Harvard Students Felt Unsafe Under Weinstein Lawyer's Watch. Now He's Lost His Dean Post
This message comes from on points sponsor indeed. If you're hiring with indeed, you can post a job in minutes. Set up screener questions, then zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates using an online dashboard. Get started at indeed dot com slash NPR podcast. From NPR and you are Boston. I'm Meghna Chakrabarti. And this is on point, Kenneth famed law professor serve on the defense team of the nation's highest profile, metoo case, and also adequately served the needs of university students under his care will that is one of the questions at the center of a controversy that's erupted at Harvard University. It involves law professor Ronald Sullivan. He's done some of the nation's most important criminal Justice work on behalf of the wrongly incarcerated. And until recently, he was also on Harvey, Weinstein's defense team Sullivan was also the faculty head of a Harvard, dorm that is until students demanded his removal. Here's Harvard student, Phoebe, sir, at if protests at the dorm earlier this month of sexual assault. I don't feel safe with house because of dean solvents decision to represent Harvey Weinstein. I, I don't know welcome here. Well this month, Harvard announced that. Sullivan will not be house dean next year, and we should say he remains on the law school faculty. But why does any of this matter beyond the brick and Ivy corners of one of America's most elite universities? Well, some of Sullivan's defenders say, here's a moment where campus culture, and the metoo movement may be running headlong into a foundational principle of the American legal system that everyone even the most unsavory of clients deserves a vigorous defense this hour, on point, the case of Harvard house dean Ronald Sullivan, and you can join us when the national push to make society safe from sexual predators. Runs into Dacia principles of the Justice system. How do we resolve that and is there really a conflict here to begin with join us anytime on point radio dot org, or Twitter and Facebook at on point radio? And we should say here that we invited professor Sullivan and representatives of Harvard University to join us this hour professor Sullivan didn't get back to us and Harvard University declined. But we will begin with Stephanie Ebbert. She's a reporter for the Boston Globe, who has been following the story. She joins us from Boston. Stephanie, welcome to point high Magna. So first of all, just sort of give us a little sense about who Ronald Sullivan is and his importance in, in the world of, of not just academe ick law. But in criminal defense, he is a very influential and very well regarded both on Harvard's campus and nationally. We know him locally as part of the team that handled the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial and won an acquittal there for the league. New England patriot. He has been he was the first African American faculty dean, who was named at Harvard, and he leads a criminal defense project at Harvard. He's very. He's he's seen his very high profile. In fact, even represented rose McGowan who is one of Harvey Weinstein's fiercest accusers when she had a, a drug possession case last year. So he's been in the news before and he's, so he's taken up a lot of cases that have made quite a difference in American law. Right. He represented the family of Michael Brown after Ferguson. Right. And also he is credited with having created a system of, of, of analysis of cases, I think, in New York that led to the, the release or the freedom of many wrongfully incarcerated prisoners. Right. Right. Yeah. So, so he's he's a very well known legal expert here. So, and so until recently in addition to that he was also the faculty, head of a Harvard, dorm knows where what's the problem here? I think that in itself was the problem for students when. He when the news came out that he was going to be part of Harvey Weinstein's legal defense team. It's quite a different thing at Harvard, the way, the faculty deans operate and kind of run this residential space for undergrads. And so students were reacting to that news, which surprise them when it first came out in January and trying to make the distinction that in that capacity run Sullivan was playing more of kind of a pastoral role in advising students in that he had oversight of matters like sexual assault, and that they were upset to see him presenting himself as kind of a defender both in the legal capacity. And in a spokesman capacity, he had also spoken up in defense of another Harvard professor who had been accused of sexual misconduct. And people found that problematic with his role as an advisor to students within Winthrop house, where he was faculty dean. So some students were saying that all that you just underlined amounted to Sullivan, creating an unwelcoming or even unsafe atmosphere in this Harvard dormitory that he was, you know, the, the, the faculty head of I mean, I just want to hear the voice of, for example, the represent Representative from the association of black Harvard women, they were amongst groups that held a sit in at Winthrop house in the dining hall earlier this month. Have been forced understand that to this administration. Not even our voices amount to much, they did carbon, actively Harvard, opponents of his detrimental culture by maintaining faculty such as Ron Sullivan on their staff freshman. I, I remember being Sullivan operas accomplishments of leading black lawyers. The nation is that I was acquainted with his character who was word concerning sexual assault survivors, that will be negatively impacted by his decisions represent