UNB hires new dean of law after 2-year search

The University of New Brunswick has hired John Kleefeld as the new dean of law, two years after the former dean, Jeremy Levitt, resigned amid allegations of harassment.

John Kleefeld, now an associate law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, starts July 1

John Kleefeld, an associate law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, begins a five-year term as UNB's dean of law on July 1. (University of New Brunswick)

The University of New Brunswick has a new dean of law after a two-year search.

John Kleefeld, who is an associate law professor at the University of Saskatchewan, will be joining UNB for a five-year term on July 1, officials confirmed to CBC News on Thursday.

"We are pleased to welcome John," Dr. George MacLean, UNB Fredericton's vice-president academic, said in a statement.

"His background in practice, his innovative teaching, and his commitment to excellence in research make him an outstanding addition to our faculty and our community," said MacLean.

Kleefeld's interests include dispute resolution, tort law, constitutional law, law and literature, judges, legal ethics and legal education, according to his Twitter profile.

Jeremy Levitt resigned as dean of law at the University of New Brunswick in March 2015. (CBC)
​He replaces law Prof. John Williamson, who was appointed to a two-year term after former dean Jeremy Levitt voluntarily resigned in March 2015 following a brief term as dean.​ 

Associate law professor Hilary Young posted about Kleefeld's appointment on her Facebook page.

"It's official UNB Law has a new Dean: John Kleefeld," she wrote. "I'm so excited for this new chapter. Onward and upward."

Prior to his work at the University of Saskatchewan, Kleefeld taught at the University of British Columbia, where he directed the legal research and writing program.

He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, a visiting professor at Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli in Rome and an instructor in the common law and transnational law program at Université de Sherbrooke and the Osgoode professional LLM program, according to his biography on the University of Saskatchewan website.

Kleefeld has an LLM from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School, an LLB from the University of British Columbia, and a BA from the University of Waterloo.