Wald Leaves Law School; Called Scapegoat by Minority Groups

Law School Dean of Students Sarah E. Wald served her last day on the job yesterday, amidst speculation that Dean Robert C. Clark is using her as the scapegoat of the faculty diversity controversy.

Minority groups have charged Clark with pressuring Wald to quit in an attempt to deflect attention from his handling of the issue of minority and women faculty hiring. The groups also said that Clark may have perceived Wald as being too receptive to student demands.

Wald flatly denied the allegations.

"[The resignation] is completely voluntary," said Wald, who was dean of students for five years.

"It seemed like an interesting opportunity for me," she said of her next job as special assistant to University Vice President John H. Shattuck and Sally H. Zeckhauser.


Various leaders of Law School minority student organizations, among whom Wald is extremely popular, yesterday questioned the motivation for her resignation, and its timing.

"It's thoroughly clear that Dean Clark, after taking so much heat, tried to put some of the blame on her," said second-year law student X. Carlos Vasquez, membership chair of theHispanic student organization La Alianza.

Second-year student Raul Perez, an executive onthe Law School Council and a member of theCoalition for Civil Rights (CCR), which includesminority student groups and the Women's LawAlliance, said that the administration may havebeen uncomfortable with Wald's role as advocatefor student's rights, or that Wald herself mayhave been uncomfortable with that role.

"She demonstrated on more than one occasionthat she was not a puppet of the administration,"Perez said. "Maybe the administration doesn't wantsomeone like Sarah Wald because...she had aspine."

Perez also said that Wald may have felt stymiedby the Law School bureaucracy and by otheradministrators. "I think Dean Wald began toquestion whether or not her effectiveness mighthave reached its limit," he said.

However, second-year Greg P. Taxin, a founderof the newly-created Non-left Coalition, calledthe speculations "paranoia on the part of theCCR."

Clark has created a committee to search for apermanent successor to Wald. Today Wald'sassistant, Director of Student Activities SuzanneL. Richardson, assumes the role of dean ofstudents.

Search committee members interviewed yesterdaysaid that a law degree, good judgment, fairnessand communication skills are among the qualitiesthey will look for in applicants.

According to Wald, the most challenging aspectof the position is "in such a large school...withso many incredibly bright and passionate people,trying to figure out where there's common ground."

The members of the committee, which has mettwice and has not yet identified specificcandidates, are Professor of Law Daniel J.Meltzer, Professor of Law David B. Wilkins,Administrative Dean Sandra S. Coleman and Directorof Financial Aid Sarah Clark Donahue