Weinstein. That's a student from the Harvard of the black Harvard women sees me from the association of black Harvard, women. Stephanie, what did Harvard alternately decide to do? Ultimately, they decided not to renew his appointment as a faculty d-, which was a rather surprising since the dispute had gone on throughout the semester, and there had been a lot of tension on campus and a lot of difficulty among critics and defenders of Ron Sullivans roles on campus and in the Weinstein trial. And that, of course, has caused great consternation, not just here, but nationally among those who are looking at this situation and feeling, as if students are not understanding, the import of the Justice system of, of representation that, you know, this is Harvard. So we have at least a three constitutional principles at stake. Here is what I been saying. It's kind of remarkable to see the, the reaction to this somewhat. Campus event. We'll Stephanie Evert reporter for the Boston Globe. Thanks so much for joining us. Stephanie, thank you. All right. Well, I want to turn now to Randall. Kennedy joins me in the studio today. He's a professor at Harvard Law School, where Ronald Sullivan, of course. Also teaches professor Kennedy wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times at ran under the title. Harvard betrays a law professor, and it self and we have a link to that at on point radio dot org. Professor Kennedy welcome to the program. Thanks so much for having. We will be hearing from a Harvard student in a couple of minutes, but first of all make your case here professor Kennedy. Why do you think Harvard betraying a law professor and itself in, in removing Ronald Sullivan from being the head of a Harvard dorm? There is no. Inconsistency between being a faculty dean of a house at Harvard University. And at the same time being a criminal defense. Attorney for Harvey Weinstein the reason why I've gotten so upset about this is because many of the comments coming from some of the dissident students, and some of the comments coming from the Harvard administration and the overall approach of the Harvard administration seems to suggest that it is per se disqualifying to be a faculty dean into represent Harvey Weinstein and it seems to me that that's profoundly mistaken. Well, so the argument is that the, the duties and the responsibilities of the faculty, head of a of a community where undergraduate students live, eat, and socialize is a professor. Found one that they need they are charged with creating a space that maximizes the, the, the learning and living of these students, and that it is many students or some students felt that that was impossible survivors of sexual assault felt that that was impossible that they intrinsically felt unsafe or unheard because not only of Sullivan's former representation of Weinstein but his other comments regarding other cases at Harvard. Why is that not a legitimate argument? I think we need to. Ask ourselves. How should we react? When students refrain for that matter. Anybody else say that they feel something, I mean, just suppose, for instance, that we had students who said that I feel very unsafe or unwelcome, because a faculty dean is white, or a faculty, teen is black, or a faculty dean, is you can you can just fill in the blank, an atheist, a Catholic. The fact of the matter is that people have all sorts of various, they have various identities. Professor Sullivan is a professor. He's also a lawyer. I mean with students just suppose just suppose professor Sullivan was a surgeon and had operated on Harvey Weinstein, would they get upset there by saying that, you know, you're, you're extending the man's life. I mean I. Simply don't understand award. I I understand. I disagree with the way in which the university is actually failing in my view to educate the students, it's not enough to have a feeling you can have an initial feeling. We all have initial feelings. But sometimes we need to reconsider our initial feelings. Let's listen Melissa hit this head on, because Harvard sent us an E mail back when they declined to, to join us on the air saying that, you know, Harvard fully endorses and forever, supports the foundational legal principle that everyone deserves a vigorous defense. They say that's not even the issue here. But are you saying that in the decision the university has made that they in fact, have delta blow to, to that, that I that, that cornerstone of American Judas proved clearly, they have the students said we don't want Ron Sullivan here. Anymore because he's representing Harvey Weinstein. The response of the administration is oh, that's very serious. Then a couple of months later, they don't renew the contract of hardy of Ron Sullivan. It seems to me that the university has clearly ratified to a large degree the position of the dissident students who said that Ron Sullivan's representation of Weinstein is disqualified. Well, we are talking about what's happened at Harvard University about campus culture about the metoo movement, and about criminal defense. We'll be right that this is on point. This message comes from an points sponsor indeed, when it comes to hiring, you don't have time to waste you need. 