BERKELEY (KRON) — In the wake of a sexual harassment scandal at Berkeley’s law school, the university on Tuesday named an interim dean.
Law professor Melissa Murray graduated from Yale Law School and joined the Berkeley faculty in 2006.
Murray said in a statement, “I am humbled by this opportunity to lead one of the best law schools in the country. Berkeley Law is fortunate to have wonderful staff, students, alumni, and faculty. I am excited to work
with them, and with the campus leadership, as we move forward.”
Professor Murray succeeds the former dean Sujit Choudhry. He resigned on March 10 amid allegations in a lawsuit that he sexually harassed his executive assistant.
Choudhry remains on the law school faculty under the university’s tenure policy.
The university released a report corroborating the claims and docked his pay by 10 percent while ordering him to pursue counseling.
Law school officials said Murray’s appointment, which begins Tuesday, was decided with input from Berkeley Law faculty, students and staff following Choudhry’s resignation.
“Melissa Murray is a widely respected scholar and teacher, as renowned for the quality of her scholarship as her engagement with students,” UC Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks said in a statement.
“She will provide excellent leadership at Berkeley Law as we search for a permanent dean, and we will provide her with every form of support,” Dirks said.
Berkeley Law officials said she has taught a range of courses that include family law, constitutional law, and criminal law. She is the faculty director of Berkeley Law’s Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, which is a multidisciplinary research center.
Berkeley Law officials said the responsibilities of a dean include academic, intellectual and administrative leadership, as well as advancing a vision for the school’s future, fundraising and building partnerships and strong relationships with alumni.
The search for a permanent Berkeley law school dean could take at least a year.
Bay City News contributed to this report