December 11, 2008
Duquesne Ousts Law School Dean
Duquesne Dean Donald J. Guter was given an ultimatum, resign or be fired. Guter, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral and judge advocate general who was dean of Duquesne University School of Law since Aug. 1, 2005 opted to step down and return to a teaching job. He reportedly was give 24 hours to make his decision. No reason for the removal was given but according to the Pittsburg Tribune-Review university officials cited "unmet expectations" for his removal after three years at the helm, while Guter blamed "personal animus" that he says he tried to reconcile earlier this year.
Removal of a sitting dean during the term of an employment contract is unusual but it does occassionally happen to first-contract deans like Guter. In the mid-1990s, one-time Miami Law School Dean Samuel C. Thompson, Jr. (Penn State) was given the boot with about six months left in his first contract. In that case, Thompson's administrative style alienated the majority of the law faculty. In this case, it sounds like Dean Guter's relationship with the University reached a point of no return. [JH]
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