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University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl will choose a tenured law professor to serve as interim replacement for John Dwyer at Boalt Hall School of Law, the law school said Tuesday. Professors and administrators say two former Boalt Hall deans have been mentioned as top candidates, and a decision is expected next week. Dwyer, who became dean in 2000, resigned last week amid sexual harassment charges by a former student. Jesse Choper, Boalt Hall’s Earl Warren Professor of Public Law, served as dean of the school from 1982 to 1992. Choper said the chancellor contacted him for his opinion on naming the interim replacement. “I’m not considering anything until somebody asks me,” he said. “But I’d consider being the vice president of the United States if asked.” Herma Hill Kay, who preceded Dwyer as dean, is another reputed candidate, but wouldn’t comment on whether she’s been contacted. Choper said the field of candidates has been narrowed to about a dozen of the 54 tenured professors at Boalt Hall, including the two former deans. The interim dean will take the mantle at a difficult time, as school administrators scramble to deal with issues surrounding a lack of a clear sexual harassment policy in the wake of Dwyer’s resignation. The interim dean will also have to navigate through difficult budget constraints and an ongoing political battle over affirmative action. Getting a search committee together to launch a nationwide dean search is a lengthy process, said Rachel Moran, a Boalt professor visiting at UCLA School of Law this year who served on the school’s last search committee. It is likely a permanent replacement will take over in January 2004, Moran said.

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