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We'll hear from a Harvard University student. But right now, I'm joined by Randall Kennedy. He's a professor at Harvard Law School, where professor Ron Ronald Sullivan also teaches and I should underscore that professor Sullivan retains his faculty position at Harvard Law School. It is his position as the head of a Harvard dorm that has not been renewed now now professor Kennedy. I do wanna explore something a little further interrogate, you even if I may tell me more about why you think there isn't a conflict here because I think there is an argument to be made that the requirement or what is what is needed to do of excellent job as the head of a Harvard, dorm may in this case, actually be in con. Flicked with what is required to do. What is required to be an excellent defense attorney for someone like Harvey Weinstein and, you know, I think lawyers, all the time recused themselves from cases when there's material conflict of interest in this case is no material conflict. But why isn't there a white isn't there a professional conflict here? I don't see professional conflict. Ron Sullivan has certain virtues. That make him a very fine attorney. He's a good listener. He's inciteful. He's observant. He has all sorts of qualities that people admire. These are qualities. It seems to me that would be very useful very good for a faculty dean to have for the head of a dormitory to have if I had a child in that dormitory I'd be happy to have my child, be mentored by talk with engage in debates with a Ron Sullivan. Well, some of students have said in, in reporting around this story that the problem is, is that they feel this is getting back to feelings, but, but it's the, it's really at the heart of this that they feel if they, you know, some of them are survivors of sexual assault. Other say if indeed something did happen, they did not feel that they could go to professor Sullivan for counsel advice, etc. Because of and they should be told that their feelings are eroneous. That's what they should be told. And by the way, let's just fill out the story a bit in the Boston Globe of. You know, a while ago in discussing this issue, it was pointed out that there are people who are survivors of harassment and assault, who have said, actually professor Solomon was very helpful to them. He was very imperfect very helpful willing to represent them pro Bono. I mean, this is not a person without a track record a track record in which he has been extremely helpful to students of all sorts who've gotten into difficulty. And remember, again, my position is that simply serving as the defense attorney for Harvey Weinstein should not in and of itself. Be disqualifying in my view part of what's going on here is an anger at him because of a view that he's not going far enough in ostracizing Weinstein part of what's going. On here is a question of limits on ostracism, and I think that one of the things that's animating me and other law professors is a notion that while ostracism is an important. And oftentimes, good force in society. It can go too far. And if you are going to take it to the extreme of putting pressure on somebody who is simply serving as a defense attorney if you're going to actually oust that person from their position, as a faculty dean, then that's taking ostracism too far. So I continue slowly think myself, okay. Why should anyone outside of one particular corner of Cambridge Massachusetts care about this? I mean, this, this is the fundamental question that I want, I want to be sure to explore throughout this hour, and I looked to for example, genie's Gerson who wrote in the New Yorker about. This also a lot professors. Well, writes, there is now such a stigma attached to people accused of sexual misconduct that anyone who defends legal principles on their behalf risks being mistaken in the public mind for a defender of sexual violence. What do you think? Well, I think the choose right. And I think that's one of the things that has triggered such a strong reaction on the part of people who are deeply disappointed with Harvard University over this matter. Well, let's take a call here. Let's go to Maria who's calling from Worcester. Massachusetts Maria you're on the air. Hi, thanks for taking my call just to preface my comments. I am an attorney. I'm also a mother, I would not feel comfortable with Mr. Sullivan being the head a dorm father, basically local in loco parentis for one of my daughters attending college, and I find it amazing that you're commentator said that people should be told that their feelings are eroneous, if you have either a young woman, or a young man faced with a crisis in their life, for example of sexual assault in the dorm, I don't think that that person should have to go to an individual who is the head of the, the faculty head of the house in order to. Present complaint or even presented complaint to others knowing that, that individual has a thirty over even the policy in the house, or the approach in the house to sexual assault. Maria quick question here. Just quick questions, and I appreciate your call a lot. Why is it that this one case? And by the way, we should we should say that on the same day that Harvard announced that it wasn't going to have a Sullivan as the head of a dorm anymore. He also stepped away from Harvey Weinstein's defense team. But why is it that this one case overwhelms in your mind Sullivan's entire professional record prior to that? I don't think it overwhelms his entire professional record. But what it means to me is that he has very extremely poor judgment. If I were in his position knowing that I were the, you know, the faculty head of a house, I would have declined to take the, you know, the job for Weinstein RV, Weinstein believe. Me has plenty of other capable attorneys throughout the country, who can represent him. Many of whom I'm sure even at Harvard, we'll did did did Brunel Sullivan evince poor professional judgment when he defended Aaron Hernandez. I mean, that's, that's a double murder double murderer. Well, again, or, or any other young people coming to him for advice and counsel or to