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Harvard Removing Law Professor Ron Sullivan as Residential Dean for Representing Harvey Weinstein

Harvard Removing Law Professor Ron Sullivan as Residential Dean for Representing Harvey Weinstein

“Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana said Saturday he would not renew the appointments of law professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans”

For months now, students at Harvard have expressed outrage and even held protests because law professor Ron Sullivan is representing disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Now, the school is removing Sullivan from his position as a house dean.

Students have been calling for his firing since at least February. The school conducted a ‘climate review’ of Sullivan in March.

Now the school is removing him from his dean position at the school’s Winthrop House.

Josh Siegel reports at the Washington Examiner:

Harvard removing black faculty dean for representing Harvey Weinstein at rape trial

Harvard College is removing a faculty dean who drew controversy for deciding to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein at his rape trial this fall.

Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana said Saturday he would not renew the appointments of law professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans when their terms end on June 30.

Students who lived in Harvard’s Winthrop House, the undergraduate student residence that Sullivan supervises — and where he also lives — had demanded he be removed from his job because of his work for Weinstein.

Does Harvard have any idea how damaging this is to their brand? People see this for what it is. Sullivan is being punished because social justice warrior students don’t want Weinstein to be represented by a Harvard law professor.

Has no one explained to these students that law professors often take on high profile and controversial cases in order to write about them and use them in their teaching?

Kate Taylor of the New York Times has more:

Harvard Drops Harvey Weinstein Lawyer as a Faculty Dean

Harvard said on Saturday that a law professor who is representing Harvey Weinstein would not continue as faculty dean of an undergraduate house after his term ends on June 30, bowing to months of pressure from students.

The professor, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., and his wife, Stephanie Robinson, who is a lecturer at the law school, have been the faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s residential houses for undergraduate students, since 2009. They were the first African-American faculty deans in Harvard’s history…

In a statement, Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson said, “We are surprised and dismayed by the action Harvard announced today. We believed the discussions we were having with high-level university representatives were progressing in a positive manner, but Harvard unilaterally ended those talks.”

“We will now take some time to process Harvard’s actions and consider our options,” their statement continued. “We are sorry that Harvard’s actions and the controversy surrounding us has contributed to the stress on Winthrop students at this already stressful time.”

The decision not to renew the appointments of Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Robinson as faculty deans does not affect their positions at the law school, where Mr. Sullivan is the Jesse Climenko Clinical Professor of Law and the director of the Criminal Justice Institute.

In the 1980’s, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz represented Claus von Bülow in his appeal for a murder case which had become a nightly news item.

Sullivan has the backing of many Harvard Law School professors, including Dershowitz.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

52 Harvard Law School Professors Voice Support for Sullivan

Fifty-two Harvard Law School professors signed a letter supporting their fellow Professor and Winthrop House Faculty Dean Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. as he faces on-campus scrutiny following his decision to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Law School professors Janet E. Halley and Elizabeth Bartholet ’62 organized the effort, sending a draft to other professors and faculty clinicians early last week. Fifty-two faculty members — including Professor Emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz, former Harvard Law School Dean Martha L. Minow, and Professor Laurence H. Tribe — signed on to the document, and the resulting letter was published in the Boston Globe on Friday.

This is a sad day for Harvard. They have put the anger of a campus mob ahead of the very foundations of our legal system.

Featured image via YouTube.


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I’m certainly no fan of Weinstein, BUT it’s now apparently no longer permitted to defend someone’s Constitution rights if you’re at Harvard. What a liberal $hithole.

    Valerie in reply to MAJack. | May 12, 2019 at 10:54 am

    It is not Liberal to punish a criminal defense lawyer for doing his job. That’s about as far from “liberal” as one can get. It is, however, perfectly in keeping with the current attitude of the Democrat Party.

      Sanddog in reply to Valerie. | May 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      Exactly. Now the left is actually angry at the idea of a lawyer representing a client in a criminal trial. That’s so bizarre, even 10 years ago I would never have seen it coming.

    n.n in reply to MAJack. | May 12, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Liberalism is divergent. Progressivism is monotonic. Conservativism preserves state. #PrinciplesMatter

      maxmillion in reply to n.n. | May 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Conservatism conserves the culture.

