Stanford DEI dean resigns after protesting Trump-appointed judge

"Tirien Steinbach has decided that she will be leaving her role as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Stanford Law School."


On Thursday, Stanford Law School announced that Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach is leaving the school to "pursue another opportunity" after she fueled protests against Trump-appointed Fifth Circuit Appellate Judge Kyle Duncan in March. 

An email to students, obtained by the Daily Mail, from Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez said, "I write to share that Tirien Steinbach has decided that she will be leaving her role as Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Stanford Law School to pursue another opportunity." 

Referencing the March event Martinez said, "Associate Dean Steinbach and I both hope that SLS can move forward as a community from the divisions caused by the March 9 event." She continued, "The event presented significant challenges for the administration, the students, and the entire law school community."

"As I previously noted, tempers flared along multiple dimensions," Martinez added. "Although Associate Dean Steinbach intended to de-escalate the tense situation when she spoke at the March 9 event, she recognizes that the impact of her statements was not the as she hoped or intended." 

"Both Dean Steinbach and Stanford recognize ways they could have done better in addressing the very challenging situation, including preparing for protests, ensuring university protocols are understood, and helping administrators navigate tensions when they arise. There are opportunities for growth and learning all around," she concluded. 

Steinbach had been on leave from the university since March 22 after she was at the center of a controversy involving protestors shouting down Judge Duncan's speech hosted by the school's Federalist Society. Almost 100 students stormed the room where Duncan was speaking, heckling and shouting obscenities at him. 

Duncan, taken aback by their behavior, looked to Steinbach to help calm things down. Instead, she issued a six-minute speech about same-sex marriage, trans rights, and reproductive rights. 

Some students called for her to be fired then, saying she was at the center of the chaos, not the student protesters. 

In a statement announcing Steinbach's leave of absence, Martinez said in the future "The role of any administrators present will be to ensure that university rules on disruption of events will be followed, and all staff will receive additional training in that regard." She added that administrators "should not insert themselves into debate with their own criticism of the speaker's views."

Martinez apologized to Judge Duncan, and required all students to take part in a "mandatory education programming" on "free speech and norms of the legal profession," and how "vulgar personal insults" can harm students' "professional reputations."

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