When a Harvard Dean Defends Harvey Weinstein

Randall Kennedy in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. is the faculty dean of Winthrop House, one of the 12 undergraduate dormitories in which most students live during their final three years at Harvard College. The faculty deans are mentors, guardians, and counselors — truly in loco parentis. They are responsible for their house’s overall social environment and manage a staff charged with facilitating the well-being of the students.

Sullivan, the first black faculty dean at Harvard, is also a clinical professor at Harvard Law School, where I have taught for over three decades. In addition to those roles, Sullivan engages in private legal practice. He helped win an acquittal in the double-murder prosecution of the professional football player Aaron Hernandez (a convicted murderer in a different case, who eventually committed suicide). He represented the family of Michael Brown, whose death at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. At the invitation of the Brooklyn district attorney, he designed and adopted a conviction-review program that freed scores of improperly imprisoned people. Sullivan is, in short, an imposing, deeply respected figure in the legal community.

Recently, however, Sullivan has encountered harsh criticism. The problem stems from his recent decision to represent a person now singularly identified as the face of sexual malevolence: Harvey Weinstein.

More here.