      CaptTee in reply to n.n. | May 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      Conservatism preserves the rule of law and the Constitution as ratified, not yielding to the whim of the day or what is popular today, but not tomorrow.

      Anyone who would deny people due process of law because they are unpopular would also support Jim Crow laws and lynchings. NEVER trust such people!

      I think Harvey Weinstein is probably guilty of most, but probably not all, he has been charged with. He, like you and me, deserves dues process and his day in court with a competent attorney, so he only gets convicted of those things that he actually did and not made up crimes.

The intelligentsia has turned into the new Intolorigentsia The Carrie Nations of a new era of tyranny.

healthguyfsu | May 12, 2019 at 10:25 am

Gestapo-esque move.

    CaptTee in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 13, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Get your history and analogies correct. It was a Brown Shirt move.

    The Gestapo would have arrested him and given him a secret trial and executed him without publicizing it.

That Constitution stuff is lost on these young prog fascists. Leftism is simply mob action cloaked in “justice” trappings. There is no reasoning with it or debating it. In the end, it has to be dealt with by ballots or bullets.

JusticeDelivered | May 12, 2019 at 10:40 am

There is a cancer destroying what are now institutions of lower learning.

DieJustAsHappy | May 12, 2019 at 10:47 am

Sounds as though Socratic Questioning has become passé at Harvard, although not there alone.

“Does Harvard have any idea how damaging this is to their brand? ”

It has been a long time since there were only 10 colleges in this country. The line those colleges have been feeding their customers has degenerated from “come here for a good education” to “It isn’t what you know, but who you know.”

By the ’80s, graduates of those schools were openly opining that the one thing those schools had to offer was the students and their contacts, not the teachers.

Now we have a law school delivering vigilante “justice” to a criminal defense lawyer for representing a criminal.

The school has abandoned any legitimate mission it may once have had.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Valerie. | May 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Your criticism of Harvard is justified, but, unless I have missed something, Mr. Weinstein is “the accused” and will not become a criminal until convicted of a crime. Please correct me if I am wrong on the Criminal- Accused issue.

bobinreverse | May 12, 2019 at 11:10 am

Good that he didn’t tell any black students to pull up your pants study and go to work if you want get ahead in life. Doing that he would soon be sharing a cell with CoZ.

Time to fire all the professors who went out of their way to represent terrorists.

    Right. Because that’s going to fix this.

    Might as well exhume John Adams for representing the British soldiers on trial for the Boston Massacre.

    No, it’s no good. Defending “anti-Zionist anti-racist anti-imperialist” killers is not only allowed, it is morally mandatory (in the eyes of the Left, that is).

    In many parts of “elite” academia (read: Harvard) hunting da Joose is always in season.

      Except his ethnicity is not the issue in this case.

      The issue is the “Progressive” idea that “the seriousness of the charges against him means he is guilty and not entitled to due process!”

      While “Progressives” may be unrepentant racists, on this issue they will turn on anyone without regard to race or ethnicity!

    tomgrace4 in reply to Milhouse. | May 13, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Exactly. If it is wrong to the point of being terminated by Harvard for representing an accused rapist, it ought to be doubly wrong for representing an accused terrorist who plots to kill or actually murders many Americans.

“This is a sad day for Harvard. They have put the anger of a campus mob ahead of the very foundations of our legal system.”
You reap what you sow….when was the last time Harvard truly educated people? They sowed the SJ mob mentality, now they are reaping it.
These two people are owed not only an apology form the school, but the kids who created this are owed a much better education.
Shame on Harvard.

The purge continues. Forget the talk of a two-tiered justice system…it is rapidly becoming one pure tier of “justice” and the former second has no mark of justice. Before hiring a lawyer, better check where their degree is from….Will they represent you or The Movement?

It’s obvious that white women are higher on the SJW outrage hierarchy than black men.
I believe that more outrage is in order.

JackinSilverSpring | May 12, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Why aren’t black civil rights organizations yelling racism?

Did Chairman Mao leave a large endowment to Harvard? He would have been very pleased to see this turn of events.

mochajava76 | May 12, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Not sure if they could do this, but the 52 Law School faculty members should draft another letter stating that they will protest ANY of the undergraduates from Winthrop House (or the university at large) who signed any protest letter from being accepted to Harvard Law School.

