The tenure of Winthrop Faculty Dean Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. is coming to an end after what has been called a “tumultuous semester” as a result of his representation of Harvey Weinstein and his lack of response to the concerns of Harvard students.
The Crimson says that Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced that Sullivan will end his term on June 30 as the result of an environment which has become “untenable.” Sullivan, who is also a professor at Harvard Law School, announced in January that he was representing former film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who faces multiple accusations of sexual assault.
Khurana wrote in an email that it wasn’t just Sullivan’s representation of Weinstein, but the way he reacted to the concerns of students and faculty.
“Students, faculty, and administrators have since criticized Sullivan’s decision and his response to student concerns, calling on him to step down from his faculty dean position.”
Khurana stated that the concerns are “serious and numerous,” and now Sullivan’s leadership has been deemed “ineffectual,” and Dean Sullivan hasn’t been around to answer the concerns of the college.
“The noticeable lack of faculty dean presence during critical moments has further deteriorated the climate in the House.”
Harvard attacks a defense attorney for doing his job: Ronald Sullivan could be penalized for daring to represent Harvey Weinstein – New York Daily News https://t.co/Zar7njzFYR
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) February 27, 2019
While Sullivan’s termination is being called regrettable, it was deemed necessary.
The Daily Beast reported that Ronald Sullivan, Jr. stepped in when Weinstein’s lead attorney, Ben Brafman, quit after butting heads with the former film producer, who is up to his neck in sexual assault accusations.
Weinstein and Brafman had a difference of opinion about the direction of the case, and so as the lawyer planned to make his exit, the movie mogul started shopping for a new attorney to take the lead. Brafman wanted to handle the case in court, and Weinstein wanted to keep it alive in the media according to a legal source.
“Ben wants to do everything in the courtroom and that’s the opposite of Weinstein who wants the case tried in the court of public opinion and not a court of law.”
Brafman had scored a number of big victories for Weinstein, but there is a conflict in their styles, which ended the professional relationship. Harvey Weinstein wants to continue to do things in a familiar way in going after those making the accusations against him in the media, and that seemingly isn’t Brafman’s way.
In an interview in June, Brafman stated that Weinstein is “a forceful personality” who “soaks up all the oxygen in the room,” leading observers to believe that the partnership was on fragile ground.