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Law School Dean of Students To Depart This Summer

By Andrew M. Duehren, Crimson Staff Writer

Associate Dean and Dean of Students at Harvard Law School Ellen M. Cosgrove, who also serves as one of the school's deputy Title IX coordinators, will leave her post in Cambridge for Yale Law School at the end of this academic year.

After 11 years at the Law School, Cosgrove will become associate dean of Yale Law School, where she will oversee the Offices of Student Affairs and Career Development.

The Title IX personnel change comes as the Law School moves to implement a new set of procedures for responding to cases of alleged sexual harassment, separate from the newly centralized University procedures that govern the process. The school-specific procedures stipulate that the Law School’s Title IX unit, rather than the central Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution, oversee Title IX investigations.

According to Law School spokesperson Robb London, the procedures will be implemented soon. As of February, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was reviewing the school’s new procedures, as part of a resolution agreement signed when the federal government found the Law School in violation of Title IX last year.

Cosgrove wrote in an email that Lakshmi E. Clark-McClendon, the assistant director of student services, and Jeffrey C. McNaught, the director of student affairs, will be the interim leaders of the Law School's Dean of Students office.

“We’re in ongoing discussions about how best to cover distinct responsibilities in my absence,” Cosgrove wrote.

Cosgrove cited the length of her tenure at Harvard as one of her reasons for the change.

“I have been in the same job for eleven years and while I continue to love it, I do feel that I have accomplished many of the things over which I have control,” she wrote.

While Cosgrove wrote that many aspects of her future and current positions will be similar, she added that idiosyncratic institutional differences will affect her role.

“For example, Harvard is more decentralized than Yale or Chicago which means that some of the work I do here (accommodations under the ADA, Title IX, housing) is done locally in my office as opposed to through central structures at other universities,” she wrote.

Martha L. Minow, the dean of Harvard Law School, informed school affililates of Cosgrove’s departure in an email on March 2.

“In her eleven years at HLS, Ellen and her able staff have been instrumental in transforming the student experience and building a sense of community and engagement among students that is unprecedented,” Minow wrote.

—Staff writer Andrew M. Duehren can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @aduehren.

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Harvard Law SchoolYaleUniversityUniversity NewsTitle IXDepartment of Education