The dean of Yale Law School on Thursday said reports that students were advised by a professor at the school to have a “certain look” to earn a judicial clerkship with federal judge Brett Kavanaugh is of “enormous concern” to the university.
Gerken said the “the allegations being reported are of enormous concern to me and to the School.”
“While we cannot comment on individual complaints or investigations, the Law School and the University thoroughly investigate all complaints regarding violations of University rules and take no options off the table,” Gerken wrote, before encouraging students and faculty to report misconduct incidents.
“The Law School has a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which all of our students can live and learn in a community of mutual respect, free of harassment of any kind.”
NBC News noted that a spokeswoman for Yale Law School confirmed that the letter was written in response to news reports about “faculty conduct by two members of our faculty.”
The letter was written amid reports that Amy Chua, a law professor at Yale, told a group of students that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s law clerks “look like models,” according to The Guardian.
Jed Rubenfeld, a professor and Chua’s husband, also told a student on at least one occasion that Kavanaugh, now President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE‘s nominee for the Supreme Court, “hires women with a certain look,” according to the reports.
“He did not say what the look was and I did not ask,” the student said, according to The Guardian.
“For the more than 10 years I’ve known him, Judge Kavanaugh’s first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence. He hires only the most qualified clerks, and they have been diverse as well as exceptionally talented and capable,” Chua said via email to NBC News.
The allegations and the subsequent response from the Yale Law School dean come as Kavanaugh faces increased scrutiny over sexual assault allegations brought against him.
Christine Blasey Ford, now a 51-year-old psychology professor in Northern California, accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed at a party when the two were in high school in the 1980s.
Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh groped “her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it.” Ford, who went public with her allegations in The Washington Post on Sunday, alleges that Kavanaugh also put his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming.
Kavanaugh has fiercely denied the charges, and on Thursday said he wants a hearing on the accusations as soon as possible.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDem: ‘Bulls—‘ to say GOP doing everything to contact Kavanaugh accuser Grassley wants unredacted version of letter from Kavanaugh’s accuser Attorney for Kavanaugh accuser criticizes Senate panel’s ‘rush to a hearing’ MORE (R-Iowa) agreed to schedule another hearing on Monday to provide a chance for Kavanaugh and Ford to testify regarding the charges.
Ford’s lawyer on Thursday told the Judiciary Committee that her client would be willing to testify next week if senators give her “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety,” according to a new New York Times report on Thursday.