The Law School professors should say they disagree strongly with their values and should any such student be accepted by Harvard Law School, these professors will not mentor nor recommend these students to any law firms.

Let the students know that such actions have consequences, just as elections do.

The Left’s infantile totalitarianism, writ large.

Absolutely disgusting conduct by Harvard.

Does Harvard believe that criminal defendants are not entitled to a robust defense? More importantly – – does Harvard believe that defense attorneys should suffer personal vilification and professional punishment, for representing unpopular criminal defendants? This flies against the most basic notions of fairness and legal ethics. To say nothing of undermining a major foundation of the criminal justice system – – the right of criminal defendants to competent legal representation.

Actually, if you take a look at most Rules of Professional Conduct and State ethical codes for attorneys, it is usually stated that attorneys should not avoid representing clients who are unpopular in a given community. The notion being that even unpopular people or businesses should have access to the services of a competent attorney.

Harvard Law School should lose its ABA accreditation after this stunt.

A purely racist reaction and they will get away with it because its Harvard and thereby never wrong. Where is the African-American Perry Mason “everybody is entitled to representation” we need today?

Best not to go overboard on this one. The students and the University have been saying that the matter did not involve his choice of clients, but his performance in the role of Faculty Dean, and that this has been a problem for years. There’s some evidence of that:

    Exactly. It looks very much as though he had some issues and that the only way to remove a person with his kind of status was to play the “Weinstein defender” card.

    I agree. This looks like a decision that was based on a history of conflict and disagreement over several years. I also suspect they used the Weinstein situation as a politically acceptable excuse to dismiss two black co-Masters without the SJW students raising hell.

    When I was a resident tutor 40 years ago, the Masters could make or break the atmosphere of a House. We tutors depended on their support, and they could hire and fire us at will. I suspect the situation has changed since then, including dropping the title “Master” for the more PC title, “faculty dean.”

      Tom Servo in reply to OldProf2. | May 13, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I get it now – it’s the same rules now as back in the days of Entitled Nobility, with Professors who can check off all the right victimology boxes being the members of the New Nobility. Well back in the old days no commoner could ever ever directly criticize a member of the Nobility, one could be severely punished for that. So, the only way to take action against one of the Entitled Elite is to come up with some personal moral scandal that offends the Sensibilities of the Day, and then hang it around his neck like a flaming south African tire. And today, looks like Defending Weinstein checks that box.

      The huge downside of living an Entitlement System like that is that nothing is ever done for the reasons that are publicly stated, and everything told to the public as the justification for an action is always a lie – not only that but everyone involved knows it’s a lie, and agrees that the public has to be lied to about everything.

DouglasJBender | May 12, 2019 at 4:57 pm

He is being removed because he is not at least 1/1024th Native American.

“Has no one explained to these students that law professors often take on high profile and controversial cases in order to write about them and use them in their teaching”

What…teaching it’s friggin’ Marketing!

If he’s being removed for performance issues, then that should be stated more clearly, but the problem is that the student mob demanded, and it appears that the administration caved into those demands–will that embolden them? No doubt.

I read the article about issues at Harvard, and although there were issues, it appears that this blew up when someone raised concerns about the effect of the Weinstein representation on students–it’s the social justice warriors raising their heads again–why is it any of the students’ business?

God help them if they’re ever accused of a crime and need representation.

    CaptTee in reply to rochf. | May 13, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    “God help them if they’re ever accused of a crime and need representation.”

    It is not God’s job to protect unrepentant people from the consequences of their choices.

    Better to say, “Repent, before it is too late!”, but that would be politically incorrect and trigger the poor so-called-“social justice warriors”!

One thing remains constant about Harvard–and that is the arrogance of its administration.
Rahash Khurana–a truly old Boston name–was Drew Faust’s (Harvard’s just retired Faustian bargain president) hatchet man for punishing students who had the temerity to belong to private off-campus clubs that did not admit women. Yes everyone must bootstep along the social justice road.

I despise weinstein and all the cowards that protected him for fame and fortune, but to fire anyone for defending him is setting an horrific prescient. The fact that he was fired is a blow to the law profession and the constitution….

All privileges, exemptions and funding to Harvard are for education. Presenting one side of a matter is called indoctrination. These privileges should be revoked by the federal government. End all grants and exemptions to this treason indoctrination camp.