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August 9, 2012
St. Louis U. Law Dean Resigns With An Angry Letter
There is news that the Dean of St. Louis University resigned in a scathing letter to the University president shortly before he was about to fire her. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that (former) Dean Annette Clark resigned because of what she perceived to be heavy-handed management of the law school by the University president, Fr. Lawrence Biondi. The law school, for example, is moving to a new downtown facility. Clark claims in her letter that school administrators were never consulted on the move or the suitability of the new building. There were also statements regarding the amount of money the University extracted from the law school.
Biondi countered Clark with his own letter. He also named Belleville, IL attorney and law school donor Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. as the interim dean. The PD noted that his appointment marks the third person holding the deanship in two years. The story quotes Keefe that Biondi contacted him weeks ago about taking over the law school. No stories so far have quoted any of the faculty as to their reaction to the events.
The story got more than local coverage as it was picked up by Business Insider, The Sacramento Bee (of all places), and the Wall Street Journal. U.S. News ranks the school at #101. To anyone who might want to gauge the local reaction, I suggest reading the comments that accompany the PD story. The paper quotes extensively from both letters but does not reprint them. [MG]