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The University of California, Berkeley committee charged with finding a new dean for Boalt Hall School of Law has announced a short list of four candidates from outside the university under consideration for the job. The school is seeking a replacement for John Dwyer, a longtime Boalt professor who abruptly resigned the dean’s post in November 2002 in the wake of sexual harassment allegations involving a student. Though insiders may still apply for the job, the 12-member search committee circulated a memo last week on campus announcing it had invited the four external finalists to attend two-day meetings with university administrators, faculty, students and alumni beginning Oct. 27. The short list includes Christopher Edley, professor at Harvard Law School; Edward Rubin, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; E. Thomas Sullivan, a professor and former dean of the University of Minnesota Law School; and Stephen Yeazell, a UCLA School of Law professor. UC-Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl has instructed the law school and the committee to submit several names for his consideration so that the final decision isn’t left up to the law school, said Robert Berring Jr., Boalt’s acting dean. While the committee includes several faculty members from other parts of the university, it’s primarily comprised of law school professors, Berring said. Law school faculty members say the search for a dean will likely feature candidates from outside the law school more prominently than it did when Dwyer was selected. Boalt professor Eleanor Swift said Berdahl’s insistence on more than one name increases the chances that candidates from outside the university will get the post. “He’s really sending a message to the outside people that this isn’t a job that an insider has a lock on,” Swift said, adding that outsiders often consider their chances of getting a job as a dean of another law school as slim. “They feel that if there’s an inside candidate, they won’t have a chance,” she said. The university may be looking to avoid the controversy surrounding its last hunt for a dean. Dwyer, a 16-year veteran professor at Boalt, won a faculty vote before he was named dean in February 2000. But several faculty members publicly protested Dwyer’s selection because they questioned his support for affirmative action. Swift said she’s disappointed the short list didn’t include any women. The list does include one minority candidate — Edley, who is African-American. However, the committee announcement said several women finalists dropped out of the running. “That’s a disappointment, but I do believe the committee tried its best to bring women into the final candidacy,” Swift said. The committee may still consider candidates from inside the university, Berring said. Traditionally, professors wait until other candidates are named before announcing they want the job, he said.

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