Keefe vacates dean’s position

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Saint Louis University hired Michael Wolff as the permanent dean of SLU Law School following Interim Dean Tom Keefe’s resignation.
Keefe was offered a position as interim dean for the 2012-2013 school year while the search for a new dean took place following Annette Clark’s resignation last year.
According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Keefe said that he resigned because he made “politically incorrect” remarks and didn’t fit the position. He said in multiple interviews that the resignation was his own choice and that he had not been forced out by administration.
The Post-Dispatch cited Keefe’s off-color remarks in a March 4 report.  Additionally, in an August interview with Missouri Lawyers Media, he was quoted repeatedly using controversial terms. Keefe has since admitted to the impropriety of these statements.
Aside from his controversial comments, Keefe cited his lack of experience in an academic setting as a reason he wasn’t qualified to maintain the position. Keefe took the position as interim dean with no previous academic experience and announced in August that he would donate his salary as dean back to the university. He became a member of the Board of Trustees in September following his appointment as dean and currently remains in his position on the board.
Clark’s August resignation stirred large amounts of controversy due the letter accompanying her announcement.
In her letter she accused President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., of various “egregious actions,” including transferring large sums of money from law program funds without notice and violating previously made commitments.
“You have not consulted me on important matters involving the law school’s interests, you have failed to honor commitments… and you have accused me of being uncooperative and not being a team player when I have objected to these actions,” Clark said in her letter.
Biondi responded to Clark’s accusations with a letter stating that he had intended to terminate Clark in her position as dean on the day she resigned.
“[Clark’s] emails to Dr. Patankar and me, and to the faculty and staff of our School of Law, demonstrate a lack of a clear and comprehensive understanding of the duties and obligations, autonomy and authority, of a modern-day dean at a large and complex university,” Biondi said in his letter. “I strongly disagree with many of her interpretations of the facts. Moreover, her assertion of a lack of support for the law school could not be further from the truth.”