Law Schools

UMass Law Dean Resigns Today, Effective Tomorrow, Cites Personal and Health Reasons

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The dean of the new law school at the University of Massachusetts tendered his resignation today, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Robert V. Ward Jr. cited personal and health reasons, as well as a two-hour commute in a resignation letter published by the Boston Herald.

Unidentified sources at UMass said he resigned from the $200,000-a-year post after using his state credit card for personal charges, the newspaper reports. However, Ward said he was authorized to use the card for travel and reimbursed UMass for any personal expenses.

After an audit revealed a little over $2,000 in unreimbursed personal expenses, he immediately paid the full amount, Ward wrote. “This issue had no bearing on my decision to resign for personal and health reasons, and it does absolutely nothing to diminish the great success we have had creating a successful, public law school in Massachusetts.”

Citing a two-hour daily commute to the law school’s Dartmouth campus, Ward said it and “the pressure of building a world-class law school have taken a terrible toll on my health and my family. I have held on as long as I reasonably could to see the new public law school succeed, but the time has come when I truly need to concentrate solely on my deteriorating health and my family’s need for my presence.”

Hat tip: Above the Law.

Related coverage: “New UMass Law School Is Unexpected Cash Cow; Extra Enrollment Helps Raise Nearly $1M”

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