A Harvard University law professor who faced criticism on campus for representing Harvey Weinstein in his sexual assault trial is being relieved of his position as faculty dean of an undergraduate house.Professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and his wife, Harvard law lecturer Stephanie Robinson, will no longer be faculty deans of Winthrop House — one of 12 undergraduate residential houses at the Boston-area university — after their term ends June 30, Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana said.
Khurana, in a letter explaining his decision not to renew the couple’s deanships, wrote generally about a deteriorating climate in the 400-student house but did not specify the underlying issue.
“Over the last few weeks, students and staff have continued to communicate concerns about the climate in Winthrop House to the college. The concerns expressed have been serious and numerous,” Khurana wrote.
“This decision in no way lessens my gratitude to them for their contributions to the college.”Sullivan made waves on campus in January when he decided to represent Weinstein, the former movie mogul whose downfall helped launch the #MeToo movement.
Sullivan and Robinson reacted to the decision in a statement to CNN:”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. 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.”