Dean Quits Job And Accuses Top Brass Of Funding University With Law School’s Money

annette clark
Annette Clark

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A law school dean unleashed a fiery tirade in her resignation letter, claiming the university’s administration repeatedly went behind her back and illicitly used the law school’s money.Former dean Annette Clark resigned after one year as dean at the St. Louis Law School and attacked the university’s president and vice president of academic affairs for allegedly funding the university with the law school’s money, according to the letter posted by next STL Wednesday.

Clark accused President Lawrence Biondi of transferring the law school’s money meant for summer research stipends into his own personally controlled fund.

“It is the ultimate irony that a Jesuit university would operate so far outside the bounds of common decency, collegiality, professionalism and integrity,” Clark wrote in her resignation letter. “I simply cannot be part of, and I assure you I will not be complicit with, an administration that can’t be trusted to act honestly.”

She also accused Biondi of not telling her right away that he was getting a new building for the law school.

“I was kept completely in the dark regarding the acquisition of the building downtown and its designation as the new law school building, learning the news only three days before the announcement was made public,” Clark wrote.

But Biondi countered with his own letter to faculty and staff, saying he wanted to fire Clark right before she resigned.

“At 11 a.m. today, there was a scheduled meeting between Prof. Clark and Dr. Patankar, at which time Dr. Patankar and I had intended to terminate Prof. Clark’s appointment as dean of our School of Law,” Biondi wrote. “Prof. Clark did not have the courtesy to honour this regularly scheduled meeting, and instead emailed a letter of resignation to Dr. Patankar and me.”

Biondi claimed that Clark did not understand how to properly do her job.

“Her emails […] demonstrate a lack of a clear and comprehensive understanding of the duties and obligations, autonomy and authority, of a modern-day dean at a large and complex university,” Biondi wrote.

Clark wrote that she would still remain on the faculty as a professor for the time being.

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