practice of deans who step down, President Barbara R. Snyder wrote in an e-mail to law school faculty. She wrote that Mitchell has resigned his leadership position to alleviate distractions for the school related to pending litigation." She later acknowledged "We recognize that this academic year has proved challenging." Mitchell, who had been dean since 2011, said in a letter to the university that "Upon thorough reflection, I have concluded that I cannot return to my job as dean with the same energy and enthusiasm that characterized my earlier service. At this point, it is in the best interest of the law school for me to step down as dean. I will retain my position as a tenured professor and continue to seek to serve the school however I can." Law Professor Raymond Ku filed a lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on October 23 against Mitchell and the university alleging that when Ku reported that Mitchell had potentially sexually harassed women, Ku suffered retaliation. Ku, a former associate dean of the law school, reported in 2011 that he personally witnessed Mitchell caressing a female staff member at a party and was made aware of allegations by other women at the university that Mitchell had made inappropriate comments to others, according to the suit. Ku, a tenured professor since 2003, said he made reports to the university
s provost, vice president for diversity and faculty diversity officer. The university said there was no retaliation and the lawsuit includes inaccuracies. A later court filing by Ku included additional allegations, including that another professor was told by a student in confidence that Mitchell had propositioned a student for a "threesome." Mitchell's attorney sought to have portions of the complaint removed from the court record because they are "immaterial, impertinent and scandalous" and go far beyond the scope of wrongful employment retaliation. That motion was denied by Judge Peter Corrigan.