To replace them, four new Law School faculty members have already been hired. With the announcement that three senior professors will no longer teach at Penn this fall, Dean Michael Fitts is bracing the Law School to cope with the losses. Law Professors Heidi Hurd and husband Michael Moore, who each taught here for 11 years, said they will leave Penn to teach at the University of San Diego next fall. And Law School Professor Robert Gorman announced that he will be retiring after more than 35 years at the University. After such a significant blow to the faculty, Fitts will have to work even harder to develop and expand the Law School faculty -- already a critical part of his current plans for the school. "All top law schools are always in the process of recruiting faculty, and are also in the process of having their faculty sought by other institutions," Fitts said, noting the revolving door of modern academia. But Fitts, who took the helm of the Law School earlier this semester, said the recent hirings of four junior Law professors will help compensate for the loss of those three senior faculty members. "Four new hires in one year is about as many as we have had since I had come to Penn," Fitts said, noting that the new recruits will pump fresh, young blood into the faculty, while filling much-needed positions in key academic fields such as technology, copyright and corporate law. The group of young faculty comes from both academia and the private sector, including former judicial clerks and members of top law firms. Polk Wagner, who specializes in the copyright and technology law fields --both of which Gorman previously taught -- will come to Penn next year after clerking for Raymond Clevienger, a judge on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Wagner will be joined by Michael Knoll, a tax and corporate law expert from the University of Southern California, and Catherine Struve, a civil procedure specialist who will come from the New York law firm Cravath, Swaine and Moore. In addition, Kim Roosevelt, a constitutional law scholar who is clerking for Supreme Court Justice David Souter, will also join the Law School faculty. Since being named dean in March, Fitts has said that expanding the Law School faculty is a top priority of his "institution building" campaign, which also includes increasing the endowment and improving relations with Penn's other professional schools. University President Judith Rodin said she authorized the hiring of 10 new Law professors over the next few years. Still, the loss of three top professors in Hurd, Gorman and Moore is significant -- although not unexpected. "I am saddened that they are leaving," Fitts said. "But this has been in the works since before I became dean." Although all three have been productive scholars, each had previously said their time at Penn was winding down. Hurd, who was rumored to be a leading candidate for the Law School deanship herself, said that she and Moore wanted to move back to their home on the West Coast. "We're westerners at heart and we wanted to go west," she said. And Gorman said that after 35 years of teaching full-time, he decided last year that he wanted more time to pursue a wide range of activities. Although he still plans to occasionally teach and will continue to update some of his course books, Gorman said he also plans to take college courses and wants to resume playing the piano.Comments powered by Disqus
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