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UC-Berkeley Taps Harvard Professor as Law School Dean

UC-Berkeley Taps Harvard Professor as Law School DeanBERKELEY, Calif.
Harvard University law professor Christopher Edley Jr. has been tapped to become dean of Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California, Berkeley.
Edley, who has taught at Harvard since 1981, will assume the post no later than July 1, Berkeley spokeswoman Marie Felde said last month.
“I chose him because he is absolutely outstanding,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He is a leader in issues related to social justice and has written some magnificent books on issues related to affirmative action and is concerned about civil rights and immigration, all of the issues that are important in California and nationally.
“He is one of the great leaders in legal education and is a great mind. This is a tremendously exciting appointment.”
Edley admitted that the choice to leave Harvard was a “difficult decision,” pointing specifically to his work with the Civil Rights Project, a multidisciplinary think tank that focuses on racial and ethnic justice, law and policy. Edley co-founded the Civil Rights Project with another Harvard professor, Dr. Gary Orfield, in 1996.
“I was only able to make this decision because I am fully confident that CRP will continue to grow and thrive here at Harvard University under Orfield’s exemplary leadership, along with the participation of several other distinguished colleagues on Harvard’s faculty,” Edley said. He also said that he will establish a Civil Rights Project at Berkeley, “which will work in close partnership with Harvard, forming an enterprise that is bigger, better and bi-coastal.”
Orfield congratulated Berkeley on hiring Edley and looked forward to continuing his partnership with Edley.
“Chris has agreed to be a senior adviser to the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, and I have agreed to play the same role in the new Berkeley effort. … Knowing Chris’ great energy, imagination, vision and commitment, I have confidence that the University of California at Berkeley effort will lend new power to research and advocacy for civil rights and engage the energy of many scholars across the University of California at Berkeley campus and the West.”
Edley, who is also a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton and director of the White House Review of Affirmative Action, where he was chief architect of Clinton’s so-called “Mend it, don’t end it” affirmative action policy. He was also a senior adviser to Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. Most recently, Edley and his wife, former Clinton White House official Maria Echaveste, have served as chief domestic policy advisers to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean.
Berkeley’s law school has been searching for a permanent dean since last fall, after Dr. John P. Dwyer resigned following an allegation of sexual harassment. Other finalists for the position at Boalt included Edward Rubin of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, E. Thomas Sullivan of the University of Minnesota Law School and Stephen C. Yeazell of UCLA School of Law.
— Associated Press and news release

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