present, you know similar complaints about potentially being murdered. No, I mean, this is a this is a gentleman who has, you know, a position in the forty over a housing situation where people, you know, it can have on the I think the, you know, the comment that feelings, our feelings are not aronie feelings feelings, and I and I think you're commentator should talk to psychologist about this. He could very well quell folks who have been abused legitimately coming forward in that dorm will Maria. Thank you for your call. So professor Randall Kennedy, first of all, respond to where Maria liftoff objecting, we just have we just have a disagreement. I think that feelings can be aronie as feelings often are aronie ass-, just because somebody says that their feelings are hurt just because somebody says, by the way. I am fearful maybe at point one, they are fearful and you might ask well, why do you feel fearful draw draw out? Why, why do you fear feel for? Under what plausible circumstances could going to this person as faculty dean be detrimental to you? It might very well be that after a conversation. Somebody changes their mind, I've certainly changed my feelings about things. I've changed my mind about things, I'm sure that many people have. So I don't think that simply because somebody says, I feel such and such that that puts an into the discussion. Well, but I think Maria was saying that, in fact, it's not the feeling that puts the end to the discussion, but the sense that they could not have the discussion with Ronald Sullivan, because of his chosen chosen to defend wall in, in that sense. If someone says, I'm not going to even engage with this person, because of who they're representing. I would hope that someone would go to that student and say, listen, you, you really shouldn't proceed in that way, they're all sorts of fine, people who have represented all sorts of other people who. Um you would and probably rightly revile you on a need to understand what an attorney, does the position of an attorney in our society. The attorney is not the client. Well, let's hear from student. Now let's turn now to re to remedy Ryan. She joins us from revere, Beach, Florida. She's a sophomore at Harvard University, and she co-authored an editorial in the Harvard student newspaper, the Harvard crimson, headlined, Harvard, remove dean Sullivan, we have a link to that on point radio dot Ord. Remedy Ryan welcome to you high magnetic. Thanks for having me you for joining us. Why don't you respond directly to what professor Kennedy? Just just a left us with that there is this implication, that students who demanded professor Sullivan's removal as the head of a Harvard, dorm are simply painting to with too broad, a brush here that there's a guilt by association. Going on. What's your response to that? Sure. Well, I would say that the situation with their POWs, the semester, it was survivors were hurt by the insolvent taking this case and felt like it was insensitive to their needs a student's and survivors who lived in that house, I would say response to professor Kennedy, the, you know, dean Sullivan wasn't isn't just a law school, professor. He's in charge of and lives in an undergraduate dorm with four hundred students who don't choose to be in that in that house, where randomly assigned out of school, where rates of sexual assault and harassment are extremely high. And so I think that having a feeling that, you know, your voice isn't going to be heard, and that this, the television decision to represent Weinstein, you know, it was going to negatively affect you. It's a completely legitimate feeling and I would. Added that it wasn't just what initially occurred hearing about the case that led to such an unwelcoming environment and Winthrop house. It was also dean Sullivan's response to criticism in the months that followed insolvent sent multiple emails criticizing students who were against this. Criticizing student protests and criticizing the crimson coverage of this case. And then as a semester, went on student activists were also a against including my friend Donoughue having a police report filed a gun, sir, and then her house dean being sued in a lawsuit, as a result of, of her activism of Donna's, activism. So I think there are a lot of that kind of went into the situation in which students felt uncomfortable. So Sola Massey remedy. I'm curious to explorer sort of all the dimensions of this, and how far it might go because given everything that you said, do you think professor Sullivan conserve the needs of any of his students, including those he teaches at Harvard Law School? I mean, should he be teaching at all because extensively what you said it should apply to students in his classroom as well. So should he be teaching? No, I don't think that this really has much of an implication on his role as a professor at the law school. I think that this was unique to his role as, as a house, dean and the fact that, you know, students in the house, they'll uncomfortable and then didn't feel comfortable house events and just in the house, in general because of Sylvan decision to take this case, and then his reaction Hughes, here's, here's what I'm asking this question, particularly because I hear you say again that discomfort in sensitivity, hurt and these legitimate feelings. But I don't. But, you know, if I'm a student sitting in a classroom and professor, you know, in, you know. Criminal defense class, for example, and, and, and this is a hypothetical and I was a survivor of sexual assault. And he was teaching this very class. You can imagine students feeling heart. You can imagine them feeling that he's being insensitive by taking the Weinstein