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External investigation into law faculty concluded: Secco

UNB vice-president Tony Secco announced Wednesday morning that the external investigation into the issues of the faculty of law has concluded, following of the voluntary resignation of Dean Jeremy Levitt.

“In light of Dr. Levitt’s voluntary resignation from the position of dean of the law school, the university thereby concludes the independent investigative review process,” said Secco.

The results of the investigation will not be released to the public because of confidentiality.

“The report was confidential and will not be publicly released, as we are legally and morally obligated to respect and protect the privacy of our employees,” said Sonya Gilks of UNB communications and marketing.

Levitt resigned his deanship on Tuesday. His resignation is effective immediately.

Levitt released a statement Tuesday night explaining his reason for his resignation saying, “I am grateful to President Eddy Campbell for providing me with the wonderful opportunity to serve as Dean of Law and Vice-Chancellor’s Chair at the University of New Brunswick. I have decided to return to, and help advance, my home institution in Florida. I offered to voluntarily resign because I believe that it is in the best interests of my family and I.

“I am convinced that resolving internal debates about the vision and mission of the Faculty of Law is vital to its future success and UNB’s. UNB has excellent students and staff, a vibrant core of deans, and a loyal and dedicated alumni base. The future of UNB is indeed strong.”

UNB released a similar statement earlier on Tuesday.

In it vice-president academic Tony Secco wrote that Levitt decided to resign “because he believes that it is in the best interests of his family and himself as well as that of the students, alumni and faculty of UNB Law.”

Levitt will be on research leave from UNB until July 31, 2015 to complete “ongoing research activities.” Following this he will return to Florida A&M University College of Law.

Levitt took a two-year leave from Florida A&M in order to take up the deanship at UNB. He has been on an unexplained leave of absence from UNB since the end of January.

Law students received an email from Secco shortly before UNB released their statement.

In it he said that he would be “consulting with the Faculty [of law] on leading and managing the Law School going forward, both until June 30, 2015 and for post-July 1, 2015.”

The appointment of an acting dean of law will begin immediately with consultations with the faculty.

The external investigation of the law school began in January when the university brought in professor emeritus Neil Gold from the University of Windsor. The purpose of the report, according to a UNB press release, was to “investigate and report confidentially relations between the dean [of law] and certain faculty within UNB’s law school.”

Secco received the results of Gold’s investigation at the end of February.

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