UNB hires new dean of law after 2-year search

UNB hires new dean of law after 2-year search

The University of New Brunswick has a new dean of law after a two-year search.

John Kleefeld, who is an associate law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, will be joining UNB for a five-year term on July 1, officials confirmed to CBC News on Thursday.

"We are pleased to welcome John," Dr. George MacLean, UNB Fredericton's vice-president academic, said in a statement.

"His background in practice, his innovative teaching, and his commitment to excellence in research make him an outstanding addition to our faculty and our community," said MacLean.

Kleefeld's interests include dispute resolution, tort law, constitutional law, law and literature, judges, legal ethics and legal education, according to his Twitter profile.

He replaces law Prof. John Williamson, who was appointed to a two-year term after former dean Jeremy Levitt voluntarily resigned in March 2015 amid allegations of harassment.​

Levitt had been on leave for about two months. His resignation concluded the university's independent investigative review process, Tony Secco, a UNB vice-president, had said in a statement at the time.

UNB had brought in Neil Gold, a University of Windsor law professor and a veteran mediator, to "investigate and report confidentially on relations between Levitt and certain faculty members within UNB's law school."

Associate law professor Hilary Young posted about Kleefeld's appointment on her Facebook page.

"It's official UNB Law has a new Dean: John Kleefeld," she wrote. "I'm so excited for this new chapter. Onward and upward."

Prior to his work at the University of Saskatchewan, Kleefeld taught at the University of British Columbia, where he directed the legal research and writing program.

He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, a visiting professor at Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli in Rome and an instructor in the common law and transnational law program at Université de Sherbrooke and the Osgoode professional LLM program, according to his biography on the University of Saskatchewan website.

Kleefeld has an LLM from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School, an LLB from the University of British Columbia, and a BA from the University of Waterloo.