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Closius: ‘A little strange’ being back at UB Law

Former University of Baltimore School of Law Dean Phillip Closius has returned to campus after he resigned his post as dean amid controversy more than a year ago.

Closius stepped down in July 2011 citing differences with the university’s administration. Closius said at the time that he thought the university was taking too much money from revenue raised by the law school.

Both parties have moved on as the fall semester starts this year. A new law school dean, Ronald Weich, started this summer. Closius took a year of administrative leave and has returned as a professor. He is teaching two sections of Constitutional Law II this semester and Constitutional Law I and sports law next semester.

“I’ve always loved teaching,” Closius said. “When I was dean, I always taught. Coming back to teaching is coming back to the roots of why I got into this.”

After his dramatic exit, Closius admitted it has felt different being back on campus.

“It’s a little strange,” Closius said. “I’m not going to pretend it’s not. I think everyone’s been good. The students have been wonderful, telling me their support for me. A lot of people have been telling me how happy they are that I am back.”

Some aspects, have been more difficult, he said.

“The hardest part about coming back is seeing some of the things that were built during my deanship disappear in one year,” Closius said, declining to elaborate.

Closius said he has had a year to think about the events surrounding his resignation.

“I’m calmer,” Closius said. “Time has changed that reality. I still think about it. I kind of react to it differently. I’m not as emotional as I was. That is probably a good thing.”

Closius said he thought about what his next steps would be post-deanship. He said he and his wife decided they wanted to stay in the Baltimore community, so he is not looking to become dean at another law school.

“It’s been a little awkward, but nothing life shattering like, ‘I’ve got to get out of here,'” Closius said. “For good or bad, we really love the Baltimore community. We feel very accepted by Baltimore alumni and everybody here.”

As for his administrative leave, Closius said he stayed around the Baltimore area last fall before taking a series of the trips in the spring — Disney World in January, Costa Rica in February, the Southwest in March, London and Paris in April and Cuba in early June.