by this opportunity to continue to work with such an amazing community. Everyone — faculty, staff, students and alumni — has come together to support one another and the school at large. Thanks to all of them, we feel great optimism about the future of this law school.”

Source: Crain’s Cleveland Business

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