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    Widener Law School loses major donor over Connell case

    Widener Law School loses major donor over Connell case

    I posted on Saturday about Alumni Resignations at Widener Law School In Wake of Connell Case.

    I noted that Widener had confirmed that “[a] member of the Board of Overseers for the School of Law and a member of the School of Law Campaign Subcommittee have stepped down from those roles for reasons that they have personally conveyed to President Harris and Dean Ammons.”  At that time, Widener did not identify the individuals who resigned, and declined to divulge the reasons or whether the resignations were in protest of the sanctions placed on law professor Lawrence Connell.

    Now Widener has confirmed in an e-mail to me that one of the people who resigned was Capt. (Ret.) Robert P. Taishoff.  Widener still declines to identify the reasons given by Taishoff for resigning, but I have seen what is represented to be the text of his resignation communication and it is clear that the resignation was in protest of Dean Linda Ammons’ handling of the Connell case and the sanctions imposed on Connell.  Taishoff did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

    Taishoff is one of Widener Law School’s most prominent and generous alumni.  Taishoff is pictured here at a January 2011 Widener gala for its Campaign for Widener, of which he was Chair, which seeks to raise $12 million for the law school:

    CAPT. Robert P. Taishoff told the crowd in Delaware that he is honored to serve as chair of the law school’s campaign committee. Taishoff earned his law degree from the Delaware campus in 1989, passed the bar exam and embarked on a highly successful career with the Navy JAG corps, from which he is now retired.

    “I can’t think of a prouder way for me to give back to an institution that in many ways allowed me to be the person I have become,” he said.

    While speaking, Taishoff noted the campaign was just $17,000 shy of reaching the $7 million mark in pledges and donations. When Law Dean Linda L. Ammons took the podium after Taishoff, she announced National Advisory Council member Alex Bratic had just stepped forward with a pledge to close that gap.

    “We are well on our way and I am convinced more than ever before that $12 million is doable and will be done,” Ammons said

    Taishoff, leads the Taishoff Family Foundation, which has been a major donor to both Syracuse University and Widener Law School.  In 2009, the Taishoff Family Foundation donated $1.2 million to Widener Law School, in support of the renamed Taishoff Advocacy, Technology and Public Service Institute.  In connection with the Taishoff Institute, there is an endowed Taishoff Professor of Law position.

    Taishoff was a member of Widener Law School’s National Advisory Council, and in connection with Widener Law School’s 35th anniversary celebration in 2010, was presented with the 2009 Alumnus of the Year Award:

    The Alumnus of the Year Award was given to CAPT. Robert P. Taishoff ’89. The award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who, through service to her or his community or profession, or by honors received, service rendered or other accomplishments, has brought honor, recognition and distinction to the Widener University School of Law. Taishoff graduated from Widener’s Delaware campus. The retired Naval officer oversees the Taishoff Family Foundation, which committed a $1.2 million gift – the largest in the school’s history – to Widener Law in 2009. Taishoff is a member of the Dean’s National Advisory Council and annually speaks to Military Law Society students. He is also a strong supporter of the school’s Veterans Law Clinic.

    If either Taishoff or Widener has any comment regarding the reasons for Taishoff’s resignation, I will let you know.


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    […] WIlliam Jacobson has the story here, although right now the details remain vague. As I read Jacobson’s post, we know three things: […]

    teapartydoc | August 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    It doesn’t really pay to have thin skin, no matter what color it is.

    […] at Legal Insurrection, Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson has been providing updates on the outcry against Widener University School of Law (Delaware) and its dean, Linda Ammons. The […]

    […] at Legal Insurrection, Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson has been providing updates on the outcry against Widener University School of Law (Delaware) and its dean, Linda Ammons. The […]

    […] dean’s treatment of law professor Lawrence Connell, after legal blogger William A. Jacobson reported that Capt. (Ret.) Robert P. Taishoff had resigned as chair of the law school’s National […]

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