case you can imagine that the feel like they're not heard, and, in fact, he possibly, even has more power over them because he's there professor directly. So I'm just wondering why it applies in the case of being a house dean, but not a professor. Why, why, why did he just draw the line anywhere? I'm trying to understand that. I think that I've undergrads are position was that affected. Students roller undergraduate house. And I think that it is a little bit different because that's where you live. You're there all the time you see your house on a daily basis. And they are they do oversee like title. They do have a role in title nine cases. Other disciplinary cases at Harvard and you also don't choose to be. In the house that you're in you just. Choose to be in a classroom. I think that that's kind of where the discrepancy is. But obviously, it's under grads. This was, you know the that we took as activists. So earlier in the show professor, Kennedy, offered some other hypotheticals, you know, he said, I if say, say the person we were talking about was a med school professor, or a surgeon and had done a surgery at Harvey Weinstein. Would that make him with that disqualify him from being the head of a of a Harvard dorm, or I'll give you a completely different example as well again, purely hypothetical. But, like, what if someone from the Harvard divinity school was the head of a Harvard dorm, and they lectured and wrote extensively about their, their analysis of the theological arguments in opposition to abortion rights that must certain that would certainly make some students uncomfortable. You know, would that be disqualifying? I don't I don't really think it's the same thing. I mean, I think that this whole argument of academic freedom is kind of red in this situation. I think it is very specific to how students fell in the house. And also dean Sullivans just statements about sexual assault in the metoo movement in general. I think earlier in the show, I think Stephanie talked about how his comments about Roland fryer in which he said it shows the current metoo movement. It shows what the what the current metoo movement, some blood in the water and good coaching of witnesses can produce in response to a Harvard title nine case in which women have come out about harassment from Pacific professor until I think, like, I think his taking Weinstein's case in combination with. With that statement about Harvard's head on nine processes made to feel like they couldn't necessarily trust. And in a position as, as someone who has control over their own title. Nine procedures will remedy Ryan hang on here for just second and Randall Kennedy hold on as well. We'll take a quick break, and we'll we'll come right back. I'm magnetron Cardi. This is on point. The fact that in two thousand and nineteen. 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And that is that everyone deserves a vigorous criminal defense and weather these three or possibly in conflict at Harvard University right now. I'm joined today by remedy Ryan. She's a sophomore at Harvard and she co authored an editorial in the Harvard crimson headlined. Harvard removed dean Sullivan, we have a link to that at on point radio dot org. Randall, Kennedy also joins us as well. He's a professor at Harvard Law School, and he wrote opinion piece in the New York Times under the headline, Harvard betrays a law, professor. And it's self again, that link is point radio dot org. And I just want to underscore again. We invited professor Ronald Sullivan, and also officials from Harvard, University Harvard declined professor solvent did not get back to us, but rental Kennedy. Let me turn to you heard remedy Ryan. You're talking about her view of the specifics of this case in why those specifics really matter. But I also want to, to expand expanded a little bit here and just ask you about responding to what remedies saying that the, there's a, there is a fundamental gap between what students need, and what professor Sullivan could have could have provided them. What do you think? Two things. First of all, in this discussion it should I don't wanna lose sight of a very important fact in the very important fact is that sexual harassment and sexual assault is a big problem in our society. It's a big problem. I'm on campuses. Our institutions have failed people in not addressing that problem, more needs to be done about that problem. So let I you know, that's said the put a big punctuation Mark three punctuation marks after that. That's point. One point two is how ever again we get back to the question. The miss Ryan said that it was insensitive to students needs for professor Sullivan to represent Harvey Weinstein. I I've talked with students, and I've been reading about this development, I would like to know a little bit more. How was it insensitive to their needs? I can imagine people may be disagreeing with, with his decision disagreeing with his choice. But in what sense I don't see where him simply taking on this client. It is disrespectful to students is repudiating students in any significant way at all. It seems to me that he is doing something that is in keeping with his professional and academic responsibilities and provides actually a wonderful occasion for there to be general discussion about this subject. I don't see how in the world it should make somebody feel badly how it should make somebody feel unsafe how it should make. Somebody feel on heard remedy Ryan. Would you like to respond to that? Yeah. I guess respond is. You know. Presser Kennedy said earlier that, you know, he thought the volatile oven would provide like would be able to provide support for survivors even