Law School Deans, Law Schools, U.S. News

Change Comes To George Washington University Law School

Hello, readers from George Washington University. You guys are having a bit of a day, aren’t you?

If you haven’t been following along with non-legal news, George Washington University was bathed in scandal this weekend. In the past couple of days, we’ve learned that the GW college had been inflating the grades of its incoming class when they reported statistics to U.S. News. GW had been saying that 78% of its 2011 incoming class ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes. Instead, the correct number is 58%.


While the college wipes the egg off of its face over that mess, the GW Law School will be reshuffling the deck chairs. Law school dean Paul Schiff Berman, who basically just got there, is leaving to head a different department in the university. Wait until you see what it is….

According to an email he sent to the GW Law community, Paul Berman is leaving his post as law dean to become the “Vice Provost for Online Education and Academic Innovation.”

From the school of “this degree isn’t worth what it was ten years ago” to the school of “we’re not even pretending this degree is valuable, so feel free to print it out on your home computer.”

Who needs libraries anymore? We have the internet.

Oh, I kid online education, but that’s only because people aren’t using it to bring the price of traditional four year colleges down. Instead, much of online education seems designed to grab money from people who wouldn’t otherwise be ready to get a college degree.

Maybe Berman will find a way to integrate online education in a way that lowers the cost of college for students attending GW in person.

But I digress. We heard rumblings about this move as early as last week. Was this really a great opportunity that Berman was looking for, or is this more like a soft landing for the soon-to-be-former dean. Berman only assumed the deanship 14 months ago, and when last we checked in with Dean Berman, he was busy reversing his position on cutting funding for a useful student program. If you’ve got more concrete news from behind the scenes, feel free to email us.

In the meantime, we wish Berman the best of luck in his new position, and we hope GW speedily finds a new leader. Check out his full letter on the next page….

UPDATE (11/13/2012, 4:15 PM): Here is additional information about Paul Berman’s departure from the deanship at GW Law.

(hidden for your protection)

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