Harvard college took the decision of not renewing Ronald Sullivan’s contract as a Dean of the residential house, since he joined the legal defense team of Harvey Weinstein. The Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz calls this decision as “the new McCarthyism.”
Dershowitz released a series of tweets on Sunday, part of which read: “The new McCarthyism comes to Harvard. The firing of Dean Sullivan reminds me of the bad old days when lawyers were fired for representing civil rights demonstrators, communists, gay people, and women seeking abortions.”
Sullivan’s signing up as one of Weinstein’s lawyers last January has sparked outrage from several students at Winthrop House – the Harvard residential college where he has served as dean since 2009.
In a written statement released on Saturday, Rakesh Khurana asserts his decision of not to renew the working appointments of Ronald Sullivan and Stephanie Robinson, his wife who is also a law school lecturer, when their contract expires on 30th June. He based his decision on his concerns for Winthrop College House’s serious unrest climate.
The couple was the first black faculty deans at Harvard and assumed position ten years ago.
A lot of mixed reactions and outrage from students and faculty members alike have met Sullivan’s decision to join Weinstein’s legal representatives’ team. The height of this was a 50-member student protest calling for his resignation or termination of appointment in February and Graffiti with the same demand in March.
Subsequent tweets in Dershowitz twitter thread read: “This may be the worst violation of academic freedom during my 55-year association with Harvard. Any student who feels ‘unsafe’ in the presence of Dean Sullivan and his wife does not belong at a university.”