while he was doing this. But you know what actually happened in winter? Pows was that the insolvent attacked and criticize the students who did you know express that they're upset about this. And I think it was also reported in the crimson that, you know, a house tutor was, you know, accused of rallying up students support against dean Sullivan after they were just telling her how they you know felt upset about this. So I think that whether or not, I don't think yeah. I don't think that it's possible to, you know, want to defend your decisions and also supports in the same. Time. You know what happened in the house that weren't supported inside? They were attacked and criticize. We'll so, so professor Kennedy. Here's Flint me, put it this way that perhaps students feel their needs are not met that they're unsupported for the very reasons why the metoo movement exists to begin with right. It is the it is the eruption of the acknowledgement that survivors of sexual assault at school campuses in the workplace haven't been heard haven't been believed that, they're, you know, the, the perpetrators of these assaults have faith frequently been very powerful men who've gone out of their way to us even the legal system to, to, to, to, to banish and punish people who dare speak out about the dramas that have been perpetrated on them. And so that is the bigger con one of the bigger context here and within that context, it is not it's not out of the realm of possibility that a student, and we're talk. Someone who's, you know, eighteen to twenty one years old might feel deeply uncomfortable. Speaking to a professor Oriel adult who has decided to defend the highest profile perpetrator alleged perpetrator of this, the things that exa- gave birth to this very movement. That's right. That is why there needs are not being met, well, but that's no no everything I agree. I think your description was right on until the last sentence. Because let's assume that everything that you said, is true. Then the question is how should an institution of higher learning respond? I mean, because people have been oppressed in various ways doesn't mean that anything they feel or say or do is okay, it seems to me that the proper thing to say would be, that's it's absolutely true. The legal system, the social system has been sexist. Sometimes misogynistic his been indifferent all of that is terrible. Now, what do we do in the face of that? We have a person who is accused of a crime, and we need to say that, too, by the way, he is accused of a crime. He has not been tried at this point. He has the presumption of innocence, Harvey Weinstein. He has now sought the legal advice of Ron Sullivan. The question is what inferences do we make when Ron Sullivan gives to Harvey Weinstein legal advice? What inferences do we make when a lawyer gives legal advice to somebody who is jailed on in Guantanamo who, who was accused of being a terrorist? What inferences do we make win? Zanardo have had a someone who. Who was advising him, by the way, one of the narves attorneys was a law. Professor is what inferences do we make when people give legal advice? I think what we say to the students is, let's be careful here. Let's understand distinctions. Let's not allow our emotions to just wash everything else away to stink. Shins are important to make it would be wrong for you to think that simply because Ron Sullivan is giving legal advice to Harvey Weinstein that Ron Sullivan is embracing everything that Harvey Weinstein's ever done in his life. Back to the phones we go, go to Steve, who's calling from Jefferson City, Missouri. Steve you're on the air. Thank you very much. I wonder if professor Alan Dershowitz in today's climate would be permitted to defend Hans von Bulow. Yeah. They're on von Bulow. Yes. And there was an Academy Award winning movie made about why professor versa, which was upholding, the highest principles of American jurisprudence. I am. Why should anybody in a small section of Cambridge the whole country should be concerned because it's a lar- Ming that academia and the media seemed to be legitimizing and mainstreaming, Stalinism, pure and simple. And today, the mob turns on professor Sullivan tomorrow, it may be professor Kennedy and someday it may even be remedy Ryan, that the mob turns on, we'll Steve thank appoint. Yeah, let me just say thank you for your call Steve. Go ahead remedy. Yeah. I don't think that this isn't about, you know, a bunch of students turning on a professor. This isn't about academic freedom being attack. This is about what was happening in a house. Very specifically and what professor Kennedy has been talking about has been oh, ideally, you know what would happen in the situation where, you know, a house tin took a controversial case. What actually happened was that students were attacked and were criticized. And, you know, we were told that we didn't know anything about the law, and that, you know, student end up the student activism that was happening on the campus. You know, was illegitimate and that the reporting of the crimson was, you know, wrong. And so I think that what actually happened was that there wasn't attack on students and on voices and I think that dean Sullivan being removed in this case was completely mid complete. Suns remedy. Just let me jump in here and professor Sullivan. Sorry. Professor kennedy. And now you want to respond to that, and I'll give you a brief chance to, but I also want to get at least one more call before we run out of time. But go ahead. Professor Kennedy, I simply would have say I'm not good at their lots of facts running around. There's lots of issues on the table. I'm posing one point. And my point