A colleague of Professor Chemerinsky's has forwarded me the e-mail he sent to his colleagues about 10 mintues ago informing them of his decision to accept the renewed offer of the UC Irvine Deanship. He wrote, in relevant part:
It is with excitment and sadness that I am writing to tell you that I have accepted the position to be the founding dean of the Donald Bren School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. After meeting with Chancellor Michael Drake at length this weekend, I accepted his renewed offer. He provided me the greatest possible assurance of academic freedom for the dean and all faculty.
This was a wise move by Irvine and Chancellor Drake. They are fortunate that Professor Chemerinsky was still willing to take the job. Of course, it's a significant loss for Duke.
Posted at 12:23 pm CST.
UPDATE AT 12:31 PM CST: The Irvine announcement is here.
ANOTHER (12:39 PM CST): This is, by the way, presumably a double loss for Duke, since one assumes Professor Chemerinsky's spouse, Catherine Fisk, a labor and employment law scholar also on the Duke faculty, will be taking up a post at Irvine. It will be interesting to see whether the huge attention accorded this move will have any effect on Duke in the U.S. News reputational surveys which are going out soon. On the one hand, losing a school's most prominent faculty member seems a bad thing; on the other hand, with the entire nation singing Professor Chemerinsky's praises last week, some of that good feeling may well rub off on the "gestalt" sense of Duke that kicks in when people fill out the survey (since the survey just lists school names, nothing else).