is simply that it should not be disqualifying per se for dean Sullivan to represent Harvey Weinstein. That is my narrow but I think important position. Okay. Well, I do want to get at least one more caller here before we run out of time. So let me go to Eric, who's calling from Gusta, Georgia? Eric you're on the air. Hi, I'm a return to senior military officer in wanted to comment on the similarities between campus life and military life. And how the military handles it. And unfortunately, I do think that the professor should not be allowed in this position. The issue in the military is that anybody that has any influence in the reporting of sexual assault. Probably hampers the ability for, you know, act reporting, and so forth and the military's taken great pains to have victims advocates and so forth. And I'm sure you've heard the news, but there's still a problem. I would suggest that any suggestion of conflicts or anything that might blunt the ability of someone to go forward with sexual assault claim, or you know, advocate on behalf of Vic victim, or a topic would be problematic in well, maybe unfair to the professors and individual I, I. I don't think someone should be in that role. And I would suggest that institutions much bigger than Harvard have already kind of settled that issue. Right. Well, Eric thank you for your call. Let me get professor Kennedy respond to that. I I don't really have much response. It seems to me that the position of a university in the position of the United States military just on its face so different. It's hard for me to I, I really don't have to say in, in, in the sense. I mean. I mean, military cultures military culture. We're talking about is weather a person who in his academic life. He runs off. And by the way, is the head of the criminal defense clinic at Harvard University's law school. So, again, the if you're going to say that, somebody representing someone like Harvey Weinstein is disqualified from being a faculty dean, that means I suppose that there could never be a faculty dean, who is, you know, a criminal defense attorney at Harvard Law School. Do we want to say that it seems to me that the answer should be? No. We don't want to say that remedy Ryan another question for you here because this, the, the, the centrality of student need, and student perception and feeling here can't be overstated. But I wonder I mean, we're also talking about Harvard University students. It's in a sense, some of the most elite and privileged people in the United States, America's future leaders. And I'm looking here at a quote from a Harvard professor, a computer science professor, Harry Lewis, who said that one of the duties of residential life at a university like Harvard isn't just, you know, to create a comfortable learning environment. But it's also to create an environment where students are engaging in a spirit of civic optimism, his his words where people even with people whose decisions and actions, you find disagreeable and, and he says, quote. That sometimes competing commitments to individual freedom in the common good have to happen, but it requires rejecting the view quote, that discord is intolerable and personal comfort is supreme. What do you think about that? Right. Well, I think this is a case where this isn't about life. This is about residential life. But that's what he's saying. That's what he loses saying specifically that residential life, one of the duties of residential life at a place like Harvard is to teach America's future leaders, how to live with discord. I think it's one thing to live with this cord into live a disagreement. You know, I think it's another thing to live as a sexual assault survivor, as at university. That's you know, already been historically, bad at dealing with complaints of sexual assault that still hasn't so refuses to give the Harvard graduate student union, you know, protection for sexual harassment discrimination, their contract. You know, that doesn't hasn't historically supported sexual assault survivors, and then expect them, expect students to live in a house with someone who is, you know, defending at a client, who's known, you know, sexual harasser who, regardless of whether or not, he's found innocent or guilty in court has said that like he used his power dynamic, and to cause harm. Women has has admitted to that. Well, we've got we've got about only about forty five seconds here left at I just want to toss one last quick question to professor Kennedy here. I mean, we can talk about the students perspective, we can talk about professor Sullivan's perspective. But I think at the core of it is a critique your critique of Harvard University has handled this, right. I mean, again, I look at genie Sook Gerson in the New Yorker who says that when the views of thinking, people whether lawyers teachers, etc. Are determined by a self assess risk of losing jobs or social standing it doesn't take a totalitarian government to repress thoughts. We've done it to ourselves. I mean he would you go so far as that's what Harvard has done in handling. This are harbored has acted badly in this, it should remember it is a university. It should be about teaching and sometimes when you teach you do inter into conflict, and, you know, I don't think that Harvard should defer to feelings so readily. I think we need to be very. Careful, we need to be respectful, but there is also a problem of the tyranny of feeling thinking should triumph fear. Well, professor Randall Kennedy and remedy. Ryan. Thank you, both so much for joining us today. There's a lot of information about this case at our website on point radio dot org. I'm mega truck o'brady. This is on point.